How to run Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys in 2021

James Harding
Head of Product
How to run Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys in 2021

Net Promoter Score or NPS is a powerful customer satisfaction metric, that helps business across the world achieve growth by tracking customer loyalty. But how do you run an NPS survey? What are the NPS questions and how do you calculate an NPS score? Read on to find out all of this and more.

Contents of this article

What is an NPS Survey?

NPS surveys have sprung up everywhere over the last few years. I’ve no doubt you’ve taken one, or at least been offered to. At its core the NPS is formed by a single simple question — ‘How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?’ (There are plenty of variations which we’ll look into below). The responses from these questions have a specific formula applied to them, in order to calculate the result. This final NPS score has proven to be an incredibly good indicator when assessing the potential for viral growth, and the loyalty of your customers, without which ‘profitable growth can’t be achieved’.

Should I be running NPS surveys?

In short, yes. Since the conception of the net promote score in 2003 over two thirds of Fortune 1000 companies have started running NPS surveys, and they won’t be stopping any time soon. If you’re looking to grow your business then understanding your NPS is arguably one of the best ways to start. It will enable you to understand your base line in terms of customer loyalty, and help you to predict the likelihood of future growth. It’s also a great place to get actionable insights that can be used to improve your score. Creating this sort of feedback loop is essential when it comes to growth, and an NPS survey can facilitate this process with an easily understandable metric for your team, and a widely recognised question for your customers.

How do I calculate my Net Promoter Score

While an NPS survey is scored by your customers on a scale of 1-10, the NPS metric you’ll track is a little more complicated than that. Don’t worry though, if you use a tool like doopoll for your NPS, all these calculations are automated, meaning you don’t have to sift through the data. In case you're interested in what happens behind the scenes — read on to discover how it’s all worked out.

All your respondents are divided into three camps.

  • Detractors (customers who gave you a score between 0-6)
  • Passives (customers who scored you at a 7 or 8)
  • Promoters (customers who scored you at 9 or 10)

The theory behind these delineations is the result of two year's focused research by Bain & Company, and Satmetrix Systems. Their research shows that detractors are more likely to post, or spread, negative feedback to others. In simple terms they’re likely to detract from your growth, putting others off your company, or product, rather than turning them onto it.

Passives can be seen as customers who are neither overly satisfied or overly dissatisfied. They’re unlikely to  start spreading the word about you in either a positive or negative light.

Promoters are your evangelists. Customers scoring you a 9-10 are genuinely more likely to recommend you, and espouse the benefits you provide. The more of these you have the more likely you are to grow.

So what’s the final calculation

((Promoters - Detractors) / Total Responses) * 100

This will give you a score between -100 and +100

While a ‘good’ score can changed between industries to get a rough idea anywhere over 0 is heading in the right direction.

  • -100 - 0 shows you real improvements need to be made
  • 0-30 is considered good
  • 30-70 is considered great
  • 70+ is excellent - world class.
An example NPS chart

What does a Net Promoter Score mean?

A net promoter score is simply a score which demonstrates the total number of active promoters your business has. It uses a special calculation to produce a single figure to represent this.

What is the NPS question?

So we’ve mentioned before the most common question. But there are a host of subtle variations, and additions, which can either cater more towards your specific audience, or help to gain additional insights alongside your overall score.

"How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?"

Simple, short and easily recognisable. This is a great place to start if your unsure or just want to keep things easy.

"Considering your experience so far, how likely are you to recommend {{your_company_name}} to a friend or colleague?"

This rewording allows you to ask the NPS question earlier in the customer journey. This could, for instance, be used to compare the pre-purchasing experience vs the post-purchasing experience of a customer.

"Now that you’ve received our {{your_product}}, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?"

Can be asked to customers who have already answered the question above, and used to compare the two metrics. These options are important because the customer journey isn’t one dimensional. There are a range of factors that can lead to your ‘overall’ score, and splitting the two ensures you know which part is problematic, and which bit is performing well.

"How likely are you to recommend us to someone like you?"

Less wordy than the original question, and also takes into account that ‘friends or colleagues’ may not be the automatic port of call for your customers recommendations. So many online communities help each other out by providing recommendations - think Mum’sNet or Reddit. A simple change like this can be more relevant depending on your product.

What are the alternatives to Net Promoter Score?

NPS is just one customer satisfaction metric. It’s the most widely known and trusted, but there are others out there that provide alternative solutions and could be more beneficial to your business. To read more about things like CSAT surveys, CES and more read our comprehensive guide on Customer Satisfaction

How can I create an NPS Survey

The easiest way to create an NPS survey today is to create an account on doopoll and then use our expertly designed survey template to be up and running in seconds. We provide beautiful charts that remove the need for lengthy analysis and ensure you get the most out of your time.

Easy to use survey builder.
Create as many surveys and questions as you like.
3-4x more responses.
Responses appear in real time.
Try it free

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