The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

December 31, 2019

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

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In this episode, Steli and Hiten talk about using an NPS (net promoter score) survey tool for startups. Steli didn’t know that a NPS survey could be used for anything other than testing your own core product. In today’s episode, you’ll hear the different ways Hiten is using this tool to build his business. You’ll also find out why the NPS survey tool is not just a score—the real value is found in knowing WHY you received the number you did in the first place. Tune-in to find out how to maximize the use of the NPS survey tool and how it can help you turn your “detractors” into “promoters” for your business.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:05 – Today’s episode is about how and when to use an NPS survey for your startup

00:34 – Steli and his team at were inspired by Hiten’s email regarding the NPS (net promoter score) of his online webinar workshop

00:55 – Steli says he has not thought about getting an NPS score for anything else other than their core product

01:58 – A NPS is a customer satisfaction score that helps you put people into 3 buckets

02:34 – You use only one question – How likely are you to recommend this product to others?

02:50 – The options are from 0 to 10, 0 being not very likely to 10 being very likely

03:02 – There is a scoring system – a score of 9 or 10 is a promoter, 7 or 8 is passive and anything lower than 7 is a detractor

03:32 – A detractor is someone who will tell other people to NOT use your product, a passive person will not say anything and a promoter is someone who will promote your product actively  

03:58 – Hiten’s workshop got an NPS of 88 compared to Apple’s 89 and Tesla’s 93

04:19 – Hiten is planning to beat his score in his next workshop

04:40 – Hiten loves doing using a NPS because it’s a simple metric that is informative

04:55 – Aside from having the score, what’s really powerful is the next question you can ask – What’s the most important reason for your score?

05:22 – Look at the patterns between the various responses of those in the three buckets and then make it better

06:13 – Steli says the NPS is very simple to do and is widely used; it is a benchmark for certain industries

06:40 – Hiten is currently doing research in the online document space—he asked for the NPS and follow-up question for Google Docs, Dropbox, Microsoft Word and a few others

07:15 – Steli says he has never heard of somebody doing a survey for someone else’s products

07:36 – Steli says he thought the NPS could only be used for their core product

08:37 – What Hiten wanted to do was gauge the success of his workshop and open his mind for different ways NPS could be used

09:41 – Hiten says at the end of every experience, it’s a great to hear the answers of the passives and detractors

10:03 – The goal is to get more people to be promoters

11:03 – Hiten says what is more important than getting a score is knowing WHY, that’s why it’s important to ask the follow-up question

11:49 – The biggest mistake people make is that they don’t ask the 2 questions together

12:01 – Hiten says it’s about how you can improve your own product by gauging your customer’s experience

12:33 – Hiten says to not ask the same people to do the NPS again and again

13:15 – You can ask people at certain points in their experience, like after a workshop or a few weeks in using a product

14:03 – Hiten says the NPS is a problem-solving tool and a learning tool; not just a score

14:19 – Steli says Hiten’s transparency in regards to how he is building his new company is valuable for everyone

14:55 – Join Hiten’s newsletter list to get value every week at, you can also get a free ebook when you sign up

15:24 – Hiten sends 10 links about business and product development every week as well...

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