Net Promoter Score® (NPS) is a proven methodology for understanding customer loyalty, developed by researchers with Bain & Company in 2002. Read more about the history of NPS here.
As a metric, NPS can offer sharp insight into areas of brand value, referral potential, customer churn, and more. Meanwhile, closing the loop with customers and internalizing their NPS feedback can provide leaders with the basis to drive changes throughout an organization.
In this section
- What is the NPS survey flow?
- How is the NPS score calculated?
- Who are NPS surveys for?
- When should I send NPS surveys?
- What are some best practices for NPS surveys?
What is the NPS survey flow?
NPS surveys begin with a carefully crafted question:
“How likely are you to recommend [your company/product] to a friend?”
Respondents provide their answers on a scale from 0 to 10, which segments them into three groups:
- Promoters: 9-10
- Passives: 7-8
- Detractors: 0-6
After providing a score, customers respond to an open text follow-up question, which allows them to provide context for their rating. The NPS score is the “what,” while the text feedback is the “why.” Customers then answer any Additional Questions you’ve configured before being presented with a customized Thank You page.
Sample NPS question
Sample NPS comment page
How is the NPS score calculated?
The Net Promoter equation is
% Promoters - % Detractors = NPS
Let's break that down:
- % Promoters: Percent of total responses where the score was a 9 or a 10
- % Detractors: Percent of total responses where the score was 6 or below
NPS always rounds to a whole number. You can test out this equation for yourself with our NPS Calculator!
Let's imagine we received the following responses:
- Promoters: 10 (50% of total responses)
- Passives: 5 (25% of total responses)
- Detractors: 5 (25% of total responses)
Plugging this into our NPS equation, we get:
50 - 25 = 25 (your NPS score)
When considering your own NPS, we encourage you to focus on the relative change over time and not the absolute number. However, if you’d like to get a general sense of your score in comparison with the companies above and other common verticals, be sure to check out The Benchmarks Report.
Who are NPS surveys for?
NPS surveys can help provide key customer insight into potential referrals, churn risk, organizational changes, and more, and NPS is scalable to all business levels. It works for the brick and mortar business that wants to make sure its customers are getting the personalized service they expect. It works for the fast-growing company that wants to ensure its customer experience remains world class while it grows. It works for the charity that needs every dollar to translate to direct impact.
We help organizations of all shapes and sizes. Check out a few notable Delighted customers on our Customers page.
When should I send NPS surveys?
Net Promoter score surveys are the gold standard for measuring customer loyalty, and can be deployed in a wide range of situations. There are two categories of NPS surveys to consider when deciding when to send—Transactional NPS and Relational NPS—and the choice between the two depends on your program goals.
- Transactional NPS surveys are focused on collecting customer feedback as related to a specific experience. These surveys should be dispatched immediately following a key event, such as a recent purchase or sign-up.
- Relational NPS surveys are focused on better understanding your customer’s relationship with your brand or product overall. Relational NPS surveys should be dispatched on standard intervals, such as once every quarter.
Since NPS can be leveraged in so many situations, a good question to consider is: “What type of feedback am I looking to get?” Your answer here will help identify whether Relational, Transactional, or both forms of NPS are best for your CX program. From there, you’ll be able to quickly roll out NPS at the right moments in the customer lifecycle. You can read more about these types of NPS surveys on our blog.
What are some best practices for NPS surveys?
NPS is a simple and accessible method for surfacing more customer feedback and better understanding brand loyalty. However, many companies leveraging NPS often bury it deeper in a more complex survey, keep the feedback hidden from the rest of the team, and end up falling into other common bad practices.
Below are a few ways you can ensure your NPS program is top notch and set up to collect quality, actionable feedback.
Close the loop
If you’re asking customers for feedback, but not closing the loop, you’re missing out on critical opportunities to motivate your promoters, nudge your passives up into the 9-10 range, and recover negative experiences plaguing detractors. Closing the loop consists of following up with customers and acting on their feedback.
Benefits of closing the loop include:
- Your customers feel heard, which increases satisfaction and loyalty
- You’ve kept your company customer-centric by applying organization-wide changes based on actual feedback
- Your engagement metrics will climb, as your customers are more eager to leave feedback they know will have an impact
Interested in more best practices around closing the loop? Check out our Closing the Loop guide!
Share feedback with your team
One of the key benefits of NPS is that the score and feedback are easy to understand, and they’re an understood standard across companies and industries.
Because of this simplicity, the feedback is accessible to all those in your organization. For example, if customers recently complained about a site bug, that feedback would be actionable by support teams, engineering teams, and marketing teams.
Check out section 6. Reviewing and Acting on Feedback and section 8. Integrating with Other Applications to explore all the ways to keep the rest of your team in the loop regarding NPS feedback with Delighted.
Tie NPS to other metrics
Connecting NPS with other KPIs and financial data can help drive further insight throughout your company. Consider, for example, taking individual NPS results and looking at each customer’s financial behavior over time. This process will help you answer questions like:
- Are promoters retained at a higher rate than passive and detractors?
- Do promoters increase in spending over time?
- Do detractors decrease in spending over time?
The answers to questions like these can help determine the long-term value of moving folks from detractor and passive groups into the promoter range. They can also ease the process of getting buy-in from other team members for NPS-driven company changes and initiatives.