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Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric to measure customer experience and satisfaction. Discover NPS, its formula, and how to make an NPS survey.

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The Net Promoter Score® (NPS) survey allows businesses to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Regularly tracking NPS helps monitor the impact of customer experience (CX) strategies on your business.

Millions of businesses worldwide use the NPS score as a core CX metric, making it a valuable benchmark.

Net Promoter Score® (NPS) is a metric that measures customer satisfaction and loyalty with one central question: "How likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?" 

Respondents will use a scale of 0 to 10 to indicate their likelihood of recommending your company. A rating of 0 means they're unlikely to recommend your business, while a rating of 10 means they're highly likely to recommend it to others.

Using the NPS framework, you can then classify customers into three categories based on their responses: 

  • Detractors (scores 0–6): These unhappy customers can hurt your brand through negative word-of-mouth.
  • Passive (scores 7–8): These customers are satisfied but indifferent; they might even shop with your competitors.
  • Promoters (scores 9–10): These loyal customers will likely refer you to others.

You can use the NPS formula to generate your NPS score on a scale of -100 to 100, with a higher number indicating high customer loyalty and satisfaction.

  • NPS helps measure customer loyalty. At its core, the NPS shows your business how loyal your customers are. Loyal customers contribute to everything from improved sales to higher retention.
  • NPS benchmarks your progress. You can compare your NPS survey scores against previous figures or other companies to see how you compare over time. Track whether you’re reaching industry averages or surpassing them.
  • NPS is simple and quick. One question is all it takes to determine your Net Promoter Score. With our Net Promoter Score template, you can set up and send your survey in minutes.
  • NPS identifies promoters, detractors, and passives. Classifying your customer base into these three categories will help you create targeted feedback initiatives in the future. 
  • NPS is easy to understand. Scored from -100 to 100, the NPS is an easy metric to understand, making it useful when communicating customer sentiment to business leaders.
  • NPS is repeatable. By collecting NPS data regularly, you can track how your customer experience strategy impacts customer satisfaction.

Conducting NPS surveys will allow your business to better understand customers' feelings about your customer experience efforts. You can create an actionable plan to enhance your customer experiences by conducting follow-ups with less satisfied segments. 

Related: Why use NPS?

To calculate your NPS, subtract the total percentage of detractors from the total percentage of promoters (% of promoters - % of detractors.)  

You’ll get a percentage ranging from -100% to 100%. This result is your NPS. 

nps equation

Here’s our step-by-step breakdown: 

  1. Send your NPS survey to your target demographic.
  2. Count the responses that fall into the promoter category (scores of 9-10) and the number of detractors (scores of 0-6). Ignore the passives; they’re not included in the NPS calculation because they don’t impact customer loyalty directly.
  3. Find the percentage of promoters and detractors: divide the number of promoters and detractors by the total responses, then multiply by 100.
  4. Subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. 

Imagine you received 200 responses to your NPS survey:

  • 20 responses were in the 0–6 range (detractors.)
  • 40 responses were in the 7–8 range (passives.) 
  • 140 responses were in the 9–10 range (promoters.)

To determine the percentage of your detractors and promoters, divide each number by the total responses, then multiply the result by 100.

  • 10% are detractors (20/200 = 0.1 x 100 = 10)
  • 70% are promoters (140/200 = 0.7 x 100 = 70)
  • Subtract 10% (detractors) from 70% (promoters). Your result is 60%.  

Since a Net Promoter Score always appears as an integer and not a percentage, your NPS is 60.

Calculating NPS for a small group is easy but can get complex as your survey size increases. With SurveyMonkey's NPS template, the built-in NPS calculator ensures 100% accurate results faster.

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Understanding promoters, detractors, and passives is central to calculating your Net Promoter Score. Each group fulfills a unique role in your business, making these classifications important for customer feedback.

The NPS framework categorizes customers who respond with a 9 or 10 as promoters, representing the most satisfied customers likely to recommend your business due to their numerous positive experiences with your brand.

Sending additional feedback requests to these customers can show you what you’re doing well as a business.

Any customer that responds 0-6 on the NPS survey is a detractor. Detractors are dissatisfied customers who are unlikely to recommend your business to a friend or colleague. 

These customers have had negative experiences with your brand. You might receive a negative social review from these customers or see them churn soon.

Sending additional feedback requests to these customers can show you what you could improve upon to enhance your customer experience. 

Passives are customers that score 7 or 8 on the NPS scale. These middle-of-the-road customers don’t love your business but haven’t had negative experiences. They typically won’t recommend your company but are happy enough with your products or services. 

Don’t overlook this group; they can enhance your customer experience strategy. Collecting and acting on feedback from passives can help transform them into promoters and improve your overall customer experience. 

A good NPS score indicates your organization that your customers are generally delighted with your business.

The optimal NPS score for your business will vary depending on its industry. For example, a good NPS score would be around +50 for a professional services or consumer goods company. However, a good NPS score comes in at +40 in the technology market. 

Generally speaking, if your NPS score is 25 or below, your customers might not be satisfied with your brand. It’s a good idea to collect more feedback to pinpoint your customers’ sentiments.