Net Promoter Score® calculation

Learn how to calculate your NPS score, and see what it means for your business.

The Net Promoter Score is the world’s leading metric for measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty. It goes beyond measuring how satisfied a customer is with a company; the Net Promoter Score system is designed to gauge their willingness to recommend it to others.

Now that you know what the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is, let’s review how to calculate it.

Looking to run a survey that uses the NPS question? Get some tips and tricks before you do with “The ultimate guide to running a customer feedback program.”

The score comes from the NPS question, which is:

“On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend our organization to a friend or colleague?”

Based on the number a customer chooses, they’re classified into one of the following categories: “Detractors,” “Passives,” and “Promoters.”

  • 0 – 6: Detractors: This group represents unhappy customers who are unlikely to buy from you again. Detractors can discourage consumers from buying into your business, which is why it is important to pay close attention to this category. You can address this group of customers with insights that will help you understand why their shopping experience was unfavorable, which turns into valuable information you can use to improve your business. Once you’ve made the necessary changes to accommodate those pain points, you can calculate another NPS 3–6 months later to determine if the changes you made worked. 
  • 7 – 8: Passives: This group represents customers who had no issue with their customer experience, but they weren’t exactly impressed enough to become a promoter. Passives are a “take it or leave it” type of customer, meaning they may buy your product or service again, but will quickly go to a competitor if the price is right or if there’s an extra feature that appeals to them. Because of this, Passives can easily become a Detractor by default, but the good news is they can just as easily become a Promoter. 
  • 9  – 10: Promoters: This category means you’re winning because you have a high percentage of promoters who are referring your business to consumers. Promoters are the most cost-efficient way to advertise and the way to get more Promoters is by making your customers’ experience as pleasant as possible. Still, if you find that most of your customers are Promoters, there’s still work to do. This category of customers offers you the advantage of discovering what more you can do to improve your satisfied customers’ buying experience. Learning how to calculate NPS can help prevent Promoters from falling into the category of Passives.

You can think of the NPS system as similar to a four-star system on an online review, but the NPS scale gives you a broader way (and a more accurate method) to measure customer’s opinions.

Already know how many Detractors, Passives, and Promoters you have from your survey? Use our NPS calculator to get your score in seconds.

Let’s say you’ve sent out an online poll with the NPS question and the 0-10 scale, and you’ve received 100 responses from customers. What do you do with the results? Is it as simple as averaging the responses? Well, not quite. But it’s almost that easy.

The NPS system gives you a percentage, based on the classification that respondents fall into—from Detractors to Promoters. So to calculate the percentage, follow these steps:

  • Enter all of the survey responses into an Excel spreadsheet
  • Now, break down the responses by Detractors, Passives, and Promoters
  • Add up the total responses from each group
  • To get the percentage, take the group total and divide it by the total number of survey responses
  • Now, subtract the percentage total of Detractors from the percentage total of Promoters—this is your NPS score

(Number of Promoters — Number of Detractors) / (Number of Respondents) x 100

Example: If you received 100 responses to your survey:

  • 10 responses were in the 0–6 range (Detractors)
  • 20 responses were in the 7–8 range (Passives)
  • 70 responses were in the 9–10 range (Promoters)

When you calculate the percentages for each group, you get 10%, 20%, and 70% respectively.

To finish up, subtract 10% (Detractors) from 70% (Promoters), which equals 60%. Since an example Net Promoter Score is always shown as just an integer and not a percentage, your NPS is simply 60. (And yes, you can have a negative NPS, as your score can range from -100 to +100.)

Performing these calculations might seem overwhelming, but it’s well worth the effort. Numerous research studies prove that the NPS system correlates with business growth. In fact, studies by the Harvard Business Review and Satmetrix have found that companies across industries earn a higher income when they improve their Net Promoter Scores.

So, if you’re looking for a more scientific way to understand your brand’s strength, the NPS is a straightforward system to use. And if you’re looking to contextualize your score, you can benchmark it against others in your industry.

If you wish to speed up the process, SurveyMonkey will tabulate the NPS scores for you when you send our online poll to your customers. Simply sign in to SurveyMonkey, or create your account. Choose the NPS Survey Template and get started.

We’ve even added helpful open-ended survey questions to the template so you understand why people gave you a particular rating:

  • What changes could this company (insert your brand name) have made for you to give it a higher rating?
  • What does this company (insert your brand name) do really well?

Remember, the beauty of the NPS system is its simplicity, so don’t get carried away by adding a lot more questions to the example questionnaire, and avoid too many questions that ask about all of the parts of your business.

Instead, the targeted follow-up questions, also called diagnostic questions, will help you learn from your Detractors (the “What can we do to improve?” question) and from your Promoters (the “What are we doing really well?” question). It’s that simple.

So you’ve sent out the NPS survey sample to your customers. You’ve compiled the results and ran the numbers. You now have your Net Promoter Score number—maybe it’s a 52. Is that good or bad?

Well, like many things in life, it’s really all relative. If your competitors have NPS numbers in the high 60s, you’re probably going to try to figure out where your brand could improve. On the other hand, if your competitors all have scores in the low 40s, you’re doing just fine.

Instead of taking wild guesses as to where your competition stands, why not let SurveyMonkey do the work for you? We offer NPS benchmarks so you can get context for your Net Promoter Score.

How it works is simple: We’ve gone through hundreds of industries and ran the numbers. We’ll give you a comparison scale for your industry so you can see how you rank. Use the data to understand where your company could make improvements—or take the results as confirmation that you should keep doing what you’re doing if it turns out you rank high against your competition.

The last step for making the most of your NPS data is acting on its results.This, after all, is what will allow you to make meaningful improvements to the customer experience.

Enable colleagues to take action by sharing an NPS report with them.

Note: In SurveyMonkey, this means creating, saving, and sharing a view of your results.

Your NPS report should include:

  • Your overall NPS
  • The breakdown of Promoters, Passives, and Detractors
  • Responses from the follow-up, open-ended question that asks why they selected that particular rating
  • A chart that shows how your score is changing over time (assuming you’ve measured your NPS more than once)
  • The results from your key drivers—questions that directly influence your NPS, and help you determine your strengths and weaknesses

You may also want to customize your NPS report for different team members. For each customer support representative, for instance, you can filter by the customers they work with; while for the product team, you can tag responses that are product-related and then filter by that tag.

Finally, make sure to send your NPS report on a recurring basis. Your team needs to receive the latest data, on time, to make decisions that benefit your team and your customers. Aim to send your report(s) to the appropriate team members every 3-6 months.

We’ve got everything you need to get your Net Promoter Score. Send our example NPS questionnaire to your customers to learn whether they like your brand so much they’d recommend it. Review our plans to get started on your long-term NPS plan. 

NPS, Net Promoter & Net Promoter Score are registered trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company and Fred Reichheld.

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