What is the Net Promoter Score?

We are living in a fast paced world.  When we want information we want it now.   Our customers are also busy, they are happy to provide quick feedback to a company they have had a recent interaction with, but that’s the key, quick feedback.  Not pages and pages of questions.

So some loyalty experts (Reichheld and Brooks) got together and came up with a single question, which they believe is the only one you need to ask your customers to predict customer loyalty.  What is this question?  The only question they believe you need to ask is……..

On a scale of 0 – 10 where 0 is Not at all likely and 10 is very likely, how likely are you to recommend (business X) to your family and friends?

The results of this question are then used as a measure of loyalty in the following way:

Customers that give a score of 0-6 are considered a detractor, that is they weren’t particularly happy with your service, and they are not doing your business any favours in terms of promoting you to their friends and family.

Customers who give a 7 or 8 are pretty happy with your service.  They got what they needed from you but they are not necessarily going to phone around all their friends and tell them about your business.

Those who give a 9 or a 10 are considered Advocates.  Which according to Reichald et al, are the ones most likely to sing your praises to everyone they come in contact with.

Your Net Promoter Score is your total number of ADVOCATES minus the total number of DETRACTORS.





Is it the only question you need?


I am going to go out on a limb and say no.

A question asking whether customers are likely to recommend you in the future is a great measure of loyalty overall, and having just one score to look at is certainly easy, but then you need to ask yourself so what.

What are you going to do with this score?  How will you know what you need to do to improve your score and therefore your customer loyalty?

You need to understand what is important to customers in terms of the service they receive from you.   These important services attributes can then be turned into questions for your customers to rate you on.   Then in order to improve your overall NPS score you need to improve the ratings for each of the service areas that are not achieving high ratings.


So is the Net Promoter Score useful?

Yes I believe it is a quick and easy measure of satisfaction.   However, I think it should be used with a number of other measures and not be used as the only measure of satisfaction.

It’s a great measure of overall customer mood but it’s the ratings of the other service attributes that will provide you the actionable insights.

We have included a Net Promoter question in our own Customer Survey template.

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