According to the 2017 Temkin research, promoters of a given business are…

  • 4.2 times more likely to buy again
  • 5.6 times more likely to forgive a company after a mistake, and
  • 7.2 times more likely to try a new offering compared with detractors (unhappy customers).

Adobe also confirmed that customer-centric businesses grew revenue 1.4 times faster and increased customer lifetime value 1.6x more than other companies.

Also, one customer’s bad experience with your brand could cost you your business. In fact, customers are more likely to talk about a bad experience and they tell almost 3X as many people when it happens.

So, is a Net Promoter Score (NPS) an important tool to help you understand your customer experience?

What Is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) Survey?

An NPS survey is a question that is sent to customers to get a concise understanding of their satisfaction level with an organization or brand. This survey aims to help quantify customer loyalty, satisfaction while also at the same time provide feedback that will help improve customer experience. Often, an NPS survey is a two-part survey that consists of a rating question(s) and a free-response follow-up.

The rating question

For example, the first part is a single question where respondents pick a numerical score between 0 and 10. The question can be something like,

“Considering your complete experience with our company, how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend or colleague?”

nps question 2018

Image by SurveyMonkey

The higher the score, the more likely customers are to recommend your company to their friends or colleagues. On the other hand, the lower the score, the less likely they will spread the gospel about your business. This part allows your customers to speak their mind.

The Follow-Up (Open-Ended Question)

The second part of the question allows respondents to provide content for their chosen numerical score. The follow-up part allows your customers to leave feedback in their own words why they would or would not consider recommending a company.

This part, therefore, tends to be very crucial as it allows a brand or organization to get valuable feedback from their clients.

As a marketing manager, you’ll find that this is the question that will truly help you in tracking the results of a particular marketing campaign, measuring customer loyalty, and transposing the collected data in a long-term growth strategy.

Personalizing the follow-up question is very crucial. Keep in mind this question is open-ended. Fortunately, some NPS tools can even help you customize this question depending on the score given by the respondent on the rating question.

Below are a few examples:

  • What was disappointing or missing in your experience with us?
  • Which features do you value the most?
  • What is the main reason for your score?
  • How can we improve your experience?
  • What do you like most/least about (product or company)?

How Do You Interpret NPS?

After surveying your customers, responses to your question will fall into these three groups.

net promoter score 1

  • Promoters: Customers who answer the question with 9 or 10 and are typically loyal and enthusiastic customers.
  • Passives: Customers who answer the question with 7or 8. These customers are satisfied with your service but not happy enough to be considered promoters.
  • Detractors: Customers who answer the question with 0-6. Now, these are unhappy customers who are unlikely to buy from you again, and may even discourage others from buying from you.

These categories will help you better understand your target audience, and can perhaps give you insight on what you need to market better towards certain individuals.

Types of NPS surveys

Now let’s dive deeper and have a look at the two types of NPS survey that are used to benchmark customer experience and identify areas of improvement.

  • Transactional NPS (tNPS) : A tNPS is used to assess the customer’s opinion on a specific business transaction. For example, post services interaction, post-purchase, or post onboarding. This survey aims to help pinpoint what needs to be improved about specific customer experience.
  • Relationship (or relational) NPS: Relational NPS is designed to assess the strength of your relationship between a business or brand with its customers. It offers an excellent way to benchmark the customer experience. In other words, it helps measure loyalty to your brand based on the overall score.

NPS Question Templates

Unlike other questions you will have for your customers, an NPS question, though it may look simple, it is supposed to be specific to your goals. You can set the context of your question using a short message before the survey. Below are some of the common NPS questions examples.

  • For transactional NPS (tNPS): If looking to gather feedback on a specific interaction, include “based on your most recent interaction” to the question. If you pick the right words, tNPS question will be very helpful in your surveys.
  • For customer personalization: If contemplating asking people about your products and services within a professional environment, consider using words like colleague and friend interchangeably.

For example, in the context of a family, you can add “family member.” In the context of your colleague, you can add “friends”. You can also combine the two in your question, “friends and family members.” See the example below for more details:

  • “On a scale of zero to ten, how likely are you to recommend our products to a family member or colleague?”
  • Why would or wouldn’t you recommend this product to a friend or colleague?
  • For product feedback: You can also use an NPS survey to get detailed customer feedback on your product or feature.
  • How likely are you to recommend our products to a friend or colleague?
  • On a scale of zero to ten, how likely are you to recommend our products to a friend or colleague?
  • What can we do to make our product better or more satisfying to you?
  • For employee NPS (eNPS): You can also design NPS question for your employees. For example, you can do this when trying to find out what is motivating to them. You can add words like “as a workplace” in your question.

See the example below:

  • On a scale of zero to ten, how happy are you with your workplace?
  • What is the one thing we could do to make you happier?
  • What is that one thing that is holding you back from referring your family/friends to this organization?

eNPS are very crucial for any company because unhappy employees will rarely speak up about major issues. Carrying out a survey helps unearth any distractor before it is too late to act. Besides, an eNPS can help point out passive colleagues that are neither satisfied nor unhappy about their workplace, and as well your company’s promoters. That is those employees will recommend your company as a place to work at.

When to Send Your NPS Survey

The best time to send or conduct a survey is after your customers have had a complete experience with your products and services. For example, after making a purchase or after a subscription period has expired. And it is a good idea you send the survey shortly after purchase, subscription offer has ended and so on. Doing so allow the customer to give feedback while having fresh details about your products and services.

NPS Survey Timing

  • Relationship NPS survey timing: To have up-to-date information on how your customers feel about your brand, consider surveying them often (but not too often that it become annoying). For example, you can do it after a month (especially if you have just gone through major changes or are making changes within the company), quarterly, or semi-annually. But always feel free to survey them when you find it appropriate.
  • tNPS survey timing: Unlike relationship NPS survey, tNPS are one-off surveys, and it is recommendable to gather feedback immediately after an interaction has taken place. For example, shortly after helping a client resolve an issue. You are gathering feedback almost immediately because tNPS are tied to customer interaction.

NPS Survey Length

Unlike the traditional form survey, an NPS survey is brief. The two-question format allows you to get better response rates than traditional surveys. However, you can add more questions if needed.

Using NPS tools allow you to generate follow up questions based on the initial customer rating making getting noteable feedback quite easy. To keep the survey as efficient and effective as possible, limit yourself to 10 additional questions.

Thank-You Message

At the end of the survey, it is always a good idea to express your gratitude to your customers. They have taken their time to complete a survey for you. That is a good reason why they deserve your appreciation. A thank you message is one excellent way to show your appreciation. You can also offer them freebies such as eBooks or coupons. You have the freedom the show your appreciation in the best way possible.

Below are samples of a thank you messages you can send at the end of your survey. They are based on the three groups of respondents aforementioned.


“Thanks for your feedback. It is great to hear that you are proud of (our company or product). Your feedback helps us discover new opportunities to improve (our company or product) and make sure you have the best possible experience.”


“Thanks for your feedback. Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.”


“Thanks for your feedback. We highly value all ideas and suggestions from our customers, whether they are positive or critical. In the future, our team might reach out to you to learn more about how we can further improve (our product or service) so that it exceeds your expectations.”

Ways to Improve NPS Questions

  • Keep it short: Most customers, after completing a purchase or service request, they shift their attention to other things. Sending a short NPS question immediately increase the chances of getting feedback. Remember, most customers will not have the time to go through a length question. So, make sure to send them a short and easy-to-read question as this will trigger them to leave feedback even when busy.
  • Use a Simple Scale: Customizing your scale is a good idea but always consider scales most customers are familiar with. For example, 1 – 5 or 1 – 10. Easy-to-fill scales and those scales not intimidating by their complexity trigger customers to fill them. Besides, such a scale makes it easy for your team to analyze the results. If using NPS survey provider to customize your survey, make sure to come up with a version that will not be intimidating.
  • Be Specific: It is not to beat around the bush by adding unnecessary words in your question. Just be specific. For example, if you want to get feedback about your products or features, make sure the question is well-tailored. You can even highlight products or features you are referring to when asking your customers to provide NPS.
  • Add a comment box: Including a commenting box helps get qualitative information from your customers. For example, a customer can use this section to explain why he or she picked a specific score. So, to get detailed information on why a customer is happy or unhappy, consider adding a comment box after the NPS question.

Why Is NPS Significant?

  • It measures customer loyalty: Customer NPS helps businesses evaluate customer loyalty, the likelihood of them recommending their businesses, and the likelihood of them not purchasing from you in the future or canceling their subscriptions. In other words, customer NPS provides an easy way to retain existing customers as well as attract new ones.
  • It identifies ways to improve: The scores you get and the feedback gathered help business make the necessary adjustment. For example, you may find your customers are not happy with the time it takes for their products to be delivered. From that feedback, simply you will make the necessary adjustments.
  • It boosts referral marketing: Customer NPS offers an easy way to get recommendations from happy customers. Asking them to write reviews through the comment box is one way of tempting new customers. Alternatively, you can ask them to share emails of potential customers who might be interested in your services and products.

Here are some other ways you can promote your referral program.

  • It helps you prioritize reaching out to detractors: Getting a score of 0 – 6 from unhappy customers who are unlikely to buy from you again should not put you off. In fact, treat such feedback as an opportunity to make what is wrong right. Or how best you can make such customers happy next time. You may even be surprised to find out that something small is causing some of your customers to feel unsatisfied.

In conclusion

Knowing what questions to ask,who you should ask, and when to ask are important. NPS software can help automate most of the process. To make things even better, you can pair an online reputation management software and referral program together to entice customers marked as ‘promoters’ promote your product in one automated swoop.