Illustration by Agnieszka Wawro

Finding your Net Promoter Score is easy. But it’s less easy to tell if it’s good or not. 

Especially that the correct answer is: it depends. “Good” is relative, and there are many factors that influence your NPS—not all of them under your control.

This is why the first step to evaluating your performance should be checking out the Net Promoter Score benchmarks for your industry. You might discover that while you’ve been beating yourself up for only getting a score of 30, the average in your sector is much lower.

Here at Survicate, we always want to help our audience get the most out of measuring their Net Promoter Scores. And so, we’re proud to present Survicate’s first NPS benchmark report. It showcases our customers’ average Net Promoter Scores across 12 industries, based on over 1000 surveys collected for two years. 

So if you’ve ever asked yourself: “What is a good Net Promoter Score, then?”—this report will help you answer this question. You’ll get to know how you stack up against other businesses in your industry. Maybe you lag behind, or maybe your customer loyalty levels make you stand out from the crowd?

We hope to help you see your NPS and internal benchmarks from a broader perspective. We also included some tips on how to take full advantage of these NPS insights.

If you want to gain more knowledge about the Net Promoter Score first, check out our guide to NPS!

What are Net Promoter Score benchmarks?

NPS (Net Promoter Score) benchmarks are the average Net Promoter Scores that serve as points of comparison. There are two basic types of NPS benchmarks: internal NPS benchmarks, which are an organization’s NPS data from different periods; and external NPS benchmarks which are the average scores of various companies in the same industry.

Survicate’s 2021 NPS Benchmarks Report

2021 NPS benchmarks by industry

Introduction

The NPS survey management system (that includes survey creation, distribution, and analysis all in one tool) is one of Survicate’s flag features used by multiple companies across different industries. It was high time to draw on our database and make a contribution to the NPS landscape.

We also wanted to create a set of benchmarks for our customers. They’ll now be able to compare their NPS to companies with similar survey scopes and methodology.

This report showcases the following data:

  • NPS benchmarks by industry
  • The “highs” and “lows” for each industry (25th percentile and 75th percentile)
  • Net Promoter Scores of industry leaders

Dataset

Here’s how we selected the data for the report to make sure it’s as comprehensive and objective as possible.

  • The data comes from 530 companies that ran a total of 1053 surveys.
  • We only included surveys that gathered over 100 responses to minimize the margin of error.
  • We didn’t take company size into account in this iteration of the report. The data includes small, medium, and large companies. However, most companies fit into the SMB (Small and Medium Businesses) category.
  • We included surveys run between January 2019 and July 2021. We plan to update the report periodically with new results.

Industries

The industries we took into account coincide with how we segment our client base. Here’s a list of all sectors that appear in the report, along with short descriptions.

  • Constructions & Engineering
    This category refers mainly to companies constructing buildings or other structures, like roads or bridges. Our report also includes businesses that support the industry, such as platforms connecting construction workers with companies or construction project management services.
  • Ecommerce
    B2B and B2C companies that enable commercial transactions via digital channels—for example, online grocery shops, professional equipment rental services, and furniture stores.
  • Education
    Educational institutions, researchers, and commercial companies operating in the educational sector—for example, a peer-to-peer learning community, a homeschooling community, or an educational platform for professional developers.
  • Entertainment
    The companies included in this category focus on leisure and entertainment activities—for example, modern gaming platforms, creative event agencies, and animation studios.
  • Finance
    Companies that offer financial and finance-related services, such as alternative investment, mortgage refinancing, or digital pension solutions.
  • Food
    This category includes two types of food-related businesses: food manufacturers and online food ordering platforms.
  • Healthcare
    Companies that provide medical services or manufacture medical equipment and platforms connecting patients with local healthcare units.
  • IT
    Companies that offer computer-related services. Our database includes cloud-based platforms that provide AI-powered technology, automated security tests, or data storage.
  • Marketing
    B2B companies that help with digital marketing strategies, marketing data analysis, or influencer marketing projects.
  • Professional Services
    Companies and professionals that provide various services in highly specialized sectors—for example, nutrition coaching app, a platform and community for law practitioners, or aerial photography services.
  • Retail
    Companies that sell goods from manufacturers or wholesalers to individual consumers, for example, mattresses & bedding, LEGO sets, or home appliances.
  • Software
    Companies that build computer software, for example, appointment scheduling platform, session recording tool, accounting software, and many others.

NPS Benchmarks by Industry

Average NPS by industry

Here are the detailed results of our 2021 NPS benchmark study. On the chart above, you can see the average NPS for each industry, as well as their highs (25th percentile) and lows (75th percentile).

The leader of the group is the Retail industry, with an average NPS of 48. Its runner-up, Education, has a score of 45.

The least favorably scoring industry is undeniably Construction & Engineering, with an average score of -1. We can observe a big gap between this industry and the second-lowest one, Entertainment, which scored 21.

There are no significant disparities between the rest of the scores, which vary between 23 and 40. 

Here are some other highlights of the NPS benchmark report results:

  • We noted an exceptionally low Construction & Engineering score compared to other NPS benchmark reports. We will continue investigating this issue to see if the trend continues. 
  • There are no significant differences between B2B and B2C industries. The same goes for online versus offline businesses.
  • No benchmark reached the holy grail of NPS, 70 points.

Net Promoter Scores of the Industry Leaders

NPS of industry leaders 2021

The chart above shows the Net Promoter Scores of the industry leaders.

Use it to compare your NPS (and the adequate industry benchmark) to the biggest players in your sector. We’ve also added Survicate to the mix—we’re proud that our NPS is relatively high in our niche!

As you can see, the results are varied, even within the same sectors—and not all market leaders enjoy high scores. Just take a look at the gaps between Starbucks and KFC or Disney and Netflix! However, it’s hardly surprising given how different their business models and clienteles are.

What Is a Good Net Promoter Score, Then?

what is a good nps?

There’s no definitive answer to this question.

Generally speaking, any NPS above 0 is positive since it indicates you have more fans than haters. 

If you have a score of 30 and up, you’re good to go. The number of happy customers exceeds the number of unhappy customers. However, there’s still room for improvement! 

If you exceed the score of 70, it means you’re among the best. Your customers love you, and you’re generating a lot of positive word-of-mouth. Your customer experience program is superb, and it’s your market differentiator. 

It’s also worth it to take a look at the Net Promoter Score benchmarks by industry. As long as you’re in the “average to high” zone for your industry, your NPS score is favorable. An exceptionally high score means your customer satisfaction might be what puts you ahead of your competition.

If you have a high Net Promoter Score—either in general or for your industry—make sure to take full advantage of it. Here are some ideas:

  • Ask satisfied clients for testimonials and use them in your marketing activities.
  • Interview your top customers and publish their success stories.
  • Run a referral or affiliate program.
  • Turn your high NPS into a USP (Unique Selling Proposition).

We advise not to settle on any score below 0, even if your industry average is lower than that. After all, you don’t want the majority of your customers to be unsatisfied with your services.

But the best way to determine if your score is good is to benchmark it against your previous scores.

After running your first NPS survey, note down your score—and try to work on customer satisfaction before the next survey rolls out. Then, take your new score and stack it against the previous ones. If you notice improvement, you’re on the right track.

How to Benchmark Your Net Promoter Score to Keep Improving Customer Satisfaction?

Now that you know the NPS industry benchmarks, it’s time to make use of them. Here’s a short guide on how to benchmark your NPS for maximum results.

Remember about the factors that affect NPS

Before benchmarking your NPS, don’t forget about all the factors influencing the Net Promoter Score.

  • Niche competition influences Net Promoter Scores. NPS tends to be lower in niches with fierce competition where the customers have less tolerance for mistakes. If switching between brands is challenging in a given industry—because of scarce competition or high-stakes purchases that cannot be easily reverted—the customers tend to rate their current choices higher. This might be why Amazon, for example, enjoys a high NPS of 55, despite the multiple flaws—it doesn’t have competitors that offer all the same services.
  • Factors outside of business also affect NPS. The average Net Promoter Score dropped during the pandemic. Unfavorable political, economic, or environmental conditions might all affect the general satisfaction of your customer base.
  • NPS varies by country and region. In some cultures, people are more reluctant to give companies top scores than in others. However, be mindful not to overestimate this factor. If you’re scoring particularly poorly in Japan, it means your customer experience in the region needs fixing because it doesn’t resonate with the local audience—and not just that Japanese people are stingy with their 10s.

As you can see, you should treat the industry benchmarks as points of reference rather than goals to achieve.

Run an NPS survey (with a customer experience tool)

Now that you know what the NPS landscape looks like for your industry, it’s time to run your own NPS survey.

Remember about NPS survey best practices. In short:

  • Make your surveys are concise and logical.
  • Reply and react to customer feedback.
  • Distribute surveys via your audience’s preferred channels.
  • Ask open-ended questions so that your audience can explain their scores and provide you with opinions and suggestions.
  • Re-run your surveys regularly.

It’s best to run your customer surveys with survey or customer experience software, like Survicate.

Survey software allows you to execute any customer experience campaign. You’ll run effective surveys and analyze results in one place. You’ll be able to turn NPS benchmarking and monitoring into a sustainable process that doesn’t require a team of researchers.

With Survicate, you’ll create your Net Promoter Score survey and distribute it via website, web app, mobile app, or NPS email (with no extra coding required).

Then, you’ll monitor your results with the analytics dashboard—you won’t have to prepare separate reports or calculate your Net Promoter Score by hand.

And with a variety of available integrations, like Hubspot or Intercom, you can put your survey data in context and get deeper information on your client base.

If you haven’t used Survicate yet, try it for free. If you register now, you can have the NPS survey up and running in just a couple of minutes.

Compare your Net Promoter Score to industry benchmarks

Now that you have your NPS pinned down, it’s time to compare yourself to Net Promoter Score averages.

As you can see in the report above, NPS varies significantly between industries. Compare yourself to the correct dataset to get the right idea of where you stand. It also helps to check the score of the industry leaders to see how you compare to them. 

For example, having a score of 30 would barely put you in the “okay” zone according to the general NPS standards. But if you’re in the finance industry, 30 is not far from Survicate’s benchmark of 38. And it’s much better than the big players like American Express, Visa, and JP Morgan, with respective scores of 29, 8, and 8.

Set up your own NPS benchmarks

Ultimately, your NPS is “good” only when it’s better than your previous one.

After running your first NPS survey, do your best to improve your customer experience program, sort out the issues pointed out by your respondents, and make changes according to customer feedback. Then, re-run your survey and see if the NPS score rises.

If you notice significant NPS score improvements (over 5%), you’re on the right track. Continue delighting your customers, minimizing their effort, and re-checking if your score keeps rising. This way, you’ll likely grow your business, increase retention rate, and boost revenue.

If your score is continuously dropping, it’s time for you to act. Run follow-up surveys to figure out which parts of your business perform the worst and try to fix them.

Use NPS data to keep improving

The key to drawing an action plan from NPS survey results is smart data collection and analysis. Here’s what you should remember about to benchmark your NPS correctly and make the best use of your survey results:

  • The minimal number of respondents that will make your survey statistically reliable is 100. If your business is just starting, you can settle for fewer—but be aware your benchmark might not be entirely accurate.
  • Don’t focus on the score itself. Pay attention to the answers to open-ended questions and response breakdowns. After all, the primary goal of NPS is to hear your customers’ voices to discover how to improve for them.
  • Segment your data for more accurate, actionable insights. If you use Survicate, you can integrate with a CRM or data analysis tool of your choice to get a deeper understanding of your customer groups.
  • Measure your NPS score continuously and use your results to create internal benchmarks and KPIs. Don’t stop re-running surveys, even if you think there’s nothing left to improve. That’s never the case!
  • Regularly re-check NPS industry benchmarks to keep an eye on market trends and see how you stack against your competitors. Maybe you should be working double as hard on improving your customer satisfaction because you’re lagging behind? Or maybe there’s nothing you can do about your lowering scores because they’ve dropped for every industry due to global events? All additional insights will help you better plan your course of action.

Summary

We published our 2021 NPS benchmarks report to present the average scores of Survicate’s client base and contribute to the vast landscape of NPS benchmarks.

We believe it’s a good starting point to help our customers understand, analyze and benchmark their Net Promoter Score —all to manage customer expectations more effectively and drive growth through superb customer experience.

Remember to treat the NPS benchmarks as references, not milestones to achieve. Your primary objective should be to keep improving your Net Promoter Score.

But any NPS analysis needs to start with setting up a repeatable, effective surveying process. With Survicate, you’ll easily design, distribute and analyze your surveys all in one place—with no additional coding nor an extra team of researchers.

Grab our free NPS template and set up your free account now!

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