Net Promoter Score

Customer Satisfaction Tool – the Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a tool that was developed in 2003 to categorise customers into three groups: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors.

This is done by asking one question: “How likely are you to recommend X company to a friend or associate?” on a scale of 0 to 10. Nine or 10 equals a Promoter, 7 or 8 is a passive, the rest are detractors.

Critics argue that “likelihood to recommend” isn’t really different to “overall satisfaction” and other questions. Compressing an 11 point scale into three broad groups means the results are highly variable and a lot of information is lost.  It is also not able to be used across all industries, particularly if there is a stigma attached to it (e.g. cigarettes).

Part of General Electric’s mission, for example, is to “passionately drive customer success” so customer satisfaction is very important.

GE uses the Net Promoter Score as a simple method of evaluating this. It is easy for everybody to understand and less complicated to implement than very analytical customer satisfaction data.

GE uses the Net Promoter Score as part of an operational model in which follow up research will identify areas for change e.g. if detractors say service is slow, call centres are expanded.

In some ways, the Facebook Like button is a simplistic version. The extreme poles of satisfaction or dissatisfaction can be understood from the number of Likes and Dislikes.

Small businesses can use satisfaction surveys, such as SurveyMonkey, to find out how likely your customers are to recommend you. For those who are unlikely, additional questions which attempt to isolate any problem areas should be included.

How do you measure your customer satisfaction?