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Customer Satisfaction: What is a Net Promoter Score?

by Byrne Anderson
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How likely are you to promote this product to a family member or friend? How was your experience at our business? These are common questions that people get in their inboxes after buying an item or using a service.

The answer to these questions is more valuable to business owners than one may think. It allows businesses to get feedback that they can use to improve.

They do this by calculating their overall net promoter score. What is a net promoter score? Are you wondering how to use it and why you should even bother with it?

We’ve got all the answers right here. Keep reading to learn more about what goes into NPS scores.

What Is a Net Promoter Score?

NPS benchmarks send one simple question to a customer’s inbox. How likely are you to recommend this product or service to a friend or colleague? It’s short, sweet, and to the point.

This makes it more likely that a customer will respond to it because it only takes a few minutes. Depending on how many people answer, a business can get some valuable feedback that they can use to improve themselves.

Classifying Responders

There are three different classifications of people that respond to these surveys. These are your promoters, passives, and detractors. Before you can begin calculating your score, you’ll need to know who these people are and how they contribute.


The promoters are your regular customers. They love what you do or sell already, and will almost always respond to these surveys with a 9 or higher.

They’re likely to remain loyal customers to a business until circumstances deem otherwise. They’re always pleasant for store associates to deal with.


Next are the passives. They liked your goods and services, but not quite enough to sing your praises. They’re satisfied enough to maybe reach out to your business again, but if a competitor catches their eye, there’s a good chance that you’re going to lose them.

Most of the time, these passives respond to the surveys with a 7-8. It’s always somewhere in the high middle. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use the information, however.


The detractors are the opposite of the promoters in every way. They had a horrible time at your place of business and aren’t afraid to let their family and friends know about it.

They are unlikely to buy from you again, and a lot of the time, they give a score of 0-6. Their negative attitudes will pull other people away from your business.

Calculating Your Score

Now that you know who your responders are, it’s time to calculate your overall score. Doing so is a matter of simple math. All you have to do is subtract the percentage of your promoters from the percentage of your detractors.

For example, if 10% of your customers are detractors and 80% of your customers are promoters, that would mean that your score is a 70. Even if the passives aren’t part of your calculations, their feedback is still valuable. You can use the customer comments to find out what you did wrong and improve.

How to Create Your Survey

Are you ready to get started with racking in that customer feedback so you can improve net promoter scores? You’ll need to create your survey. There are templates online that you can use to ask your important questions.

Here’s a basic run-down of what it will look like.

Demographic Question

Many businesses don’t start their questionnaire by asking a customer how their experience was. They choose to get a little demographic data first.

Getting this information can be good for those who can’t get it from data that they already have access to. We will tell you that you should avoid asking these demographic questions if you can.

Remember that these surveys are supposed to be short. The more questions you ask, the more annoyed a customer will get. The more annoyed a customer gets, the more likely they are to exit out of the questionnaire without giving you the feedback you need.

Your Score Question

Next up is your score question. This is the heart of your survey. You can word it any way you want, but most of the time, it’s going to read something like: “How likely are you to recommend this product or service to a family member or friend?”

This question will act as a springboard for all the others in the survey.

Reason for the Score

Now you’re going to provide the customer with an entire text box where they can elaborate on their answer. The problem with these responses is that reading them all can be time-consuming.

You have dozens of customers every day. That means you’re going to get dozens of different answers. We recommend investing in a text analysis tool to help cut down on the work.

How Can We Make Your Experience Better?

For the next question, you’re going to ask the customers how you can improve. Use this feedback to make actual changes to your business.

If customers feel like you’re listening, there’s a good chance that they may change their answers later when you send them another net promotor email.

The Followup

The last step is asking the customer if you can follow up with them on their responses. This will give you further information that you can use.

Don’t forget to close things out by asking the customer for their contact information if you don’t already have it. If you do have it, skip this step.

Listen to What Your Customers Are Telling You

What is a net promoter score? It’s a method that businesses use to get customer feedback. The business owner can take this feedback and use it to improve their company.

Don’t underestimate what a simple survey can do for you. For more advice on how to please your customers, check out the Business section of our blog.

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