Net Promoter Score: Five Steps To Help You Improve It

Philip Cleave
May 22, 2024
Picture showing the growth potential of a healthy NPS

When it comes to your business success, achieving and maintaining as high a net promoter score (NPS) as you can is crucial. This is because NPS is one of the best indicators around for measuring how happy and loyal your customers are, and subsequently how likely you are to grow as a result.  

From Tesla to Amazon and Nutanix to Metro Bank and more. There are many examples of well-known brands that have achieved and continue to maintain a high NPS score, along with healthy growth.  

So, how do they achieve this?

Well, that begins with an unwavering commitment to improving their customer experience, along with having the right strategies in place to support this.  

In this blog, we’ll explore five steps to help you to improve your own net promoter score.  

But before we do that, let’s just have a quick recap on the topic of NPS.

What is net promoter score?

Essentially, NPS is a metric that’s used to measure a customer’s satisfaction and loyalty towards an organization, which is measured using the following question.

On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend [our company/ product/ service] to a friend or colleague? (where 0 is least likely and 10 is most likely to recommend)

Based on the score they give you, their responses can be categorized into

  • Promoters (9-10): Your most ardent supporters who are extremely happy to recommend you and promote your brand
  • Passives (7-8): These represent your neutral customers, who are satisfied but neither extremely happy or unhappy with what you’re delivering for them
  • Detractors (0-6): These are unhappy customers, who can potentially damage your brand reputation through negative word-of-mouth

Having gathered all your scores, you can work out your overall NPS score by subtracting your number of detractors from your number of promoters – to leave you with a positive or negative number. You would then need to divide that answer by your total number of survey responses and then multiply that by 100.

For a quicker and simpler way to calculate your NPS, particularly if you have a lot of scores, you might like to try our handy NPS calculator tool.

Whatever method you use, the number you’re left with, rounded to the nearest whole number, should be between 100 and -100.

At this point you’ll want to know whether you’ve achieved a good score or not. In the simplest terms, a good Net Promoter Score is technically anything above zero, since this implies that you have more promoters than detractors.

After this, any score above 50 can be viewed as excellent, while a score above 70, which companies like Amazon currently hold, is seen as outstanding and rare.

Yet, NPS scores can vary quite considerably between different industries. So, for the best indication of how well you’re performing, you’d be best to compare your score with other businesses in your industry.

Why measure net promoter score?  

As we’ve already mentioned, the NPS metric is primarily intended to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty towards a company or brand. But even more importantly, how likely they’ll be to act as a brand ambassador or buy from you again. These points are particularly crucial, because depending on how many promoters you have, this can give you a better indication of whether your future sales and acquisition of new customers is likely to increase in the near future or not.

A further point to add, is because it’s so quick and simple to use, especially if your survey software also offers the availability of supporting metric gage, trend chart and dashboard tools, it’s a great way of monitoring how your performance changes over time. So, you can respond more quickly to any dips in performance and quickly get your teams back on track.  

Here’s some further reasons why you should use it.

Closing the feedback loop

Organizations with an NPS system in place, have more of a chance to ‘close the loop’ and gather more information from respondents. And because NPS surveys only take a fraction of a customer’s time to complete, it’s relatively simple to get them to engage and change a negative impression should they have one.  

A common language to interpret the customer conversation

By breaking down customers into promoters, passives and detractors, an NPS system makes it simpler for service and support teams to differentiate between them. This is because everyone in the company now has a common set of definitions to work with.  

Simpler benchmarking

NPS is a standard metric that is used by companies globally. As such, this allows you to place your score in the context of other scores in your industry, so you can see how you compare with others.  

NPS, particularly if it’s supported with trends charts and dashboards, can be an ideal concept to present to senior management, in providing a big-picture snapshot of customer loyalty at any particular point in time.  

Growth driver

When companies take the NPS question on-board and really begin to study it as a key metric, it helps them to channel their customer service efforts and grow revenue through referrals and upsells.

Five ways to improve your net promoter score

Having read just how important a strong NPS score can be to your business, we’re pretty sure many of you will want to explore how you can go about improving your own NPS.  

That’s why we’ve outlined a few handy steps to help you with this below.

1. Regularly collect customer feedback

If you’re not doing it already, it’s important to regularly approach your customers for feedback.  

The main reason for this is that many customers don’t complain when they’re unhappy and instead choose to leave quietly, without you ever knowing the real reasons behind their dissatisfaction.

By contrast, seeking regular feedback can help you to:

Identify hidden issues

Ongoing feedback helps keep you updated and spot any underlying problems.  

This is crucial, because if issues are not solved as soon as they emerge, this can impact customer satisfaction levels.

Keep ahead of the competition

You must always keep ahead of what’s going on in the market.  

Understanding your audiences will help give you a clearer picture of wider patterns and trends.

Gain better insights

When you regularly collect customer feedback, you’ll better understand what people most value, what frustrates them and where you need to improve.  

For example, consider you’re an e-commerce store who’s recently changed your check-out process, yet you haven’t received any feedback, good or bad.  

Let’s say you now decide to actively collect your customers’ feedback and find out that many of them were actually confused by your new processes. Subsequently, you now have the insights you need to fix and improve things, before any further damage can result.  

How to do this

Firstly, you’ll need to look beyond your NPS survey itself.  

To improve your score, you’re best dividing your focus up into various feedback methods. This can include in-app feedback buttons, customer satisfaction ratings following support interactions and open-ended feedback forms.  

Remember customers are busy, so you need to keep everything as short and sweet as possible.

If you send out customer feedback surveys, make sure they’re concise and simple to complete.

2. Act on feedback

While it’s important to collect feedback, it’s even more crucial to analyze NPS data and take prompt actions with it, if you’re to keep your customers happy and turn them into advocates.  

Here are some key reasons why:

It demonstrates that you care

When you take customer feedback seriously and act on it, it shows that you value your customers. They’ll feel that their opinion matters and that you’re committed to improving their experience.

It addresses pain points

By identifying and acting on issues before they escalate into bigger problems, you’ll help reduce customer churn and improve retention.

Builds trust and loyalty

Responsiveness is the best way to gain customers confidence. So, always try to put yourself in your buyer’s shoes before making any decisions.

Continuing with the earlier e-commerce store example, let’s say you decide to take action after gathering feedback.  

In this example, not only did you correctly identify pain points, but you also decided to improve them by simplifying the checkout process with additional instructions directed by the responses that customers gave. In addition, you revised your A/B testing process moving forward.  

Here’s what you can do

You communicate, by acknowledging all your customers’ feedback and laying out your next step actions based on that.  

You assign ownership to different people to resolve specific customer problems and track progress regularly. This will help streamline this process and help provide more timely action on this.

3. Boost your customer service team

Your customer support team is the best equipped to translate any decisions that are taken by your organization into more positive experiences for customers.  

The goal here is to minimize customer frustration.  

Here’s why this is important:

Builds rapport and trust

When a sales or support representative goes beyond just solving issues, they can build a stronger connection with their customers.  

They can achieve this by more actively listening to their concerns and offering personalized solutions.

Proactively problem solves

When you boost manpower and resources in your customer service team, you will have more to work with for identifying and resolving potential issues before they can escalate.  

The best part about this, is that when you address concerns early, it helps you to avoid negative experiences.

For example, let’s say a customer contacts your support team for a solution to an issue with a new product feature you launched.  

From all the data you gathered, you quickly understood that this is a common pain point. Subsequently, the sales rep can solve the issue, provide solace, and gather insights on improving user experience.

Some simple ways to achieve this

Firstly, if you’re not already doing so, you need to be giving your teams high-quality training. This should include training on products or services, active listening skills and conflict resolution techniques.

When staff feel appreciated for their efforts, it makes a huge difference to their motivation and output. Therefore, think about offering recognition and rewards to those who exceed expectations and go the extra mile to help your customers.

4. Close the loop with detractors

While there’s always a lot of focus on your detractors, and rightly so, you shouldn’t ignore unhappy customers.

In fact, you should be looking to reach out, better understand them and look to convert them into promoters.

Understand root causes of dissatisfaction

The first thing you need to do is try to determine the core reasons for your customers’ dissatisfaction.  

The insights you get back will help you to identify and solve systematic issues, so they don’t affect other customers.  

Boost your reputation

Address any negative feedback and take actions promptly.  

When you take customer concerns seriously, you can quickly mitigate any damage caused by negative word-of-mouth and protect your brand reputation.

For example, let’s say a buyer receives a damaged product and is agitated by your lengthy return process, and subsequently demonstrates their frustration by leaving a negative review and scoring you 0 on your NPS survey.  

Follow that query up immediately, apologize for the inconvenience caused, and immediately follow this up with some sort of positive action.  Most importantly, you should let them know your steps and be transparent, as this will show that you’re listening to them.

To help this process

Be sure to always personalize your responses.

Provide a genuine apology and inform them that such issues will never be repeated.

5. Integrate NPS data throughout your organization

If you’re to really improve your NPS score, everyone within your organization needs to be able to access this data and help create a customer-centric culture.

Every department and not just your sales and support team, needs to know the importance of customer satisfaction and how their behavior and actions can impact CX.

Here are the reasons why.

Improves accountability

When data is made available to everyone, it helps create a shared sense of responsibility.

Your teams will also be more motivated to take ownership of any initiatives.

Strategic decision-making

The insights you gain can be garnered to improve marketing campaigns and better understand customer sentiments.

For example, imagine your business has a subscription service, and following detailed analysis of your NPS data, you find that many customers are frustrated with your cancelation process.  

This data can help you streamline the process of making the improvements you need, when it’s shared with your product and service teams.

What can you do to help this process?

The first thing you need to do, is try to establish department-wise NPS goals. Collaboration and shared ownership here can deliver valuable results.

You also want to develop a centralized and user-friendly NPS dashboard. This will provide you with easy access to trends and the ability to visualize them through graphs and charts to make things more digestible.  

Final thoughts  

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog and if you weren’t already getting customer feedback and measuring your NPS, you now feel inspired to do so.

While it’s important to recognize that there’s no single bullet for improving your NPS, if you can follow a range of best practice processes like the ones we’ve outlined, you can significantly improve your customer relationships and NPS as a result.

It’s important to keep improving your customer experiences too

While it’s vital to have the right best practices in place and see an ongoing and concerted effort from all your staff, if you’re going to turn the needle on improving your NPS, you mustn’t neglect your customer experience. Delivering positive experiences can have a hugely positive affect on your customers’ loyalty and your success. However, you’ll still need the right survey tools if you’re to achieve the best results.

Find out more