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DocuSign: Net Promoter Score® Analysis In Action

by Cvetilena Gocheva

Currently Trending

Financial Services NPS® Benchmarks

by Cvetilena Gocheva

DocuSign is the leading e-signature service across the globe. With 200 million users across 180 countries, the cloud-based service has found success in being able to serve almost any business of any kind, as most every business needs to sign contracts and other documents. Making that process fast and easy was bound to have mass appeal.

How DocuSign has managed and utilized that popularity though is worthy of note, particularly when considering their Net Promoter Score®. As of October 2017, their NPS is 63, an impressive score to achieve, particularly in the competitive world of tech. This high level of customer satisfaction makes sense though, as DocuSign is a company that highly values analyzing metrics, and acting on what they learn--it’s a master of data-driven marketing.

Focusing on the Customer Experience

The focal point of almost all of DocuSign’s analyses and surveying is their customers’ service experience. This is evidenced by their frequent discussion and utilization of NPS, and their use of funneling, a means of understanding customer churn by tracking customers along multi-step interactions and transactions with a company, and seeing where they stick around or fall off. Funneling, like NPS, creates measurable metrics that allow you to see what customers are enjoying about a product and service experience, and what they aren’t liking. Such information is highly useful for seeing where improvements can be made, and where things can remain successful.

Funneling helps obtain this data by indicating where in the process a customer has not continued on, and if that forms a pattern with other consumers. NPS, meanwhile, allows you to label customers as promoters, passives, and detractors, based on their answer on a scale of 0 to 10 to the question “Would you recommend this company to a friend?” Promoters will speak highly of your company to others, marketing on your behalf. Passives won’t promote you, but they won’t speak against you either. Detractors will speak ill of your company, so their needs must be addressed immediately. Knowing these groups, and who occupies them, can also greatly reduce customer churn and increase customer retention, so long as you act on the information the data provides. Part of the way you can do that is by closing the loop.

DocuSign ensures it closes the loop--responds to inquiries, acts on any concerns, and communicates again to bring about a conclusion--quickly and effectively. In 2017, the company completed 83% of successful transactions in less than 24 hours, and 50% within 15 minutes. Communication with customers was similarly fast, which benefits DocuSign daily. The company is aware that closing the loop within 48 hours (they actually recommend closing the loop within one hour) can lead to a 10% or more increase in customer retention, which, as retained customers are the bread and butter of any business, leads to greater profit. It also helps raise NPS, as customers that are attended to have better experiences with a business. Closing the loop allows you to get metrics, and respond to the data they provide. And what data these metrics provide can be really eye opening!

DocuSign, for example, maintains a 24/7 customer service chat feature, allowing you to communicate with a representative about any issues that may arise with the e-signature service at any time, from anywhere in the world. However, after a survey, it was discovered 72% of customers preferred self-service to speaking to a representative. This was not a result DocuSign predicted, hence their 24/7 services, but it’s one they can now adapt to, and they will with a newly designed support center.

Taking appropriate action based on metric results is something DocuSign has done well in the realm of customer experience, and they’ve demonstrated a mastery of it in other instances as well, particularly in helping their services evolve.

Converting Data to Action for the Long Haul

Keeping track of metrics is useful so long as the information collected gets used for something. DocuSign has been highly effective at such actions, and we can see this not only in response to customer complaints, like above, but in thinking about the company’s future.

Much of DocuSign offers generous freemium features that allows customers to sign and update many documents. This is partially why DocuSign has been popular, but a company has to maximize profits to stay afloat. The premium model for a service, which gets more popular in tech by the day, seemed to be a way of moving forward while increasing profitability that could be implemented within DocuSign’s existing system.

How could DocuSign convince its many users to start paying for services they were used to getting for free? DocuSign knew the answer was measurable in hard data. Via funneling, DocuSign discovered exposing free users to gated premium features increased upgrade rates by 5%. With 130,000 unique visitors every day, a 5% increase is significant, and so DocuSign now tells new free users about its five levels of premium/freemium options in its app and site. Continuing to think ahead, DocuSign also sought means of increasing new user account creation, and retaining these new users, finding that funneling also held the answers. Adjusting the app so it stored the first signed document for free, and walked users through their first signing, helped with these numbers significantly, increasing new users by 15% and user conversion rate (retention in the app) by 10%.

So DocuSign is thinking ahead via data analytics as well. And it’s a company that doesn’t mind finding unusual results. If anything, it finds more success through them.

Going Against the Grain for Engagement, but not the Data

We’ve already discussed how DocuSign created a less traditional customer service methodology for web-based tech companies based on feedback from its customers. There are other places DocuSign goes a little more manual than digital based on the metrics it measures from its customer base, and finds incredible success.

A great example of this is DocuSign’s commitment, and recommendation to other companies, to engage customers offline, rather than through social media. This is not uncommon in many industries, but in the world of tech, it is surprising. Social media can be an amazing marketing tool, and one of its huge benefits is allowing customers to engage by speaking to and participating with the company more directly. Plus, it allows companies to get feedback from customers. But DocuSign has found great success (and 200 million users) by adding more of a human element to their branding, changing their social media game so that it is not the focus of their marketing plan.

DocuSign has had their customers do guest blog posts to speak about their success, and market through to DocuSign’s readers. In exchange, the guest speaks about how DocuSign helped their business, benefitting all parties involved. As we’ve also discussed above, DocuSign engages customers through its app and web-platform, guiding users through the experience and encouraging upgrading while surveying responses. None of this requires social media, but engages customers, which helps with retention.

In another twist in the tech market, DocuSign has invested in referral marketing, or marketing by word of mouth. Tech, on the whole, tends to work for visibility via online marketing. DocuSign has made referrals a priority, allowing them to target larger clients that might need some convincing, or otherwise be hesitant to change what’s working for them. Thus far, referrals are yielding an equal or better return on investment to other marketing methods by developing a reward system for promoters. DocuSign got new leads, and new, high-paying customers through a method that many might deem a little out-of-the-box.

DocuSign also prioritizes meeting clients in person when possible. The company hosts an annual conference, Momentum, for people looking to “accelerate” their businesses. They let loyal clients give talks or be on panels (another way to reward promoters), and allow any administrator, executive or developer to come learn from professionals in their field in a customizable way, depending on what they want to learn. DocuSign therefore gets to help business leaders find new ways to grow and profit while advertising their own services. It’s not web-based, which is surprising in the digital age, but incredibly effective, as DocuSign knows well.

Seeing the Value in Others

Perhaps as a result of all of these engagement methods being so profitable, DocuSign knows valuing people leads to a company gaining value. DocuSign takes that a step further, and also values whole companies. DocuSign has multiple partnerships with different companies offering a variety of services, allowing it to improve its own product and abilities, while doing the same for the partner company. Forming these bonds keeps DocuSign in a variety of fields, and allows it to continue growing through customer retention.

DocuSign partnered with Microsoft in 2017 to use Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud service. In exchange, DocuSign gets international scaling of its platform and service, particularly useful with DocuSign’s 2017 campaign to get to more Canadian companies. Also part of its global expansion, DocuSign partnered with AppDirect as a means of reaching more small businesses, a market AppDirect has a big foothold in. DocuSign additionally partnered with Workday on an integration that allowed Workday customers to use DocuSign’s electronic signature capabilities to digitize employment forms such as NDAs, relocation agreements, and employee handbooks. All of these partnerships gave DocuSign new customers, and improved their tech for particular markets.And there are many more partnerships you can learn about here.

DocuSign prospers by knowing when to make profitable alliances, and integrating rather than competing. It has made itself a company that can operate almost anywhere, and ever expand its reach as a secure place to sign and send important documents. By helping its partners with its own tech, DocuSign gives itself a boost, and builds its own market via methods described above.


It makes complete sense that DocuSign has such a high NPS--it’s a company that values customers and customer experiences, that seeks feedback and follows through on it, no matter how odd results might seem, and it’s a company that knows how to partner to continue to expand its reach. In having good customer retention practices, DocuSign ensures its own profits, and creates a positive customer service experience. It can do that because it surveys and seeks feedback, and turns responses into hard data that shows where action can be taken. These actions might be unique, but they’re effective--DocuSign filed for a $100 million IPO in 2018, and looks poised to continue to succeed. In partnerships, DocuSign uses all of these traits and more, overall demonstrating a mastery of data-driven marketing, and revealing the secret to a high NPS; caring about what NPS teaches you about your company.

Interested in utilizing NPS more effectively in your own business? Check out CustomerGauge’s Acting on Net Promoter ScoreⓇ eBook, and see how data-driven marketing can help you too!

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