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As one of the most popular and universal customer satisfaction metrics, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) provides valuable insights into your customer experience, regardless of the size of your business. 

However, analyzing NPS works best within the context of your industry and taking into account the scores of your competitors. 

But what if their NPS is not publicly available? How do you improve your score to become an industry leader? Read on to find answers to those and other questions. 

Table of contents

Why you should analyze NPS industry benchmarks

Although using NPS as a KPI might be a valid move in certain cases, you might also benefit from seeing it more as a point of reference than a specific goal to achieve. There are many reasons for this, some of which we’ll explore in more detail in this article. 

With NPS, it’s less about the score value and more about what it means in the context of your business and the wider industry. There are many factors that go into each individual score, some of which are beyond your control. 

That’s why analyzing NPS benchmarks for the entire industry and even beyond can help you understand your score better and design a strategy to improve it. 

For instance, if you’ve been beating yourself up about what you think is a low score and pouring resources into improving it, analyzing the industry might make you discover that it’s not as bad as you thought and that your competitors actually fare worse than you. 

If you’re looking to introduce a new product or service or make any changes to the existing one, you might be able to find out if a similar move affected your competitors’ scores. 

We recently published our 2023 NPS Benchmarks Report based on responses from our own clients. The report shows the average NPS for each industry, as well as the best and worst scores. If your industry is included, we’d encourage you to read the full report to get more actionable insights. 

Average NPS scores by industry according to Survicate's NPS Benchmark Report

Comparing your NPS to industry benchmarks

Comparing your score to other companies can help you gain a more accurate picture of your position in the competitive landscape. It’s important to do this regularly and use the latest data as NPS, by nature, tends to fluctuate in response to a myriad of factors.  

You can compare your performance against:

Your industry

Regularly tracking your NPS against industry benchmarks allows you to assess the effectiveness of your customer experience strategies and initiatives. This ongoing analysis can help you make data-driven decisions to optimize your efforts.

Direct competitors

Understanding your competitors' NPS scores can give you insight into their unique strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to tailor your strategies to outperform them in key areas.

Companies within your size category 

Analyzing the NPS score of companies of a similar size within your industry can provide more accurate insights into how your performance fares in comparison to other organizations with a similar headcount and budget.

It can provide you with ideas on how to improve your strategy to stay competitive. 

NPS by industry cta banner

What you should do if the NPS benchmark for your industry is not known

If the NPS benchmark for your industry is not known or available, there are several strategies you can employ to assess and improve your NPS. 

Focus on continuous improvement

While comparing your NPS to an industry benchmark can provide valuable context, it's essential to remember that your primary goal should always be continuous improvement

In the absence of an industry-wide NPS, comparing your score against your historical performance is an effective way to gauge your progress over time. Identify trends in customer feedback and strive to improve upon the areas that may be negatively impacting your score. 

By maintaining a focus on improvement, you ensure that your business is always moving in the right direction, regardless of the lack of an industry benchmark.

Conduct a competitive analysis

By conducting a competitive analysis, you can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors' offerings and customer experiences.

This analysis will help you understand where you stand compared to your rivals and can provide insights into opportunities for improvement that are likely to have a direct impact on your NPS score. 

Additionally, market research can help you gather information about your competitors’ NPS practices, which can serve as a useful reference point.

Set internal goals and targets

Without an industry benchmark, setting internal goals and targets for your NPS is vital. These targets should be based on your historical NPS data, as well as your organization's strategic objectives. When setting these goals, consider both the short-term and long-term goals such as growth and revenue.

Establishing clear, measurable targets can help maintain motivation and focus, ensuring that you are consistently working towards improving your NPS.

Analyze verbatim comments

The qualitative feedback provided by customers through verbatim comments is an invaluable resource for understanding the reasons behind your or your competitors’ NPS score. 

Analyzing these comments can help identify trends and patterns in customer sentiment, shedding light on the aspects driving both positive and negative experiences. 

When analyzing your competitors, can use a wide range of publicly available sources, including social media postings, reviews, and comments on discussion boards. 

Test and iterate on customer experience initiatives

When you lack an industry benchmark for comparison, it’s essential to be data-driven in your approach to customer experience initiatives. Implement a process for testing and iterating on new strategies and tactics to ensure that they are having the desired impact on your NPS and refine them as necessary. 

Evaluate and adjust your NPS strategy regularly

If you have nothing to compare against, there may be a greater degree of uncertainty about the effectiveness of your efforts.

Continually reassess your approach, observe the trends, incorporate new insights, and be prepared to pivot when necessary.

By remaining agile and adaptable, you can continue to drive improvements in your NPS and enhance your competitive position within your industry regardless of the performance of other businesses.

You can also support your NPS strategy with the help of other metrics, such as the Customer Satisfaction Score:

Analyzing your historical NPS data 

Monitoring industry NPS benchmarks is important, but analyzing your own historical data is even more so. It will enable you to track your progress, identify trends, and make informed decisions to drive your business forward.

Identify trends and patterns

One of the biggest benefits of analyzing your historical NPS data is being able to identify trends and patterns in customer experience over time. 

This can help you understand the effectiveness of your strategies and the impact of your decisions on customer loyalty. For example, if you notice a consistent increase in your NPS after introducing a new product or service, this could be an indication that your customers are highly satisfied with the changes you've made.

You can also use NPS to measure the effectiveness of your customer service team

Identify areas for improvement

Closely related to discovering trends and patterns is the ability to pinpoint specific areas in which your business is underperforming.

This will help you find the root causes of customer dissatisfaction, which can, in turn, help you take targeted action to improve your overall NPS and customer satisfaction.

To discover the reasons behind your customers’ scores and identify any problems, add a follow-up question to your NPS survey, as in the template below:

Foster a customer-centric culture

Regularly analyzing your historical NPS data can help instill a customer-centric mindset within your organization.

By sharing NPS insights with your team and discussing the implications of the data, you’ll encourage a culture of continuous improvement and innovation that is centered around meeting and exceeding customer expectations. 

For instance, Apple, with an NPS of 72, way above the consumer electronics industry average of 54, has been able to consistently stay on top thanks to its absolute mastery of the customer-centric approach. 

Set goals and track progress

You can make plans for the future if you don’t know where you stand today. That’s why having access to data on how your NPS performance fluctuated over time is crucial to setting realistic goals and tracking your progress toward achieving these goals in the long term. 

When planning your NPS campaigns, you can focus on specific touchpoints along the customer journey, for instance, the checkout or the return process, to track customer experience. 

How to improve your NPS to become an industry leader

If you find out that you lag behind your competition after reviewing your industry benchmarks, don’t worry. There are proven practices to improve your score and get ahead of the pack. 

Understand the importance of NPS

Before implementing any changes, it is crucial to understand the importance of NPS and its significance in your industry. 

While NPS is a great indicator of your customer satisfaction, it cannot replace many other metrics. When trying to improve your score, take into account the limitations of this metric, and keep in mind that, at times, certain aspects of it will remain beyond your control. 

Follow up with your NPS Passives and Promoters

Promoters are the customers who respond with a score of 9 or 10. They’re highly satisfied with the product or service and are likely to recommend it to others. 

Passives respond with 7 or 8. Even though they’re satisfied with the product or service, they’re not as likely to recommend it as Promoters. 

Following up with both groups shows that you appreciate the time they took to complete the survey and that you take their feedback seriously. It can help you foster better relationships, identify any areas for improvement, find brand advocates, and even turn Passives into Promoters. 

Engage with your NPS Detractors 

An NPS Detractor is a customer who gives your company a score of 0-6 in an NPS survey. 

Even if you don’t have many Detractors, beware: a study found that they tend to be responsible for more than 80% of negative word of mouth. 

Following up with your unsatisfied customers and working to solve their problems is crucial. 

As Esteban Kolsky, CEO of ThinkJar and former Gartner analyst, found in his customer experience survey

“Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. The rest churn. A lesson here is that companies should not view the absence of feedback as a sign of satisfaction. The true enemy is indifference.”

Measure and track NPS regularly

Measuring your NPS regularly and analyzing the results is a foundation of satisfactory performance. It will help you identify areas of improvement early on before problems escalate and lead to negative reviews

Automate your NPS collecting and analysis by using a survey tool such as Survicate so you can focus on refining your strategies based on the results.

Regularly review and refine your strategy

Improving your score is an ongoing process that requires regular review and refinement.

Continuously analyze your performance by taking into account any changes you’ve made to your product or service and how they could have impacted the score. Consider the wider context of your industry, too. 

Become an NPS industry leader with Survicate

The path to NPS leadership starts with solid foundations: a reliable survey tool that can be automated and integrated seamlessly with your existing tool stack. 

With Survicate, you can effortlessly create, distribute, and evaluate your surveys within a single platform—eliminating the need for extra coding or additional research.

Launch contextual NPS surveys by email, on websites, in-product or in mobile apps today. Simply sign up and enjoy high response rates with Survicate’s ready-to-send templates