Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a simple way to measure how loyal your customers are.
But first, let me explain what NPS is and why it matters.
NPS is based on one question: “How likely are you to recommend our product or service to a friend or colleague?”.
And it’s not just a vanity metric. In fact, Bain found that the top NPS performers in any industry grow twice as fast as their competitors.
Customers can answer the question on a scale of 0 to 10. Where 0 means “not likely at all” and 10 means “extremely likely”.
Based on the answers you can group respondents into three categories:
- 😍 Promoters: These are your raving fans. They love your product or service and will tell everyone about it. They score you 9 or 10.
- 😐 Passives: These are your satisfied customers. They like your product or service, but they’re not blown away by it. They score you 7 or 8.
- 😡 Detractors: These are your unhappy customers. They’re disappointed with your brand for some reason. They score you 0 to 6.
To calculate your NPS score, you simply subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.
🧮 NPS CALCULATOR
The formula for calculating NPS is
NPS = % Promoters – % Detractors
For example, let’s say you surveyed 100 customers and got these results:
40 promoters (9-10), 30 passives (7-8), 30 detractors (0-6)
Your NPS score would be 10.
(40 promoters) – (30 detractors) = NPS Score: 10
Your NPS score can range from -100 (all detractors) to +100 (all promoters). The higher your score, the more loyal your customers are. And the more likely they are to help you grow your business.
The NPS scale and its components
NPS is a super simple way to measure how loyal your customers are to your brand. But NPS is more than just a single question. It also includes a follow-up question that asks customers why they gave you the score they did. An open-ended question that lets them share their feedback and suggestions.
This way, you can get a deeper understanding of what your customers really think, value, and need.
Plus, by running NPS surveys on a regular basis, you can track how your customers’ loyalty changes over time.
What is a good and bad NPS score?
You might be wondering: “What’s a good NPS score?”
Well, there’s no definitive answer to that question.
But in general, a score between 50 and 100 is considered pretty good.
That said, your NPS score doesn’t mean much on its own. What really matters is how your score compares to your competitors in your industry.
In fact, studies have found that your relative NPS score is linked to revenue growth. But your absolute NPS score (the number itself) has little to do with it.
For example, let’s say your NPS score is 40. That’s not bad. But it’s not great either.
However, if all of your competitors have an NPS score of 20 or lower, then your 40 score is actually awesome.
On the other hand, if the average NPS score in your industry is 70 or higher, then your 40 score is pretty low. And you might want to figure out why that is.
Best practices for designing and conducting NPS surveys
How do you create and run NPS surveys that actually work? Here are some proven best practices that you can use to get more responses, more insights, and more results from your NPS surveys.
Identify the right target audience for your survey.
This is super important. Because if you send your survey to the wrong people or use the wrong channel, you’ll get low response rates and low-quality feedback.
How do you find the right audience and channel? It’s simple: just look at your customer data and behavior. For example, you can use email, SMS, or in-app surveys depending on how your customers prefer to communicate with you and what actions they take on your website or app.
Distribute, remind, and follow up.
This can make or break your NPS survey. Because if you send your survey at the wrong time or don’t follow up, you’ll miss out on valuable feedback and insights.
So when should you send your survey and how often should you follow up? Well, it depends on your goals and context.
👍 Send > After an important interaction, such as a purchase, a renewal, or a support resolution.
👍 Remind > Remind non-respondents within a few days
👍 Follow up > Always thank your respondents in some way.
Keep your survey short and concise.
This is a no-brainer. Because if you make your survey too long or too complex, you’ll lose your customers’ interest. And that means lower-quality feedback. Focus on the most important questions and leave out the rest. Use emojis, images, or videos to spice up your survey and make it more fun and engaging.
Customize your NPS survey to match your brand.
This is a subtle but powerful way to boost your NPS survey performance. Because if you make your survey look and sound like your brand, your customers are more likely to answer.
Show the survey at the right stages of the user journey.
After a purchase, a renewal, or a support interaction. If you use the survey at the right stages of the user journey, you’ll capture feedback at the moments that matter most to your customers. And that means more insights into their pain points and expectations.
Segment your customers based on their behaviors and feedback scores. This allows you to understand the drivers of customer satisfaction. And that means more opportunities to improve your customer experience and loyalty.
Analyze both quantitative and qualitative NPS data.
If you don’t analyze and act on your NPS data, you’ll waste all the effort and resources that went into creating and running your NPS surveys. And that means no improvement.
How to collect NPS responses
Here are some of the best times and places to ask for NPS feedback, along with some tips on how to do it right:
- Email: Email is one of the most popular and effective ways to send NPS surveys. You can email your customers after they buy something from you, confirm their order, or get help from your support team.
- Website: You can also display your NPS survey on your website. Just make sure it’s visible and easy to access. You can put it on important pages like your homepage or thank you page. Or you can use a pop-up that shows up after a certain action or time on your site.
- Mobile App: If you have a mobile app, you can integrate your NPS survey into it. You can place it somewhere that catches your users’ attention. Or you can add it to your app’s menu or settings.
- SMS/Text Messages: Some customers prefer to communicate via text messages. And that’s a great opportunity for you to send them NPS surveys. Just keep it short and sweet. And use a survey link that works well on mobile devices.
- In-Store or Packaging Inserts: If you have a physical store or ship physical products, you can use in-store or packaging inserts to ask for NPS feedback. You can include a paper-based survey or a QR code that leads to an online survey in your product packaging. This way, you can get feedback from customers at the moment of purchase or product use.
- Loyalty Programs and Newsletters: If you have loyal customers who are part of your loyalty program or newsletter, you can use those channels to send them NPS surveys. You can include a survey link along with exclusive deals or personalized content. This way, you can engage your loyal customers and understand what they love about you.
- Follow-up Surveys: Utilize post-purchase or post-interaction surveys to gather NPS feedback. This allows customers to provide feedback on how they feel about purchasing from your brand in the future.
When to ask customers to respond to an NPS survey
When you send your NPS survey can make or break your results.
That’s why you want to send your survey when your customers are most likely to give you honest and accurate feedback.
And when is that?
Usually, it’s right after they buy something from you.
But it’s also important to know when to use a CSAT or CES survey instead of an NPS survey.
Here are some of the best situations to ask for NPS feedback, along with some tips on how to do it:
- After a purchase: This is a no-brainer. As soon as your customers buy something from you, show an NPS survey. This way, their response will reflect their entire shopping experience, from browsing your website to receiving their order.
- Order Confirmation: Another easy way to get NPS feedback is to include a survey link on the thank you page or in your order confirmation email. This way, you can make sure your customers got their order and ask them how they feel about it.
- Alongside Review Requests: If you want to get more product reviews, you can also use that as an opportunity to get NPS feedback. Just add a section where customers can rate how likely they are to recommend your brandto others. This way, you can get both NPS data and testimonials that you can use for marketing.
- Post-delivery: You can also send an NPS survey a few days after your customers receive their orders. This way, you can get feedback on how they liked the delivery, the packaging, and the product itself.
- Anniversaries or Milestones: Celebrate customer milestones, such as their first purchase anniversary or reaching a specific loyalty program tier, by sending them an NPS survey along with personalized messages. This demonstrates that their feedback is valued and helps maintain an ongoing customer relationship.
Now, how do you know whether you should use an NPS, CSAT, or CES survey? The short answer is that all three produce metrics of different parts of the customer experience.
NPS (Net Promoter Score) is always measured on a 0-10 scale. NPS surveys measure your customer’s feelings about your brand and give you an indication of how good your company is at turning regular customers into brand advocates over time.
CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Survey) surveys are always measured on a 1-5 scale. CSAT measures customer satisfaction with regard to a specific product or service.
CES (Customer Effort Score) surveys are measured on a 1-5 or 1-7 scale. CES surveys reflect the amount of effort your customers had to put in to do a certain task, find the information they needed, or get an issue resolved.
CES and CSAT are more transactional, while NPS is relational.
Strategies for increasing NPS response rates
How do you get more customers to take your survey? Make it easy and rewarding. Here are some tips on how to do that.
- Use great UX design. Make sure your survey is clear, simple, and user-friendly.
- Target the right audience. Your NPS Survey doesn’t need to be broad. Sometimes you just want to survey a specific segment of your customers.
- Keep it short. Don’t ask too many questions or make your survey too long. Ideally, you want to ask one question: “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?” And maybe a follow-up question to get some feedback. Anything more than that could lower your response rate.
- Make it intuitive. For example, you can use a pop-up window, a slider, or a widget that appears on your website or app.
- Offer incentives. Sometimes customers need a little nudge to take your survey. And that’s where incentives come in handy. Offer them discounts, loyalty points, free shipping, or other perks that they’ll appreciate.
How to analyze and measure NPS responses
Here are common categorizations of NPS scores and your implications:
Promoters (NPS Score: 9-10):
Promoters are your best customers. They love your product or service and can’t wait to tell their friends about it.
They’re the ones who drive your word-of-mouth marketing and help you grow your customer base. These customers are vital for your business’s success and you want to keep them happy and loyal.
Action: Don’t take promoters for granted. Show them how much you appreciate them:
- Ask them to share positive feedback on social media, write reviews, or record a video with them using a product they bought from you.
- Reward them with exclusive deals, loyalty points, or free gifts.
- Keep in touch regularly to make them feel valued and special.
Passives (NPS Score: 7-8):
Passives are your lukewarm customers. They’re not unhappy with your product or service, but they’re not thrilled either. They won’t badmouth you, but they won’t rave about you either.
They’re the ones who are most likely to switch to your competitors if they find a better deal or a more attractive offer. You want to turn them into loyal fans and advocates.
Action: Don’t ignore passives. Reach out to them and find out what’s holding them back from loving your product or service.
- Use personalized marketing campaigns to show them you care.
- Make them feel special and appreciated by offering them incentives, discounts, or freebies.
Detractors (NPS Score: 0-6):
Detractors are the ones who are most likely to leave you and tell others to avoid you. They can damage your reputation and hurt your growth. You want to fix their problems and win them back.
Action: Contact them as soon as possible and listen to their complaints with empathy and respect. Fix their problems quickly and effectively, and make sure they’re happy with the outcome. By turning detractors into happy customers, you can not only keep their business but also turn them into loyal fans and advocates.
Keep this in mind: your ultimate goal is to get more raving fans and fewer unhappy customers.
That’s why you want to keep an eye on how your NPS score changes over time. This way, you can see how well your customer-focused strategies are working.
Advanced: Analyzing NPS data to uncover insights
Analyzing NPS data can help you find out what makes different customer groups happy or unhappy. And use that knowledge to improve your customer experience and marketing. Here are some of the most important things to look at when segmenting NPS data:
- Age: This can help you tailor your marketing campaigns to match the preferences of each generation.
- Gender: NPS scores can also vary by gender. And this can give you valuable insights into how to improve your product development, marketing messages, and customer service for each gender group.
- Location: Another way to segment your NPS scores is by geographic regions. This can show you how satisfied your customers are in different parts of the world. And it can help you address any specific issues or needs that each region has.
- New vs. Repeat Customers: Comparing NPS scores between these two groups can reveal how well you’re attracting and retaining customers. And how you can optimize your customer acquisition and loyalty strategies.
- Onboarding Experience: The first impression is crucial for customer satisfaction. That’s why analyzing NPS scores during the onboarding phase is a smart move. It can help you spot any friction points and areas for improvement in the initial customer experience.
- Post-Purchase Support: Customer service is a key factor in customer loyalty. And segmenting NPS scores based on support interactions can show you how well you’re delivering on that front.
Product or service categories:
- Individual Products/Services: You can also segment your NPS scores by specific products or services. This can help you measure customer satisfaction levels for each offering separately. This insight can guide decisions regarding product improvements or retirement.
- Product Bundles or Packages: This can show you how you can leverage upsell or cross-sell opportunities.
Customer persona or behavior:
- High-Value Customers: Segment your NPS scores based on customer lifetime value. This can help you identify your best customers and provide insights into how to increase their loyalty.
- Engagement Levels: To find out how to boost customer engagement and satisfaction across the board, analyze your NPS scores for highly engaged customers versus less engaged ones.
Why You Should Track NPS Trends Over Time
By continuously monitoring NPS, you can uncover valuable insights and make data-driven decisions to drive meaningful improvements. Here’s why tracking NPS trends is crucial:
Measuring the Impact of Your Customer Experience Initiatives:
Compare NPS scores before and after making a BIG change, like redesigning your website or rebranding. Positive trends mean that your customer experience initiatives are working and creating positive vibes.
But if your NPS scores are dropping or staying the same? You might need to run some qualitative surveys and rethink your strategy going forward.
Spotting Seasonal or Cyclical Patterns:
NPS trends can reveal any seasonal or cyclical patterns in customer sentiment. And this can help you plan and prepare for periods of high or low satisfaction.
By spotting recurring patterns, you can proactively manage resources, staff, or offerings to match customer expectations during these periods. This insight enables you to deliver awesome and consistent experiences all year long.
Benchmarking Against Industry and Competitors:
Tracking NPS trends is not enough. You also need to compare your NPS trends with industry benchmarks and competitors. This can give you a bigger picture of how you’re doing in terms of customer loyalty and advocacy. It shows you where you shine and where you need to work on, helping you make smart decisions and set achievable goals for improvement.
Positive NPS trends over time prove that you’re always improving and putting customers first. Steady upward trends or big jumps in NPS scores show that your efforts are working and boost stakeholders’ confidence in your organization. This progress can be shared internally to inspire employees and externally to build trust among customers, investors, and partners.
Two ways NPS will help your business grow
1. Finding customers who are about to churn
NPS can help you spot customers who are likely to churn. Detractors, those with low NPS scores, are more likely to become a customer at one of your competitors.
By tracking the percentage of detractors in your customer base over time, you can spot potential churn risks and take action to prevent them.
Correlating NPS data with customer behavior, such as how often they buy or contact support, can help you understand what keeps customers loyal or makes them unhappy.
By fixing detractors’ issues and improving your experience, you can boost retention rates and build long-term customer loyalty.
2. Identifying potential brand ambassadors:
By finding and engaging with promoters, you can use their potential to attract new customers and enhance your brand image. NPS data can help you discover what makes customers rave about your business.
And using NPS data to find customers who have referred others or left positive feedback allows you to further grow these potential brand advocates. By building relationships with promoters and giving them incentives or opportunities to share their positive experiences, you can increase your reach and use their influence to grow your customer base.
Utilizing NPS as a predictive tool for customer behavior enables you to take proactive steps in managing customer relationships. It’s extremely important and valuable if done right.
If you want to get the most out of your NPS surveys, you need to:
- Use NPS as a starting point, not an end goal
- Ask follow-up questions to understand why customers gave their scores
- Close the loop with customers by acknowledging their feedback and taking action
- Use NPS in conjunction with other customer metrics and qualitative data
- Test and optimize your NPS survey design and delivery
NPS is not a magic bullet that will solve all your customer problems.
But it’s a powerful tool that can help you understand your customers better and improve your customer experience. By using NPS effectively, you can turn your customers into loyal fans who spread the word about your business.
And that’s how you grow.