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What is a Net Promoter Score (NPS) and how do you measure it?


The modern customer journey exists across multiple channels and countless touchpoints. To get a truly cohesive view of your customer experience, you need to be tracking your Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Net promoter score is more than just a customer service metric. It offers the combined power of quantitative and qualitative feedback, giving teams the chance to make substantial improvements to their customer care strategy.

In this article, we explain the basics of NPS measurement. Plus, we also walk you through how you can collect NPS data using Sprout.

A text-based image that says, “What is Net Promoter Score? Net Promoter Score measures customer loyalty by gauging whether or not a customer would refer your business to a friend or colleague. It’s calculated by asking customers to rate the likelihood of their referral on a scale of zero to ten.

Net Promoter Score measures customer loyalty by gauging whether or not a customer would refer your business to a friend or colleague. It’s calculated by asking customers to rate the likelihood of their referral on a scale of zero to ten. Anyone who provides a score of zero to six is a “Detractor”, while scores of seven to eight are “Passives” and scores of nine and ten are “Promoters”.

Although NPS is a type of customer satisfaction benchmark, it’s different from a customer effort score or customer satisfaction score. It measures the overall sentiment that a customer feels towards your brand, rather than focusing on a specific purchase.

Why your Net Promoter Score matters

Your Net Promoter Score is a key customer service metric. It’s a straightforward assessment that can serve as a powerful roadmap toward new and improved customer experiences—for fans and critics alike.

Understanding and tracking your NPS opens your business up to major opportunities, including:

Spotting customers at risk of churn

Your Net Promoter Score data will show your brand’s biggest promoters—and its harshest critics.

While their feedback may be hard to swallow, it’s absolutely crucial. When you proactively identify your detractors, you also create an opportunity to win them back. Once you’ve fine-tuned your NPS survey process, you can then establish a structured approach to following up with detractors. This outreach can transform negative experiences into positive ones, salvaging customer relationships along the way.

Eventually, your NPS data will be able to do more than just save one-off customers. With enough data, AI analytics tools can predict churn patterns and provide recommendations for intervention, contributing to a stronger overall customer experience.

Activating your biggest fans

Customer expectations are higher than ever. Imagine the level of satisfaction required for someone to rate a business a nine or ten out of ten in a feedback survey. Being able to accurately identify those superfans is more than just helpful—it can drive meaningful impact for your business.

Regularly measuring your Net Promoter Score gives your most enthusiastic supporters a chance to identify themselves. This information can be used to create tailored engagement programs that generate excitement and most importantly, word-of-mouth recommendations.

Once you start consistently engaging your promoters, you turn them into brand ambassadors. These advocates are invaluable, especially now that brand authenticity is at the top of everyone’s minds.

A text-based image that ranks what consumers say they don’t see enough of from brands on social media. The top response is, “authentic, non-promotional content”.

Supporting marketing efforts

Your NPS data offers valuable information about the aspects of your products, services or brand that resonate most with customers. These are more than just wins for your team—they’re valuable differentiators that can be used to support marketing efforts.

For example, say you work with a retail brand that collects NPS survey data. After analyzing trends in NPS feedback, you realize that customers love your brick-and-mortar experience—especially the help they receive from your thoughtful and experienced staff.

These insights provide the perfect foundation for a social media campaign promoting the level of service customers can expect when they shop with your brand. You might even center the campaign creative around real staff members and store locations to build a sense of community and familiarity.

Securing a competitive advantage

Tracking your NPS allows you to benchmark your performance against competitors in your industry, providing valuable insights into customer perception relative to your peers. By comparing your NPS with industry averages or competitor scores, you gain a clearer understanding of where you stand and how you stack up against others in the market.

Benchmarking against competitors also allows teams to set more realistic goals for their overall customer experience strategy. When you aim to outdo your competitors, you set your business up for great market share within your industry.

Improving customer experience

Feedback is the gift that keeps on giving. With Net Promoter Score (NPS) feedback, you can enhance your overall customer experience, resulting in more satisfied customers.

Your NPS survey data is a treasure trove of valuable customer feedback that can be segmented and analyzed to uncover pathways for improvement. This data makes it easier to align business priorities with customer needs and preferences, powering more strategic decision-making throughout your organization.

There isn’t a single department that wouldn’t stand to benefit from Net Promoter Score data. When every team is rallied around the customer, the whole business wins.

Calculating your Net Promoter Score starts with distributing NPS surveys at key points throughout your customer journey. This critical feedback will provide valuable insights into customer satisfaction and loyalty. For a thorough assessment of your customer retention practices, you’ll want to distribute NPS surveys:

  • Shortly after customers make a purchase
  • At the conclusion of support interactions
  • At regular intervals (quarterly, bi-annually, etc.)

It seems like a lot, but don’t worry—there are plenty of customer service software tools that can automate survey distribution. The right solution should allow you to send out a large number of surveys at the right time to the right people in just a few clicks.

Once you begin collecting responses, you can calculate your score. To calculate Net Promoter Score, ignore Passive respondents then subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. As a reminder:

  • Detractors are customers who gave a score from 0 to 6
  • Passives are customers who gave a score of 7 or 8
  • Promoters are customers who gave a score of 9 or 10

Your NPS can range from -100 to 100, with a positive score indicating that you have more promoters than detractors.

You can send out NPS surveys at the conclusion of any social customer care interaction on Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly known as Twitter) with the Sprout Social Advanced plan. To do so, navigate to Settings by clicking on your initials in the lower left corner of the app. From there you’ll click Customer Feedback under Inbox and Review settings.

The Customer Feedback configuration settings in Sprout Social. Users can choose to automate the collection of Net Promoter Score data using Sprout’s Customer Feedback tools.

You can use the profile picker to configure customer survey distribution for each of your social profiles. Be sure to select “Net Promoter Score™ (0-10)” as the Feedback Type for setup across all networks. This will ensure that users are prompted with the right Feedback Questions to accurately measure NPS.

You can report on your NPS using the Customer Feedback Report, which aggregates all customer satisfaction ratings collected via X, Instagram and Facebook Feedback survey responses. The report offers an overview of feedback results, along with performance data by team member and feedback responses.

Generally speaking, any score above zero is considered a good Net Promoter Score. However, a great customer experience strategy aims to exceed customer expectations at every touch point. To remain competitive, your true goal should be continuous improvement.

Analyze qualitative customer feedback, historical NPS score data and industry benchmarks to determine your goal Net Promoter Score. Set your sights on something realistic and achievable, and you’ll be on your way to creating a more competitive customer experience.

Are you getting the full picture when it comes to your Net Promoter Score?

People of all ages and demographics turn to social media to share praise, air grievances and everything in between. When you disregard Net Promoter Score data from social, you compromise the accuracy of your customer experience insights.

Sprout Social will help you get a more complete picture of your customer care story. Sign up for a free trial, and find out how you can drive more meaningful connections from social today.

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