What is Net Promoter Score?

NPS measures customer experience and predicts business growth

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Are your customers so happy that they stay your customers and are willing to recommend you to others?

Net Promoter Score®, or NPS, helps measure enthusiasm for your brand and identify opportunities where you can improve.

What is NPS?

NPS is a customer feedback metric used to evaluate your customers’ satisfaction with your business, product, or service, and track their willingness to recommend it to others.

Let’s pretend you work for a software company. You know that your company’s sales are good. Your customers rarely complain. Everything seems to be moving along fine! However:

These might not cause you to lose existing customers right away, but they could make your existing customers less willing to recommend your company or its software.

NPS can help you to identify the issues listed above, see how many of your customers are willing to recommend you, and make sure a substantial number of vocal critics aren’t likely to be costing you business.

How NPS Works

Customers are asked the following survey question, which can be modified to include the specific company or product name:

“How likely would you be to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?”

Survey respondents may answer on a scale of 0 (Very Unlikely) to 10 (Very Likely). Scores are grouped into the following categories:

Your NPS is equal to the percent of Promoters minus the percent of Detractors. An NPS can be as low as -100 and as high as 100.

Play with the calculator below to get a feel for how it works:

Promoters (9 or 10)
of total responses
NPS Score ( - )
Detractors (0 - 6)
of total responses
Neutral (7 or 8)

Learning from Your NPS

The higher your NPS, the more willing people are to recommend you to people in their network. An NPS below 0 typically indicates you have serious work to do to reduce negative commentary about your products or service.

However, you can’t improve your NPS if you don’t understand why people are not willing or eager to recommend you.

Here are a few tips for asking your NPS survey question and acting on your results.

Ask for Qualitative Feedback

When you survey your customers, provide an opportunity for them to explain their response. Thermostat users can choose to include the optional feedback box with their one-question surveys.

Qualitative feedback will give you insight about what you’re doing well and what changes you may need to make. Use this feedback to see what you can do to improve your customer experience and increase positive word-of-mouth about your brand.

Take your customers’ constructive feedback, and evaluate how you can act on it. What are the simplest changes to make? Which require more time or resources to implement? How can you implement these changes in an organized fashion?

Track Changes You Make

Making improvements is great, but you have to be able to tell if they’re working or not. Make sure you roll out changes in an organized manner, so you can tell which are actually making your customer happier. Similarly, make sure you can identify which changes, if any, are having unintended consequences.

Repeat Your Surveys

Surveying your customers on a quarterly basis allows you to identify trends and changes in their feedback. Over time, you’ll identify what concerns are voiced repeatedly and what bad scores were simply the cause of a one-off issue or a bad day.

The Value of Customer Recommendations

“Depending on which study you believe, and what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.” - Harvard Business Review

Acquiring a new customer can require a tremendous amount of time and resources. By measuring customer enthusiasm, NPS can help you to identify issues that put your customer retention at risk. Making the customer more enthusiastic about your product or service will make them more likely to keep you and go a long way toward making them likely to tell others about you.

That positive word-of-mouth is incredibly valuable. According to Influitive, 84% of B2B prospects start the purchasing process with a referral. Meanwhile, Nielsen says 83% of customers trust the recommendations of people they know.

You want to make sure your customers are Promoters, and make sure you don’t have many Detractors. Use Themostat’s one-question NPS survey tool to measure your customer experience, and you’ll be able to better predict how customer referrals will contribute to business growth.