Are You “Likely to Recommend”?

If you’ve been in a beta test before, there’s a good chance you’ve come across this question: “How likely is it that you would recommend [product name] to a friend of colleague?”

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A staple across many satisfaction surveys, the “likely to recommend” question is a core piece of feedback in all of our beta tests. Knowing how likely a user is to recommend a product says a lot about what they think of a product. Using a product yourself is one thing, but if you’re willing to put your name behind the product by recommending it to another person, that says even more. As a result, this powerful question is used by companies around the world to gauge what customers really think of their products.

Why a Likelihood Score is Helpful

Improving a product can sometimes be just as challenging as developing the original. Aside from fixing bugs or general defects, feedback (like this score) can help a development team make more comprehensive improvements that can improve the overall customer experience with a product. This question is used in almost every industry to gauge satisfaction with a company’s products and customer service. Because it’s used so frequently, it gives development teams the chance to compare their beta product’s score with other products in their company or industry.

By asking testers to give the product a score during beta a product development team can look for trends and see if there are specific areas that need improvement. They can also ask the question multiple times over the course of the test to see how testers’ perceptions change as they use the product. They can then use these scores to see how their product could stack up against other products the company or their competitors have released.

The Importance of Comments

The “likely to recommend” question is almost always accompanied by a comment box. Typically, the feedback a beta team can learn from comments is just as important as the rating a tester will provide. This is because a tester’s comments give a beta team a sense of context for the score by telling them where the product is succeeding and failing. Comments also give a beta manager a window into understanding customer intentions, and how certain customers go about deciding whether they’re going to put their name behind a product or not. When entering written feedback in the comment box, it’s valuable to a beta team that you explain why you would or would not recommend the product.

When giving feedback during a beta test, there is never a right or wrong answer. The best testers are the ones who can be brutally honest about the product they are testing. Both their good and bad experiences matter to a beta team. The same goes for giving a product a likely to recommend score. A good beta test team isn’t looking for anything except your full and honest opinion, even if it isn’t flattering of the product you’re testing.

So the next time you see: “How likely is it that you would recommend this product to a friend of colleague?” you can be confident your honesty matters, is appreciated, and could have a lasting impact on the development of the product you’re testing.

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