How Web Accessibility Improves Your Net Promoter Score (NPS)

July 11, 2022

Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) is widely seen as the ultimate metric for measuring brand performance. Developed by Bain & Company, NPS is measured by asking customers a simple question: “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?” 

Respondents answer the question on a zero-to-10 scale. Consumers that respond with a “9" or a “10" are considered promoters. These individuals are much more likely to discuss the business’s products or services with others, creating organic growth. 

According to Bain & Company, organizations that achieve long-term profitable growth have an NPS two times higher than the average company. Needless to say, if you’re trying to improve your brand, NPS is a key measure of your success — and adopting the principles of accessibility and inclusivity can help you improve your score. 

Your Brand’s User Experience Must Be Accessible

There’s an old saying among marketers: “Branding is a mist, not a hammer.” The goal of branding is to make potential customers aware of your business, so that when they’re ready to purchase, they think of your company first. 

Developing your brand identity requires a consistent voice and a clear vision. Unfortunately, negative experiences can quickly undo all of your hard work. If potential customers cannot use your organization’s website or mobile app, you’re sending a clear signal that you don’t value their business — and you won’t get a second opportunity to win them over. 

This is a key consideration, given that an enormous percentage of your users have some form of disability or condition that affects their internet habits. Consider a few statistics: 

  • About 1 in 4 adults in the US has a disability, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Worldwide, about 1 billion people have at least one disability. 
  • In 2012, Pew Research, which uses a less restrictive definition of disability, found that 27% of US adults live with a disability that “inhibits their daily functioning.”
  • By one estimate, people with disabilities control nearly half a trillion dollars in disposable income.

Brands that ignore accessibility risk alienating a large portion of their audiences — along with people of all abilities who recognize the importance of inclusivity. According to Forbes, 71% of consumers prefer buying from companies that are aligned with their values. 

Related: Disability Statistics in the United States

Web accessibility impacts every potential customer’s experience

There’s another key reason to think about digital accessibility as part of your brand: Accessible websites work better for everyone. 

The international standard for accessibility is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which requires online content to be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. Websites that utilize those principles will work better for people with a range of disabilities, including conditions that affect vision, hearing, cognition, and physical capabilities — but each principle can also be applied to all online experiences. 

For example, adding captions to a video can accommodate people with hearing disabilities, who might be unable to understand the content without a text alternative. But captions aren’t just an accommodation: They provide users with options for engaging with multimedia and building a perception of your brand. Studies show that captions improve brand recognition, and on social media platforms, captions increase viewership by an average of 12%. 

Following WCAG can expand your audience considerably and help you make a strong first impression. Some accessibility improvements can have especially potent benefits: Websites that meet WCAG 2.1 Level AA guidelines benefit from enhanced search engine optimization, organically raising brand awareness. Accessible websites require fewer resources to maintain and retain more customers.

But from a marketing perspective, the primary advantage of web accessibility is improved customer relationships — and reliable word-of-mouth growth via organic brand promoters. 

When people have positive experiences, they’re more likely to promote your brand

Convincing customers to promote your products isn’t easy. Brand promoters need to be fully engaged with your business, and website accessibility enhances many of the most important factors that drive NPS and other benchmark metrics. 

For instance, your business’s perceived credibility can push “satisfied" customers to the next level, enabling them to promote your brand without reservations. Stanford’s Web Credibility Research project found that 75% of customers judge a business’s credibility by evaluating their website. The same research recommends making sites “easy to use and useful" — principles that are strongly aligned with WCAG.

And if your customer service resources are accessible, you’ll have more opportunities to address customer pain points. By providing user-friendly shopping portals, multiple contact options, and inclusivity-first customer service, brands can ensure a more consistent experience for all consusers (and avoid violating non-discrimination laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act).

Organizations that publish accessibility statements can also showcase their values, providing consumers with a reason to talk about them. As long as you’re backing up your statement with real actions, your customers will help you spread the word about your accomplishments. 

When you consider the abilities and expectations of your entire audience, you’re showing them respect — and website visitors will have another reason to think of your brand in positive terms. Get started with a free WCAG 2.1 Level AA compliance summary of your website.

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