A Complete NPS Guide

Net Promoter Score Question Definition + Examples

Definition: A Net Promoter Score question asks survey respondents to rate the likelihood they would recommend a company, product, or service to a friend or colleague. When the results are tallied, one number ranging from -100 to 100 is displayed. Follow-up questions help identify ways to improve the score.

Why Is It Important? A Net Promoter Score question goes beyond a simple multiple-choice question. The results give you one number that a company can use to benchmark customer satisfaction and brand loyalty over time.

Interactive Net Promoter Score Example Question

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

Not at all Likely

Extremely Likely


When to Use a Net Promoter Score Question

Any scenario where you want to measure satisfaction or brand loyalty with one number is perfect for a Net Promoter Score question. This question type is mainly used for customer satisfaction but can also be used to gauge employee satisfaction.

Unlike traditional multiple questions with varying answers or scales, A Net Promoter Score question always has the same answer choices and scoring method, making it a standard question that is summarized and compared across industries, helping to establish benchmarks.

Customer Satisfaction

The score produced by a Net Promoter Score question gives insights into how your brand is performing. The closer your score is to 100, the higher your brand is perceived by customers. Having one simple number makes it easy for a company to benchmark results over time.

A powerful feature for customer satisfaction surveys that use Net Promoter is to segment your score by business unit, region, or even product type. This analysis is explained below, but ultimately it can help identify weaknesses within a particular segment of a business.

Employee Satisfaction

Net Promoter is perfect for employee surveys to measure satisfaction. Managers and company stakeholders can understand how employees view their company with one simple number. Quarterly Net Promoter Score surveys can be sent to employees quarterly or annually, making it a great tool to help track satisfaction over time.

Like with customer satisfaction surveys, employee Net Promoter surveys can segment the business unit or department results, helping to identify causes of low employee satisfaction.

How to Create a Net Promoter Score Survey

1) Create a survey as normal

2) Add a Net Promoter Score question - usually the first question of the survey

3) Think of what follow-up questions to include, such as asking, "What is the main reason for your score?". You could use display logic to show questions based on previous answers.

4) Organize any custom data that you will use in the survey. This information can include the order number, customer number, or even store location. You will use this information to segment your results.

The Net Promoter Score question and follow-up question should be the only two questions on the first page of the survey. When respondents submit the first page, the system will save their answers. If respondents decide they don't want to continue the survey, you will still have two important data points.

Depending on the study you are conducting, a simple two-question survey might be all that is needed. Often, businesses create surveys that are too long, leading to incomplete data. Always let the open-ended follow-up serve as the driving factor for improvement, instead of asking separate questions such as "How friendly was the staff" or "Did the hotel amenities suit your needs?". If customers are unhappy with the staff or amenities, the follow-up will show those trends.

Collecting Net Promoter Score Survey Responses

There are two methods to sending out a Net Promoter Score survey. You can either use your platform to send survey invitations or use the SurveyKing platform to send invitations.

Using Your Own Platform

For large organizations, using an internal platform is the preferred option. This route means that surveys can be sent when a customer purchases or closes a support ticket. For most companies, it means simply adding a few lines of code to internal processes and including a web link to the Net Promoter Score survey. A big benefit to using an internal platform is that an unlimited amount of custom data is available to the survey, such as order amount and store location. You can use this custom data to segment the results.

Using the SurveyKing Platform

Using the SurveyKing platform is ideal if you have a small number of customers. This method involves manually uploading a list of customers in an Excel format to send email or text message survey invitations. When companies go this route, Net Promoter Score surveys are usually sent out at the same time once or twice a week. You can still include custom data in the Excel import.

Need help? We can help design a custom HTML invitation, organize custom data to be used in your survey, and write code to trigger emails from an internal platform automatically. We can also set up custom text message invitations. Start a chat

Additional Survey Questions

Follow-up questions are crucial to help understand what makes customers happy while also identifying how to improve your Net Promoter Score. Here are some examples:

  • What is the main reason for your score?
  • What did our company do well?
  • How did you hear about us?
  • If we offered a new version of our product, which of the following features would you find LEAST and MOST important? - This is a MaxDiff question used in market research. A company can include questions like these on a Net Promoter Score survey to capture additional data to improve products.

What is a Good Score for Net Promoter?

A good score varies by industry. SurveyMonkey global data indicates that the average score for all organizations is +32. The lower 25% of organizations have an NPS of 0 or lower. The top 25% organizations have an a score of 72+ or higher.

A negative score means your company is generating a lot of unhappy. A score of 0 to 30 would indicate your company is generating a decent number of happy customers. Anything over 70 would be an indication your business is generating a lot of happy customers and word of mouth referrals.

To get a deeper understanding of where you stand, Retently, complied a list of NPS scores segmented by industry. They complied scores for both business-to-business companies (B2B) and business-to-consumer companies (B2C). These scores ranged from 62 to 24.

B2B Scores

Digital Marketing Agency
Cloud & Hosting
Technology & Services
B2B Software & SAAS
Logistics & Transportation

B2C Scores

Financial Services
Internet Software & Services
Communications & Media

Text Analysis to Improve Your Score

When respondents write out their reasons for their score, that data can be used to help improve your score. For any business that collects a lot of data, having those answers automatically tagged will save time identifying problem areas.

Text classification is the method used to automatically tag NPS answers using Natural Language Processing (NLP). For example, a customer who left a rating of 2 and commented, "The dessert menu was too expensive," would be labeled price. Since these comments are automatically tagged, you can quickly spot trends and problems. If you notice 60% of your negative reviews are for "price", then this is an area your company needs to address.

If you notice a large portion of your promoters (score of 9 or 10) are tagged "website," then your company website seems like an important feature for your company.

Tags also become important to analyze by region. If only a few of your company stores received negative scores plus "customer service" tags, management should do a local follow-up or field visit.

Net Promoter Score Survey Reporting, Scoring

Calculating the Score

The responses from a Net Promoter Score question are broken down into three categories:

Promoters - These are respondents who selected a rating of 9 or 10. These are referred to as "promoters" because they think very highly of your business and are likely to recommend you to family and friends.

Passives - These are respondents who selected a rating of 7 or 8. These are referred to as "passives" because they had an average experience. They aren't very likely to spread a positive word-of-mouth recommendation, but they also are unlikely to say anything negative about your company. Across the industry, passives are thought of as customers who might switch to a competitor if the opportunity presented itself.

Detractors - These are respondents who selected a rating 0 - 6. These are referred to as "detractors" because they have had a negative experience with your company. These are the customs they are likely to speak negatively of your company to family or friends, or even in online reviews.

With the responses separated into groups, the score can be calculated based on simple percentages: the percentage of promoters - the percentage of detractors.

Net Promoter Score Diagram

Sample Survey Data

By default, the survey results will display a gauge chart with the overall Net Promoter Score, including a breakdown of promoters, passives, and detractors. Below is a sample of how the results would be displayed.

NPS Score

You can also create a custom report tailored for the Net Promoter Score question. This report will lay out the Net Promoter details at the top of the page and the follow-up question below. The follow-up questions can include custom tags or categories. You can use these categories to segment your results further.

The tailor-made Net Promoter Score report also allows you to see trends and rankings, all with only a few clicks. Here is an example of Net Promoter Score report.

Segment Results for a Net Promoter Score Survey

One of the most powerful features of a Net Promoter Score survey is to segment the data into different groups. These groups could include store location, gender, or even product category. This type of analysis can identify problem areas. For example, you might notice stores in the "southern" region have a lower Net Promoter Score than stores in the northern "region." The follow-up questions show these southern stores lack a certain service or lack customer service. From here, a company can put the appropriate resources in the south to make improvements.

Below is an example of a Net Promoter Score survey that is segmented by gender. You can see that males tend to have a higher perception of the company than females do.

Count Percent
NPS Score
Female 19 2 4 -60
Male 3 3 16 59
Total Compared Responses 22 5 20 -4100%

History of the Net Promoter Score Question

The Net Promoter Score question was developed by Frederick F. Reichheld in 2001. Reichheld attended a forum that was discussing brand loyalty. The CEO of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Andy Taylor, unveiled that his company was using a simple two-question customer satisfaction survey. The survey was simple, yielded fast results, and helping Enterprise establish real-time benchmarks.

Reichheld wondered if the two-question survey could be simplified to one question. It took him two years of reach to find a correlation between a customer's willingness to recommend a company and the company’s growth. From here, Reichheld worked with Satmetrix and Bain & Company to develop the Net Promoter Score question we know today.