NPS Surveys 101: What They Are & How to Use Them

7 minute read

NPS Surveys 101: What They Are & How to Use Them

In today's competitive world, measuring your customer's satisfaction is essential to the longevity and growth of your business. Why? Because knowing if they're content with your services will help you identify which areas to improve and see if you're able to build a good number of loyal customers while maintaining a positive reputation.

Although there are many ways to measure this, there's one that stands out and is suitable for any type of business — and that's an NPS survey

In this post, you'll understand what NPS score is, why it’s such a valuable metric, and how to create an effective NPS survey for your business. 

What Are NPS Surveys?

NPS, also known as Net Promoter Score, is the most reliable and simple metric for measuring customer satisfaction. It was developed in 2003 by the Bain group and Fred Reichheld and is now being used by millions of businesses in different industries. 

Basically, the NPS Survey asks the buyers to rate how likely they are to recommend the brand or service to others from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

Net Promoter Score

After that, the customers will fall into one of these groups: 

  • Detractors (0-6): customers that are not happy with your service. 
  • Passives (7-8): customers that are okay with your products but still unlikely to recommend them to others. 
  • Promoters (9-10): customers that are highly satisfied and can become advocates of your brand. 

Once you sum up your customer's rating, you’ll need to run some calculations to determine your NPS Score. We will discuss this soon, but basically, the total percentage you'll get can range from -100 to +100. The goal is to get a higher score compared to the average of your competitors.

Why Use NPS Surveys? 

NPS surveys are the most effective method in determining customer satisfaction and the overall performance of your company. Why? There are a few reasons you should be aware of. 

First, and most obvious, is its length. Most NPS surveys have only one to two questions, and shorter forms statistically have a higher response rate. People are more inclined to answer simple surveys, and that's what makes NPS more appealing. 

Another reason is that the metric aligns well with how the human brain works. Studies show that around 40% of the daily conversations revolve around people talking about themselves or their experiences. With NPS surveys, you focus more on your customer's opinion, e.g., "how likely are YOU to recommend…" rather than your business, e.g., "how good are WE doing?" 

NPS surveys also work well with reputation management. Reputation refers to how people perceive your business, and if you constantly improve based on your existing customers' feedback, this can positively affect your brand's image. With a good reputation, you are increasing customer retention and attracting new customers. 

How to Create an Effective NPS Survey

To ensure that your NPS survey will have a high completion rate, follow the tips below. 

1. Identify your goals

What do you want to achieve with your NPS survey? You need to be clear about your goals, and they should be in line with the questions you'll ask your customers. 

Creating a one-line statement can help, and later you can elaborate on it. An example goal can be, "I want to identify the department that has the most negative reputation and focus this year's efforts there." 

2. Choose the right software

One of the reasons NPS surveys are easy to create is that you can use numerous online software tools. You just need to choose which will work best for you. 

3. Build the ideal form

Once you've decided which software to use, it's time to build your survey. Most applications out there offer templates, so you won't need to start from scratch. 

When creating forms, remember to keep them short.

Here's what to include in your form:

  • Your questions: Two questions will be ideal. Include one being the scale (1-10) and the other either open-ended or close-ended field. Go back to your goal to help you identify which type of questions to use. 
  • A title: This will keep you organized and will help in the long run, especially if you plan to create multiple surveys for different areas or objectives. 
  • A short description explaining the survey's purpose: When doing so, highlight that their feedback matters to your business and explain why. 
  • Design: Your form should be a responsive and clean design.

4. Make it appealing

Before publishing your NPS survey, make sure that it looks presentable. Choose a theme that reflects your brand and that looks clean. Furthermore, ensure that your texts are readable and that you're using formal or professional-looking fonts like Helvetica, Arial, or Georgia. 

5. Add a “thank you” message

Thank you notes make your audience feel like they did something great and that their time is appreciated. This way, if you need them to answer other surveys in the future, they'll be happy to do so. 

6. Choose the best time and place to share it

Timing is everything and knowing the best communication channel where to reach your audience is also tremendously important. 

Determine whether you want to send the NPS survey via email or embed it on your website. If you choose the first option, it's often recommended that the form should be emailed within 7 to 30 days after the purchase. On the other hand, if you decide to include it on your website, you must show it immediately after the transaction has been completed. 

You can also use both methods to ensure that your customers can answer the survey. Sending a follow-up message is a good idea. However, you must put an interval between the communications and avoid spamming. 

7. Calculate your results accurately

Computing your NPS score is very simple. Although there are free calculator apps, it's still better to know how to do it manually. 

Arrange your data on Google Sheets and categorize them as Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. After that, calculate the percentage of each by subtracting the total number of responses from the two different categories, dividing it again by the total number, and multiplying by 100. 

For example, if you're looking for the percentage of Detractors, your formula will be:

detractor formula

Once you complete the calculation, subtract the percentage of Detractors from Promoters. You may check the table above again for this. The result will be your NPS Score. 

Mistakes to Avoid 

To create the perfect NPS survey, here are some things you need to avoid at all costs: 

  • Asking the wrong question. Your question should reflect your goal. Before including one, make sure to ask yourself: "Will this provide me with the data I need for my objective?"
  • Using the wrong type of question.  In addition to the above, choosing the type of question to ask is also essential. Open-ended questions allow you to get various answers from your customers, which is good if you have the capacity to read it all. 

On the other hand, close-ended or multiple-choice questions will help you to easily categorize their answers. If you have more than 1,000 respondents, this is a better option.

  • Typos and grammar mistakes. Although NPS surveys are short and brief, you still need to ensure that all your spelling, punctuation, and sentences are correct, as this can affect how your customers perceive your brand. Aside from grammar mistakes, avoid using too much jargon. 
  • Small CTA buttons. Your CTA button should be big and catchy enough for your customers to see. If it's visible the moment they open your form, they'll understand that it will only take them a few moments and won't require too much effort.  
  • Not optimizing for other devices. Around 30-40% of online surveys are completed on mobile devices. If your form is optimized for mobile devices, your response rate can also increase. 
  • Not taking action. Data analysis should be followed by a series of actions, or else your efforts will be useless. The main reason why you're calculating your NPS score is to know what you need to do to improve your reputation and become a better business. Therefore, planning and execution are a must. 

Final Thoughts 

Remember that your customers’ happiness is one of the best indicators of the health of your company. If you want to keep your business flourishing, then start measuring and closely monitoring the changes in the NPS score, and be ready to take action.