Using the Net Promoter Score to Get Valuable Feedback

How to use the Net Promoter Score to get valuable feedback

The Net Promoter Score is an invaluable way of gaining feedback from your customers.


What is the Net Promoter Score?
The Net Promoter Score is essentially a customer loyalty indicator. It involves asking customers the question "how likely is it that you would recommend [your company] to a friend or colleague?", and giving them a 0 to 10 point scale to rate the likeliness of their recommendation. Below is an example:

( Source )

The Net Promoter Score system is based on the idea that your company's customers can be categorised into 3 different categories:

  • Promoters
    A Promoter will choose 9 or 10 on their survey (Very likely), and are typically extremely loyal to the company, regularly referring others.

  • Passives/Neutrals
    A Passive/Neutral customer will choose 7 or 8 on their survey (Quite likely), are satisfied with your company, but won't actively promote it.

  • Detractors
    A Detractor will choose 6 or below on their survey, and will actively bad-mouth your business to others.

It might seem counter-intuitive that people who choose 6 on the scale would actually be Detractors, as it seems like a reasonable score to give. However, research shows that these people are much more likely to detract than promote your business after choosing this rating.

To calculate your company's Net Promoter Score, you subtract the percentage of customers who are Detractors, from the percentage of customers who are Promoters. You will then get a score between -100 and +100.

For reference, Apple has an NPS of +72, and Netflix has an NPS of +54. However, the best way to benchmark is to use regularly survey your customers and use your own previous scores for reference.

Why should I use it?
The Net Promoter Score is one of the most accurate ways of predicting customer behaviour and loyalty. It is a very clear, and reliable, way of understanding what actions your customers are really going to take (be it promoting or detracting from the success of your business). 

It's a great way of understanding customer loyalty, and the way to make it even more successful is to follow up with an open question of "Why?". Ask your customers why they chose that score, and you should receive some incredibly valuable feedback that can fuel future improvements.

How should I implement it?
You can use the Net Promoter Score in  a variety of different ways. Here are just some ideas:

  • End of year client surveys
    If you have several long-term clients, you can better understand their changing attitudes and expectations by sending them regular surveys.

  • End of project client surveys
    If your projects are shorter than one year, this is the best way to understand whether you will be receiving repeat business or referrals from your customers.

  • Quarterly employee surveys
    The NPS can easily be reworded to ask your employees if they'd recommend your company as a place to work, and it can be a great indicator of motivation, happiness and productivity.

  • After a customer service/support issue has been fixed
    When better to ask your customer how they feel about your business than when you've just impressed the socks off them with your awesome customer service?

  • Pre-stamped postcards in product packaging
    This is more expensive & time-consuming, but could add a nice personal touch to your customer experience.

how will you be using the net promoter score?