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Net Promoter Score Survey Question Definition + Template

Definition: A Net Promoter Score (NPS) question asks survey respondents to rate the likelihood that 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 to the Net Promoter Score 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


View an example Net Promoter report

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. When doing a two-question Net Promoter survey, let the open-ended follow-up question serve as driving factors 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 questions 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.

Below is an example of an email that you can send after a customer makes a purchase. When users clicked a number, the Net Promoter Score is automatically logged, and the respondent can fill in the reason for their score.

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

Net Promoter Score Follow-Up Questions

Follow-up questions are crucial to help understand what makes customers happy while also identifying how to improve your score. There can be numerous follow-up questions after the Net Promoter score question, some of which help collect additional information that help the company grow. Here is a list of sample follow-up questions:

  • 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.

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.