Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a well known customer loyalty metric which was developed and copyrighted by Fred Reichheld and Bain & Company. NPS uses a standard and well used question format to measure customer loyalty, but crucially, applied a scoring technique to categorise loyalty into three groups, and ultimately, provides a single comparative metric of recommendation.
For many years researchers have asked a loyalty question along the lines of "How likely are you to recommend x to a friend or colleague?" This is a perfectly acceptable brand recommendation measure. First, NPS adapted the question, along the lines of "On a scale of zero to 10, how likely are you to recommend brand x to a friend or colleague". The key difference is the 11 point scale running from 0 to 10. The second difference in the NPS approach is to analyse the responses, categorising the recommendation score into three levels: Promoters, Passives and Detractors. The scores are applied to each respondent as follows:
• Promoters (a score of 9 - 10)
• Passives (scores of 7 - 8)
• Detractors (scores of 0 - 6)
Calculating the Net Promoter Score
The overall NPS score is calculated by taking the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtracting the percentage who are Detractors.
Popularity and Criticism
The NPS gained wide usage among corporates, particularly in the USA, where the simplicity of the technique gained popularity in the boardroom. Here was a technique which was simple, low cost to administer and could be understood by non researchers. However, the Net Promoter Score also attracted criticism among market researchers and academics, who challenged the central assumption that a single question on brand recommendation is an accurate predictor of business growth. Others criticised the 11 point scale, and opined that insight was being lost by banding together a broad range of responses under the Passive group. Many researchers felt it was reductionist to limit brand loyalty and customer satisfaction enquiry to one metric.
Focused Customer Recommendation Measurement
The simplicity of NPS is both appealing and at the same time, a potential concern. That said, using a similar metric to take a health check of customer service functions or the overall perception of a brand is a quick, convenient and low cost way of taking the pulse of an organisations performance. Its potentially misleading to rely on a single measurement or take a definitive view of organisational performance based on it, but it is a helpful contribution alongside other measures.
For that reason, many organisations use some form of simplified metric to capture and monitor recommendation.
The example below is taken from the Surveygoo Questionnaire Template called Customer Recommendation Survey. It features a 10 point scale for measuring recommendation and is followed by a open end question to ask why the rating was given by the respondent.
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