AskNicely Founders.

Investment Notes: AskNicely

Date Published:
September 11, 2017

We’re investing in this whose mission is to make NPS actionable for employees.

One of the most powerful things a customer can do is recommended a business to a friend or colleague. It’s the ultimate validation, and in our quest to discover the greatest technology companies, customer referrals are a strong predictor of success.

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures one simple, qualitative thing — “How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?”.

We love NPS and encourage all of our portfolio companies to use it.

That’s why we’re investing in AskNicely, an Auckland-based SaaS company whose mission is to make NPS actionable for employees rather than just a slide in a boardroom presentation.

One Metric to Rule Them All

NPS was created by Bain & Co and asks a question on a scale of 1–10: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?”. Those who choose 9 or 10 are considered “promoters” and progress the score forward and those who choose 6 or lower are considered “detractors” and move the score backward. The possible scores range from -100 to +100.

Tesla has an NPS of 97 while Telstra has an NPS of 17.

Good SaaS companies tend to be greater than 40. You can browse more companies and industries here.

At Blackbird we use NPS too. The Sunrise conference had an NPS score of 69 this year, up from 61 last year. Startmate batches are consistently above 80.

If you boil it all down, the definition of business is a set of happy, repeat customers. Without that, there is nothing. It’s simply too expensive and inefficient to keep acquiring new customers to replace old ones. And NPS is a single number that gives you a sense of how you are tracking towards that goal.

The problem with NPS is that most companies measure it once or twice a year and put it in a slide deck for the board meeting. Nothing is actually done about it.

AskNicely was formed around the idea of asking many more customers, much more frequently and having the results coordinated into actions. Promoters could be sent an email suggesting they review the company in the app store. Detractors could trigger a support ticket so that a sales or customer success representative could reach out and right the wrongs.


AskNicely was formed in 2014 by Aaron Ward and John Ballinger.Several customers like Jetstar Airways in Australia are using AskNicely to help transform their customer experience offering an insight into the future of how customer-obsessed companies may be run.

By collecting post-flight feedback, the airline is able to deliver realtime NPS and feedback onto live dashboards across the business and respond directly to customers as issues are raised. Everyone from frontline crew and call centre teams through to the head office support and executive teams now have a direct line of sight to what customers are saying about their experience.

AskNicely’s NPS survey requests get an average response rate of 38% versus the 2% average that longer customer surveys receive. Companies like Uber have shown the benefits of asking for feedback after every single trip and more areas of business will replicate this model of behaviour.

This creates mountains of feedback, which is great, but it’s the mission of AskNicely to help companies listen and take action on feedback that led us to believe a software platform of great, durable quality can be built.

Recommending AskNicely to our friends and colleagues

Without any hesitation we recommend AskNicely to our friends and colleagues. They’re creating a product that has the power to turn businesses into customer obsessives and devotees to the church of NPS.

AskNicely have a free trial so if you want to sign up and give them a spin, you can do so from their website now.

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