TL;DR: What is Net Promoter Score (NPS)?

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric used in customer experience programs to gauge the loyalty of a firm's customer relationships. It serves as an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research and is commonly correlated with revenue growth.

The Net Promoter Score is calculated based on responses to a single question: "How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?" Responses are rated on a 0 to 10 scale. Based on their rating, customers are categorized into one of three groups: Detractors, Passives, and Promoters.

  • Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and referring to others, fueling growth.

By asking your customers this simple question, you can track these groups and get a clear measure of your company's performance through your customers' eyes. Customers' perceptions of your brand can have a significant impact on your business.

Benefits and Importance of NPS

Measuring Customer Loyalty and Satisfaction

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a pivotal tool in gauging customer loyalty and satisfaction. Here's why it's essential:

  • Direct Feedback: NPS provides direct feedback from customers about how they feel regarding your brand or service.
  • Predictive of Growth: High NPS scores are often correlated with business growth. Loyal customers tend to make repeat purchases and refer others.
  • Simple and Universal: The simplicity of the NPS question allows for easy understanding and benchmarking across industries.
  • Benchmarking: NPS is a simple metric that can be replicated over time to track growth in customer satisfaction.

Improving Customer Experience and Referral Marketing

NPS isn't just a metric; it's a tool for improving customer experience and driving referral marketing:

  • Identifies Areas for Improvement: By categorizing customers into promoters, passives, and detractors, NPS helps identify areas needing improvement.
  • Encourages Customer-Centric Culture: Regular NPS tracking fosters a culture focused on customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.
  • Enhances Referral Marketing: Promoters are likely to refer others, acting as organic brand ambassadors. Leveraging this can be a powerful marketing strategy.
  • By focusing on improving NPS, companies can achieve a better understanding of their customers, enhance customer loyalty, and ultimately drive growth and profitability.

How to Calculate Net Promoter Score

Step-by-Step Guide on Calculating NPS

Calculating the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is straightforward and involves four simple steps. Here's how you can determine your NPS:

Step 1: Collect Responses

Start by asking your customers the standard NPS question: "On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?" Gather their responses, which should fall somewhere between 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely).

Step 2: Categorize the Responses

Based on the scores, categorize your customers into three groups:

    • Detractors (0-6): Customers who gave a score between 0 and 6.
    • Passives (7-8): Customers who scored 7 or 8.
    • Promoters (9-10): Those who rated 9 or 10.

Step 3: Calculate the Percentages

Calculate the percentage of respondents that are Promoters and Detractors. To do this, divide the number of Promoters and Detractors by the total number of respondents and then multiply by 100.

Step 4: Subtract Detractors from Promoters 

Subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. This is your NPS score.

Explanation of the NPS Formula

The formula for NPS is: 

NPS = ({% of Promoters}) - ({% of Detractors})

It's important to note that NPS is expressed as a number without a percentage sign. The final score can range from -100 (if every customer is a Detractor) to 100 (if every customer is a Promoter).

An example can illustrate this: Suppose you surveyed 100 customers and found 70 Promoters, 20 Passives, and 10 Detractors. Your NPS would be:

NPS = ({70%} - {10%}) = 60.

NPS provides a clear and simple metric that you can use to gauge and compare customer loyalty over time. It's a valuable tool for understanding your customers and improving your business strategy.

Interpreting Net Promoter Score

Understanding the Meaning of NPS Scores

Interpreting the Net Promoter Score (NPS) involves more than just understanding the number itself; it's about grasping what the score implies about your customer base and business health. Here are key points to consider:

  • A High NPS: A high NPS (above 0) is generally indicative of a healthy customer base. Scores above 50 are excellent and suggest that your customers are happy and likely to spread positive word-of-mouth.
  • A Low NPS: A low or negative NPS indicates customer dissatisfaction and potential issues with your products or services. It's a warning sign to delve deeper into customer feedback and identify areas for improvement.
  • Industry Benchmarking: NPS can vary greatly by industry. A good score in one industry might be average or even below average in another. Benchmarking against industry standards provides context for your NPS.

Differentiating Between Detractors, Passives, and Promoters

Understanding the characteristics and behaviors of Detractors, Passives, and Promoters can help in formulating strategies to improve your NPS:

  • Detractors: These are customers who are not just unhappy, but actively express their dissatisfaction. Addressing their concerns is crucial to prevent negative word-of-mouth and potential brand damage.
  • Passives: While Passives are satisfied, they are not enthusiastic enough to be brand advocates. They are susceptible to competitive offerings. Improving their experience can potentially turn them into Promoters.
  • Promoters: These customers are your brand’s advocates. They are likely to bring in new customers through positive word-of-mouth. Understanding what makes them Promoters can help in replicating these successes with other customer segments.

Analyzing the reasons behind these categorizations and acting on them is essential for improving your overall NPS. Engaging with Detractors to resolve issues, delighting Passives to convert them into Promoters, and maintaining good relationships with Promoters to sustain their loyalty are key strategies derived from NPS interpretation.

Running Effective NPS Surveys

Methods for Collecting NPS Feedback

To effectively gather Net Promoter Score (NPS) feedback, you'll need to choose the right methods that suit your audience and business context. Here are some popular and effective ways:

  • Website Surveys: These are pop-up surveys on your website, asking visitors the NPS question. This method is immediate and captures the customer's sentiment at the point of interaction.
  • Email Surveys: Sending the NPS survey via email allows you to reach a broader audience. This method is particularly effective for reaching customers post-purchase or post-interaction.
  • In-app Surveys: For digital products, in-app surveys can be a seamless way to ask the NPS question. This method gathers feedback when the user's experience with the product is fresh.
  • SMS Surveys: Sending a short survey through SMS can be a quick and easy way for customers to respond, especially for a mobile-first audience.
  • Customer Service Feedback: Incorporating the NPS question during or after a customer service interaction can provide insights into how your support team influences customer perception.

Including Website Surveys and Email Surveys

When implementing website and email surveys, consider the following to maximize response rates and the quality of feedback:

  • Timing: For website surveys, timing the pop-up post-interaction or at the point of exit can capture genuine customer sentiments. For email surveys, timing the send post-purchase or after a significant interaction is ideal.
  • Simplicity: Keep the survey short and focused. The easier it is to respond, the higher the response rate.
  • Personalization: Personalizing email surveys can increase engagement. Use the customer's name and reference specific interactions when possible.
  • Follow-Up: Send a follow-up thank you message and, if appropriate, share how you plan to use the feedback. This can increase customer engagement and loyalty.

Running effective NPS surveys is about choosing the right channels, timing, and approach to engage your customers and gather meaningful insights.

Analyzing and Utilizing NPS Results

Segmenting and Analyzing NPS Data

Once you've collected Net Promoter Score (NPS) feedback, the next crucial step is to analyze and segment the data to gain actionable insights:

  • Segment by Customer Demographics: Break down your NPS data by age, location, gender, or any other relevant demographic information. This segmentation can reveal how different groups perceive your brand.
  • Segment by Customer Behavior: Look at how often customers use your product or service, their purchase patterns, and other behavioral factors. This can help identify what drives loyalty among your most engaged users.
  • Compare with Historical Data: Analyzing current NPS in the context of past scores helps in understanding trends and the impact of any changes or improvements you've made.

Tracking Performance Over Time

Continuous tracking of NPS over time is crucial for long-term success:

  • Set Regular Intervals for Surveys: Conduct NPS surveys consistently (e.g., quarterly or annually) to track changes and trends.
  • Monitor Fluctuations: Be alert to significant changes in NPS, as they can indicate shifts in customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Link Changes to Specific Actions: Try to correlate changes in NPS with specific actions or events (like product launches, marketing campaigns, or service changes).

Closing the Feedback Loop

Closing the feedback loop involves taking action on the insights gained from NPS surveys:

  • Address Concerns of Detractors: Reach out to detractors to understand their concerns and address them. This can turn detractors into promoters and improve your overall score.
  • Engage with Passives: Identify what's keeping passives from becoming promoters. Enhancements in product features or customer service can make a significant difference.
  • Leverage Promoters: Encourage promoters to share their positive experiences. They can be powerful advocates for your brand.


In conclusion, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a powerful tool for measuring and understanding customer loyalty and satisfaction. It offers straightforward metrics that are easy to interpret and act upon. By effectively collecting, analyzing, and responding to NPS feedback, companies can develop a more customer-centric approach, leading to increased loyalty, positive word-of-mouth, and ultimately, sustainable business growth.

Embracing NPS is not just about tracking a score; it's about committing to a continuous process of learning from and engaging with customers. This commitment can transform the way businesses operate, leading to not only improved customer satisfaction but also to stronger, more resilient organizations.


What is Net Promoter Score (NPS)?

NPS is a customer loyalty metric that measures how likely customers are to recommend your business to others. It's calculated based on responses to the question: "On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?"

How is NPS Calculated?

NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors (customers who score 0-6) from the percentage of Promoters (customers who score 9-10). Passives (scores 7-8) are not directly factored into the calculation.

What is a Good NPS Score?

A good NPS score varies by industry. Generally, a score above 0 is seen as good and above 50 is excellent, but it's important to benchmark against industry standards.

How Can NPS Improve Business Performance?

NPS helps identify customer loyalty trends and areas for improvement. By addressing issues that detractors face and enhancing aspects that promoters love, businesses can improve overall customer satisfaction and loyalty, driving growth.

How Often Should NPS Surveys Be Conducted?

The frequency depends on the business model and customer interaction rate. Some companies do it quarterly, others annually. The key is consistency in tracking changes over time.

How Should Businesses Respond to NPS Feedback?

Businesses should address detractors’ concerns, improve aspects that leave customers passive, and leverage the positivity of promoters. Closing the feedback loop by informing customers of changes made in response to their feedback is crucial.

Can NPS Predict Business Growth?

While not a direct predictor, high NPS often correlates with business growth. Loyal, satisfied customers are likely to make repeat purchases and refer others.

Should NPS Be Used Alone?

NPS is a valuable metric, but it's most effective when used in conjunction with other customer satisfaction and performance metrics.

How Does NPS Differ Across Industries?

NPS benchmarks vary significantly across industries. What constitutes a good score in one industry may be average in another.

How Can NPS Be Improved?

Improving NPS involves enhancing the overall customer experience, addressing specific issues raised by detractors, and building stronger relationships with customers.