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NPS is a powerful metric that can revolutionize your business if used correctly. However, even though it’s pretty straightforward, many businesses make similar mistakes when collecting and analyzing their NPS results

From changing the wording to sending the survey at the wrong time, there are many things that can go wrong, especially if you’re just getting started with NPS. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how you can learn from others to avoid the 10 most common mistakes when measuring NPS

Table of contents

What is Net Promoter Score?

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a widely used metric to measure customer loyalty and gauge overall customer satisfaction with a brand

The NPS methodology is simple: ask your customers to rate, on a scale from 0 to 10, how likely they are to recommend your product or service to others. 

Based on their rating, customers are then classified into three categories: detractors (0-6), passives (7-8), and promoters (9-10)

The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters, with the resulting score ranging from -100 to 100. 

The most common NPS mistakes

While the NPS methodology is straightforward, there are several common mistakes you should be aware of. 

1. Asking the wrong question

The NPS methodology consists of asking customers a single question: “How likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?” It’s simple enough, and it doesn’t need any clarification. Don’t change the wording or the structure of the question to add more detail

Some companies, however, make the mistake of asking other questions that are not relevant to the NPS. For instance, they might ask customers to rate their overall satisfaction with the product or service or to provide feedback on a specific feature. While these questions can provide valuable insights, they do not directly relate to the NPS calculation and can skew the NPS score.

You can, of course, add a follow-up question to get the respondents to elaborate on their choice, but the first, closed-ended question should remain unchanged.

To ask a follow-up question, use Survicate’s skip logic function, which allows you to trigger an action if a certain condition has been met, for instance, if a user selects a particular score. Here’s a template you can use for free:  

Solution: Simply stick to the NPS question. Ensure you consistently ask customers the same question to avoid skewing or diluting your results.

2. Focusing solely on the score

The NPS score is an extremely helpful metric, but it should never be the only measure of customer satisfaction you track

Using other metrics, such as the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Customer Effort Score (CES), and Voice of Customer (VoC), will help you understand the drivers behind your NPS score. 

For instance, if the NPS score is low, you need to know what is causing dissatisfaction among customers. Similarly, if the NPS score is high, you need to know what drives loyalty.

If you’re looking to get more insights into what’s driving your customers’ satisfaction (or dissatisfaction), start with the CSAT survey:

Solution: Use the NPS score as a starting point and dig deeper to understand what is driving customer satisfaction. Collect additional data to identify areas for improvement, such as customer feedback, customer service metrics, and product usage data.

3. Failing to segment the data

The NPS score can provide a high-level view of customer loyalty, but it can be more useful if you segment the data. 

Segmenting the data by customer demographics, product usage, or other factors can help identify patterns and trends that are not evident in the overall score. For instance, you may find that your NPS score is high among customers who have been with you for more than a year but low among new customers.

Solution: Analyze your NPS data by customer segments to identify areas of strength and weakness. This will help you tailor your efforts to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Survicate helps you analyze your NPS data

4. Ignoring detractors

Detractors are customers who rate your product or service between 0-6. While it is easy to focus on the promoters (9-10), detractors are just as important to the NPS calculation. They’re often at risk of churning and provide valuable feedback on areas that need improvement.

Solution: Engage with detractors to understand why they are dissatisfied and address their concerns. Close the feedback loop and let the respondents know you’ve acknowledged their opinions and can offer solutions. This will help improve their satisfaction levels and increase the likelihood of them becoming promoters in the future. 

For instance, if you offer a product, you could send your detractors this survey to find out more about what they feel about a certain aspect of it:

5. Not following up with promoters

Promoters are customers who rate your product or service between 9-10. These customers are loyal and more likely to recommend it to others. Following up with them to let them know you've received their feedback is the very least you should do.

Solution: After you’ve collected your results, make sure you reach out to your Promoters to thank them for taking the time to fill in the survey.

6. Not measuring NPS consistently

Consistency is critical when it comes to tracking progress over time and identifying trends. If you measure NPS only sporadically, it will make it challenging to track progress and take corrective action before issues escalate into negative reviews

Solution: Make measuring NPS a habit. Determine the frequency that makes sense for your business, whether that be monthly, quarterly, or annually. Consistent measurement will allow you to track progress, identify trends, and take action to improve customer satisfaction. You can measure NPS alongside other customer satisfaction metrics, such as the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Customer Churn, Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), and Customer Effort Score (CES).

If you’re already experiencing churn, the very least you can do is ask your customers why they’re leaving. You can do so by sending them a customer churn survey using the template below:

7. Not making changes based on NPS feedback

One of the most significant benefits of NPS is the feedback it provides on areas of improvement. However, don’t make the mistake of not acting on the feedback you receive. Collecting feedback without making changes based on it is a wasted opportunity to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Solution: Act on the feedback you receive. Identify the key drivers behind the NPS score and take action to address any issues. This will demonstrate to customers that you are listening to their feedback and you’re committed to improving their experience with your brand.

8. Relying too heavily on benchmarks

Benchmarking is a common practice in NPS measurement. It consists of comparing your NPS score to industry benchmarks or competitor scores. While benchmarking can provide valuable insights, relying too heavily on the figures can be detrimental. NPS benchmarks are often based on aggregated data, which may not be representative of your specific customer base.

Solution: Use benchmarks as a reference point but, first of all, focus on improving your NPS score. Instead of comparing yourself to industry benchmarks, set internal goals and benchmarks based on your own data. This will allow you to track progress and take corrective action based on your specific customer base.

9. Failing to communicate NPS results internally

Good NPS results are often communicated externally, such as in marketing materials or investor presentations. However, businesses often make the mistake of not communicating NPS results internally to their employees. Internal communication is essential in ensuring that everyone in your organization is aligned on the importance of customer satisfaction and understands the role they play in achieving it.

Solution: Communicate your NPS results internally. Share NPS results with employees and explain what they mean. Encourage employees to take ownership of improving customer satisfaction and provide them with the resources and training they need to do so.

10. Asking at the wrong time

Another common mistake businesses make when measuring NPS is asking the question at the wrong time. Sending the question too late or too early can result in inaccurate feedback and affect the overall NPS score.

Asking the NPS question too early can lead to biased responses if customers have not had enough time to fully experience the product or service. Conversely, asking the NPS question too late may lead to biased responses as customers may have forgotten their initial experience with the product or service.

Solution: The best time to ask the NPS question is immediately after the customer has interacted with your product or service while their experience is still fresh in their mind. This will provide the most accurate and unbiased feedback, allowing you to identify areas for improvement and take corrective action.

Measure your NPS with Survicate 

Sending your NPS regularly, using the survey in conjunction with other metrics, acting on feedback, and communicating the results internally are some of the things you can do to ensure that you get the most out of your NPS survey. 

Using our tool, you can easily design, distribute and analyze your NPS and all other surveys in one place, with no additional coding or an extra team of researchers.

Sign up for a free account and enjoy a wealth of benefits, including native integrations with third-party tools and different channels (email, link, website, in-product, and mobile surveys).