Edited excerpt from A Practitioner’s Guide to Net Promoter Score (NPS) by Sachin Rekhi:
How NPS is calculated. Ask your customers: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?”, with the possible answers ranging from 0 – 10. Group your customers into Promoters (9-10 score), Passives (7-8 score), and Detractors (0-6 score). Then subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters and you have your NPS score. The score ranges from -100 (all detractors) to +100 (all promoters). An NPS score that is greater than 0 is considered good and a score of +50 is excellent.
Additional NPS questions. It’s essential to also ask the open-ended question: “Why did you give our company a rating of [customer’s score]?” This turns the score from simply a past performance measure to an actionable metric to improve future performance.
Sample selection. Survey a random representative sample of your customers each NPS survey. We found strong correlation between engagement and customer tenure and NPS results, so ensure your sample reflects your user base.
Collection methods. The survey is normally sent via email to your customers or delivered through an in-product prompt. Use one of the NPS survey solutions that support collection and analysis across a variety of channels and interfaces, such as SurveyMonkey’s.
Survey frequency. At LinkedIn we found it best to administer our NPS survey quarterly, which aligned with our quarterly product planning cycle. This enabled us to have the most recent scores before going into quarterly planning and enabled us to react to any meaningful observations from the survey in our upcoming roadmap.
(1) Net promoter score, writes Sechin, was “devised by Fred Reichheld at Bain & Company in 2003 and introduced in a seminal HBR article The One Number You Need to Grow, which I highly recommend anyone serious about NPS to read in detail. Fred found NPS to be a strong alternative to long customer satisfaction surveys as it was such a simple single question to administer and NPS score was correlated with long-term company growth.”
(2) See How to use net promotor score surveys to improve your product, also from Sachin Rekhi.
(3) Compare Net Promoter Score to Sean Ellis’ “One Question That Matters”.