How to Improve Your Net Promoter Score and Win Your Customers Over [A Complete Guide]

March 13, 2019

What is a Net Promoter Score?

When it comes to creating amazing customer experiences and customer loyalty programs, your Net Promoter Score can literally mean the difference between happily satisfied customers or ones that will choose your competitors instead.

So, what is a Net Promoter Score anyway?

A Net Promoter Score or NPS for short is an index that measures the level of customer experience from 1-10 or 1-100 in more detailed surveys. It was first coined by Bain & Company back in 2003 and remains a benchmark as the most important customer experience metric.

The higher the score, the happier the customer and the more willing they are to refer you to others and help spread the good word.

Needless to say that the NPS is a make or break metric every single business must abide by and constantly strive to improve.

The Net Promoter Score asks one simple question;

How likely is it that you would recommend this company’s product or service to a friend or colleague?

The Net Promoter Score is broken down by three categories of customers:

  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal evangelists who are most likely to remain lifelong customers and will continually refer others to purchase your products or services.
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but not fully convinced evangelist customers who might switch over to your competitor
  • Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and reputation. They can also spread negative word of mouth and even discourage others from buying your products or services.

How to Calculate Your Net Promoter Score

Calculating your NPS is quite simple. Here’s how it works:

% of Promoters - % of Detractors = Net Promoter Score.

A high Net Promoter Score is essential for any business that wants to drive the overall LTV (Lifetime Value) of any customer. And this brings us to another important factor to take into consideration…

The Cost of Acquiring New Customers Vs. Retaining Existing Customers

Did you know that it is 6 to 7x more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. Let that sink in for a moment.

That’s why it is beyond imperative to create a strong customer loyalty program from the beginning of the onboarding journey - the first touchpoint a customer has with your business.

The aim of a customer loyalty program is to turn your early customers into long term evangelists (Promoters) that will help fuel the growth of your business.

And keep in mind that a “mere” 5% increase in customer retention can increase your profits 5x and give you a high Net Promoter Score as well!

 How to Create Net Promoter Score Customer Surveys

Surveys don’t have to be complicated. In fact, the fewer questions the better according to a Harvard Business Review on how to Learn More By Asking Fewer Questions. They typically suggest asking no more than five questions to keep things simple and keep your customers fully engaged.

Ideally, you should keep your survey questions in multiple choice format or a simple yes or no will do just fine. The more feedback you receive from your customers earlier on, the easier it will be to fine tune and improve your customer experience levels.

There are certain questions you can ask for each customer type. For instance, you might want to ask a Detractor “What was missing or disappointing in your experience with us” or how you can improve the experience of a Passive or Promoter.

The questions you ask will give you new insights on how your customers think and make the customer journey a simple and seamless process.

Remember to always thank your respondents for their feedback and let them know that you’ve taken all of their concerns into consideration. This creates a more personal touch and shows them that you have listened to what they have to say and that you do care.

You can choose from a bunch of ready made customer satisfaction templates at SurveyMonkey to elicit customer feedback.

Listen to What Your Customers Are Saying About You on Social Media

Another way to improve your NPS is to hear what customers are saying about you on social media through a process called social media listening.

Social media listening allows you to cut through the noise and detect valuable insights such as negative comments, complaints, suggestions, and to discover trending topics to stay ahead of the game.

Twitter is a great place to monitor conversations in real-time. It’s also a great platform to perform keyword research, competitor analysis, identify key influencers, and track down mentions of your brand with a simple @ or # sign.

You can ultimately use all these actionable data points and sentiment research to learn more about your customers and to create a better overall customer experience strategy.

There are many great social listening tools such as Sprout Social and Buffer that can help you monitor what your customers are saying about you 24/7.

Create a Strong Customer Referral Program

The great thing about referrals is that they come from trusted friends or colleagues, making it more likely that another potential prospect might buy your products or services, especially in the B2B industry where word of mouth travels fast.

Referrals are great incentives for new customers.

A strong referral program can create both customer loyalty and potentially cost you less in the long term to acquire new customers rather than through traditional paid advertising methods.


Dropbox is famous for creating one of the best and most effective referral programs which helped gain them initial traction and skyrocketed them to success early on.

Rather than spending $233-$388 on Google Ads to acquire a new customer when they were selling a product for $99, they quickly decided to go another route to market their product. A very wise decision.

They offered 500 MB of free storage for each new referral brought in.

As it turns out, the “Get more free space” referral program paid off quite well. Just how well?

Dropbox went from having 100,000 users to 4,000,000 users in just 15 months. A whopping 60% signup increase!

Obviously, you’ll want to choose a referral program that will best meet your criteria and budget. Determine the investment that makes the most amount of financial sense for your company.

Once you decide on a referral program, make sure you analyze the ROI brought in by each campaign and perform A/B testing to see what works best. Rinse and repeat.

You can get some amazing referral program ideas here from some of the largest and most reputable companies in the world.

Closing Thoughts

There are a lot of things you can do to improve your Net Promoter Score and it all begins by getting to know your customers from the initial onboarding process.

Take the extra time to engage with Detractors and Passives to find out where you might have gone wrong and what you can do to remedy the situation.

Sometimes the criticism might sound a bit harsh, but keep in mind that you are gaining invaluable feedback in return. Use that feedback to improve your product or services and turn those Detractors into Promoters and loyal brand evangelists!




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