In this article:
- Introducing NPS.
- The NPS survey flow.
- How the NPS score is calculated.
- What you can (and cannot) change in an NPS question.
- Testing and previewing an NPS question vs. a full questionnaire.
- Who are NPS surveys for?
- When should I send NPS surveys?
- What are some best practices for NPS surveys?
Suggested next section: 3. Distribution Platforms & Sending
Net Promoter Score® (NPS), developed by researchers with Bain & Company in 2003, is a proven method for understanding customer loyalty.
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.
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 the NPS score is 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 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, focus on the relative change over time and not the absolute number. If you’d like to get a general sense of your score in comparison with companies in common verticals, be sure to check out The Benchmarks Report.
What you can (and cannot) change in an NPS question
This well-tested methodology produces a loyalty metric. (See Understanding NPS: A Deep Dive in section 11 of this Help Center.)
A personal recommendation to a friend, family member, or colleague is a proven way to measure support for a brand, product, or service. The NPS question is predictive of customer loyalty, brand advocacy, repeat purchases, upgrades, renewals, and positive referrals.
- You may alter the wording of query somewhat → but don't stray away from the would you recommend notion inherent in the NPS method
- You cannot change the scale point labels or prompts → ex. "Not Likely" and "Very likely." To do so would throw off the NPS calculations explained in the previous section and impair the validity and reliability of the question
About Delighted Surveys
If you want to build a survey with an 11-point scale that measures something other than loyalty, with different scale points, check out Delighted Surveys — you'll have full flexibility to use whatever scales and labels you'd like!
Testing and previewing an NPS question vs. a full questionnaire
There are two — very different — preview options to consider. You can:
|1||Preview an NPS question in customization mode|
|2||Preview an entire NPS Template in a platform testing environment|
1. Preview an NPS question in customization mode
Visualize how your NPS question will appear (with the Desktop and Mobile preview options) as you customize the look and feel of your Template. Preview the changes you make to the color scheme, logo, and text elements of your NPS question in real time. (See Templates Customization Basics and Quick Start Video.)
2. Preview an entire NPS Template in a platform testing environment
Previewing how respondents will experience your full Template (particularly if you've added Additional Questions to your questionnaire) requires testing at the platform level.
To learn how to test and preview you entire survey questionnaire, click and explore each of the distribution platform(s) that you have deployed from this list:
|Platform||Links to the 'how to' instructions|
|Testing and previewing Email platform Templates|
|Web||Testing and previewing Web platform Templates|
|Link||Testing and previewing Link platform Templates|
|Kiosk||Testing and previewing Kiosk platform Templates|
|SDK||Testing the SDK Platform — Previewing the SDK Platform|
Additional questions are added to each platform independently of the others; therefore, you should preview and test each of your distribution platforms separately.
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 both online and brick and mortar businesses that want to make sure customers are getting the personalized service they expect. It works for fast-growing companies that wish to ensure its customer experience remains world class while it grows. It works charities and not-for-profit organizations that need every dollar to translate into direct impact.
We help organizations of all shapes and sizes with their NPS campaigns. 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||Transactional 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||Relational 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?
Here are a few ideas to ensure your NPS program is top notch and set up to collect quality, actionable feedback.
Close the loop
Closing the loop consists of following up with respondents and acting on their feedback. If you’re 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.
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 related feedback are easy to understand and track over time. Improvements can be celebrated by your team!
Importantly, the NPS score and feedback can be a call to action. For example, if customers complain about a site bug, that feedback can become actionable by your support, engineering, 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 passives and detractors?
- Do promoters increase in spending over time?
- Do detractors decrease their spend over time, or even churn?
The answers to questions like these can help determine the long-term value of moving folks from the detractor and passive groups into the promoter range. This may also ease the process of getting buy-in from other team members for NPS-driven company changes and initiatives.
Learn more in section 11. Best Practices of our Help Center.