Net Promoter Score: What Is It And Why Should You Use It?

|by Amba Wilkes

Your Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a powerful metric to gauge customer satisfaction. Widely used in the marketing world, this is a worthwhile survey tactic to be aware of when it comes to measuring success. 

Throughout this blog, we cover what you need to know about NPS including: 

  • What it is 
  • How it can be calculated  
  • What is considered a good NPS  
  • How to create an effective NPS survey  

What is Net Promoter Score? 

Developed in 2003 by Bain & Company’s Fred Reichheld, NPS is based on one simple question: 

How likely is it that you would recommend our business to a friend or colleague?” 

When using NPS, respondents are asked to rank their likelihood of recommending a business or product to a friend on a scale of 0-10. Zero is the least likely to recommend and 10 is the most likely. The responses are then divided into three sections:  

  • 0-6: Detractors – Unlikely to purchase the product again and may damage the brand’s reputation.  
  • 7-8: Passives – Unlikely to bad-mouth the brand but not satisfied enough to actually recommend it.  
  • 9-10: Promoters – Brand fanatics who make regular repeat purchases and are extremely likely to recommend the brand to others.  

To achieve a high NPS, the key is having a larger number of promoters than detractors.  

How can measuring your NPS be beneficial to your business? 

There are several reasons why measuring your NPS can be beneficial to your business. These include:  

Gaining a better understanding of your customers  

  • Understand how your customers feel about your product or service and brand.  
  • If you have a higher-than-average NPS score, you know that you have good relationships with your customers. 
  • The score can help you predict and plan for the future and growth of your brand.  

Spot opportunities for improvement 

  • Use the score to understand what improvements your business needs to focus on to better the customer service. 
  • Knowing your NPS score gives you the chance to reverse a negative impression by acting on feedback about your product or brand. 

It’s user-friendly and simple to understand  

  • Many customer surveys are known for being complicated, long-winded and time consuming which usually results in low response rates. 
  • An NPS survey is easy for both you and your customers to participate in – it doesn’t take long to create, and it doesn’t take long to answer. 

Easier benchmarking  

  • NPS is a standard metric used by businesses all around the world. As such, you can use your score to place your business in the context of other business’ scores in your industry to see how you measure up.  
  • The score is also ideal for presenting to senior management teams to indicate customer loyalty.

How to calculate your NPS 

So, now you know what an NPS score is, how do you work yours out? It couldn’t be easier! 

Simply subtract the detractors – the customers who wouldn’t recommend you - from the promoters – the customers who would: 

NPS = % of Promoters — % of Detractors   

Passives are left out because they’re neutral, you don’t know if they’re going to recommend your brand or give a negative review. You’ll then be left with your NPS, a number ranging from -100 to 100 that provides an overarching view of your customers’ feelings towards your brand.  

What’s a good NPS score? 

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this. According to SurveyMonkey’s global benchmark data, the average score is +32. +50 and above is excellent while +70 is considered the best of the best. Although achieving either of these is both outstanding and rare and it’s important to note that results vary significantly from industry to industry. 

The worst possible NPS you could get is -100 but that would mean every single customer is a detractor. The best possible NPS you could get is 100. However, both of these scores are highly unlikely in real-life scenarios.  

Technically, any score above zero can be considered positive as it means you have more promoters than detractors. While a negative number would indicate that you have more frustrated customers than happy ones.  

As there isn’t a universal standard for NPS, most businesses compare their scores in context to other businesses in their industry. Taking this approach gives you an idea of how good your customer experience is compared to your competitors. If you’re falling short, you can deep dive into top performers and use the insight to improve your customer service approach.  

Creating a killer NPS survey  

To help you create an effective NPS survey we’ve collated some best practice pointers:

Ask questions that add value  

The fewer questions in your survey, the better chance you have of more respondents answering them. It’s important to avoid unnecessary questions and only include those that will provide value when answered.  

Don’t send an NPS survey too early 

Customers need a chance to experience a product or interaction with a business to form a true opinion. Sending a survey too early may result in less survey engagement. Whether it’s after a specific user action, a timely marker or a set schedule from conversion, aim to send your survey at the right moment for the customer.  

Include follow-up questions  

To help you drill down into the broader insight generated by the NPS survey, it’s important to follow up the main question with prompters to find out a customer’s reasoning. For example, these follow-up questions may ask a customer for more specific insight on the service they’ve received.  

Designed to uncover the ‘why’ behind an NPS rating, you could also ask open-ended questions about the overall experience with your product or service.  

Measure your NPS frequently  

An NPS survey aims to understand what your customers think about your brand and what you offer so you can improve it.  

Once you’ve done your survey, collated the results and started making improvements where needed, it’s important to measure your NPS again. Analysing your results every so often helps you benchmark performance and allows you to see the direct impact improvements are having on your customers’ experiences.  

Find out your NPS  

When created and carried out well, NPS surveys provide you with the information you need to improve your customer experience and build on your strategies to help continuously grow your business.  

With our Survey Builder, you can create your own NPS survey and easily track your results in real-time. To find out more, book a demo of the Wired Plus platform.

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