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GuidesSurveysWhat is a good NPS score, and how can it be improved?

What is a good NPS score, and how can it be improved?

Last updated

2 April 2023

Reviewed by

Tanya Williams

On a scale from -100 to 100, how loyal are your customers to your brand? 

As it turns out, you can find out the exact answer to this question by calculating your company’s net promoter score (NPS). Knowing this value can be a massive help as your company continues to grow.

NPS acts as a clear and measurable metric that indicates how your customers feel about your brand. Companies with high NPS scores benefit from higher customer loyalty and satisfaction. It is also a great benchmarking tool that provides insights into how your customers interact and experience your brand. Thus, keeping your NPS score as high as possible is essential for long-term brand success.

Now used by companies worldwide, the NPS system was first created in 1993 by business analyst and author Fred Reicheld. Adopted into practice by Bain & Company in 2003, NPS scores are now a standard benchmark measurement of customer loyalty across almost every global industry.

So, what is a good NPS score, and what can your company do to boost your number and better serve your customers? 

In this article, you will find everything you need to know about improving your NPS score. We'll cover various topics, such as exploring the NPS equation, the different methods of evaluating your score, and our top tips for improving your NPS score over time. So, read on to gain a comprehensive understanding of how you can enhance your NPS score.

NPS calculator

Your Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.

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NPS score


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NPS score

What is an NPS score?

A net promoter score is a specific metric used to calculate the level of loyalty your customers have to your brand. As an essential component of customer experience programs, the NPS score system is often viewed as the gold standard in customer satisfaction research.

To calculate your company’s NPS score, you simply have to collect data from your customers by asking them to answer a simple question, measured on a 10-point scale:

“How likely are you to recommend [insert company name here] to a friend or coworker, on a scale from 1–10?”

This question aims to collect valuable information about your customer’s experience and opinion of your brand, determining if they are promoters, passives, or detractors of your products and services.

  • Promoters — Customers who love your brand (and are likely to recommend it to others) are classified as promoters. This group of people respond to this question with a nine or 10 and are strong advocates for your products or services.

  • Passives — Respondents who answer this question with a seven or eight are considered to have a passive opinion of your brand. Usually, these people are happy with your offerings but may not be satisfied enough to fully support and promote your brand.

  • Detractors — Customers with a less-than-preferable experience with your brand are likely to answer this question with a six or less. People who respond in this number range will likely discontinue supporting your brand and may even encourage others to avoid your products or services based on their experience.

How an NPS score measures your customer loyalty

NPS is measured on a scale from -100 to 100, with higher numbers indicating increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Your NPS score is determined by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters; the result is your final score. For instance, if 70% of responses are promoters and 20% are detractors, your NPS score is 50. The percentage of passive responses you get is not used as part of the equation (e.g., 10%), but it does impact your overall score by preventing inflation of your promoter percentage.

For reference, the NPS score calculation is as follows:

NPS score = % promoters – % detractors

In most cases, UX researchers view an NPS score of zero as a neutral score. This means that companies who achieve this result do the bare minimum to ensure that their customers have a somewhat enjoyable experience when interacting with their brand. Ideally, all businesses should strive for high NPS scores by adjusting their offerings to better match the needs and wants of their target audience.

Understanding what your NPS score really means

If you are new to calculating your net promoter score, here is a helpful breakdown of NPS score values and their meanings. This will help you get a better understanding of where your brand currently stands.

  • NPS score of -100 to 0 — Having a net promoter score below zero is considered poor. If your company’s NPS score is less than zero, it indicates that most people who visit your website or interact with your brand have a negative experience, and most respondents to your NPS survey fall into the detractor category. A score in this range needs to be improved to develop a stronger sense of customer loyalty and satisfaction.

  • NPS score of 1 to 30 — NPS scores in this range are deemed acceptable, indicating that brands in this range have a low (but still present) level of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Companies in this range of NPS scores can significantly improve their customer experience to serve their target audience better.

  • NPS score of 31 to 50 — This is the most common range of NPS scores seen across all business industries. Companies in this range have made clear efforts to provide a pleasant customer experience and often have a group of loyal customers who refer and promote their brand. They have a relatively high percentage of customers who support and enjoy their brand, but things can still be done to improve their NPS score further.

  • NPS score of 50 to 70 — Brands in this range of NPS scores commit to customer and UX research benefits to enhance their products and services. Some of the most respected and loved brands, like Netflix, PayPal, and Apple, fall within this range, showing the caliber of businesses that hit this benchmark. Companies with an NPS score at this level understand the value of customer research and utilize their insights to better serve their customers. 

  • NPS score of 71 to 100 — Often seemingly unattainable, companies with NPS scores in this range are the best of the best. As leaders in their industry, they have created bespoke customer experiences that are (essentially) universally loved and enjoyed by their target audience. Companies with an NPS score in this range have very few customers who fall into the detractor category, allowing for a much higher-than-average NPS score.

However, just knowing your NPS score does not necessarily mean that you understand how your company is performing. In most cases, UX researchers refer to two different methods for determining the value of your NPS score — the absolute method and the relative method.

NPS calculator

Your Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.

0

NPS score


Detractors
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
Passives
7
8
Promoters
9
10
0

NPS score

What is a ‘good’ NPS score—the absolute method

Based strictly on the above scale, the absolute method of determining the value of your NPS score does not factor industry or niche into the measurement. Instead, it is a rudimentary way to get a quick and broad view of your company's performance based on all other companies worldwide.

Basically, if your company has an NPS score of 31 or higher, your company has a good NPS score based on the absolute method.

And while using the absolute method does provide helpful insights into your company’s level of customer loyalty, it is important to note that various factors can make your absolute NPS score less accurate. These include:

  • The format of your NPS survey — How you layout (and send) your NPS survey to collect customer data directly impacts your response rate. Taking the time to properly design and test your NPS survey is essential for collecting the most accurate information about your customer’s experience.

  • Customer tolerance differences — Different industries have different levels of customer patience and tolerance. Because of this, some industries (like financial institutes for healthcare providers) may receive harsher responses to their questionnaires, despite offering great products and services.

  • Sample size response rate — How many customer responses are you using to complete your NPS score calculation? For small companies or those new to customer research, small numbers of customer responses will greatly skew your absolute NPS score. Ideally, large numbers of responses should be used to improve your score’s accuracy.

What is a ‘good’ NPS score—the relative method

Created to combat some of the shortcomings of the absolute method of evaluating NPS scores, the relative method is based on your company's specific niche or industry.

While this method still uses the same numbering system, the goal of the relative NPS score method is to create a range or average of values specific to different business areas. 

As discussed above, some industries have low customer tolerance levels despite great offerings. To get a more accurate and nuanced understanding of how you compare to your closest competitors, the relative NPS score method offers information specific to your industry.

According to Retently, here are a few examples of good 2022 NPS scores using the relative method based on some of the most common industries and niches:

Business to business (B2B) NPS score 2022 benchmarks

  • Digital marketing agencies — Average NPS score of 60

  • Consulting services — Average NPS score of 68

  • SaaS and software — Average NPS score of 40

  • Construction — Average NPS score of 45

  • Cloud and hosting services — Average NPS score of 25

Business to consumer (B2C) NPS score 2022 benchmarks

  • Insurance — Average NPS score of 71

  • Communications and media — Average NPS score of 29

  • E-commerce — Average NPS score of 62

  • Retail — Average NPS score of 61

  • Healthcare — Average NPS score of 38

So, as we can see, the average NPS score for different industries can differ significantly. But what happens if you want to go above and beyond to better serve your customers and improve your overall NPS score?

Three ways to boost your NPS score

If your company is looking to improve its NPS score (and, in turn, create more loyal and satisfied customers), we recommend a few simple tips to try. These include the following:

Consider your timing

Like any other type of customer surveying, how and when you collect data from your customers is essential for getting the most accurate information about their experience. 

Ideally, when collecting information for your NPS, we recommend contacting your customers shortly after purchase—as their most recent shopping experience and impressions will be at the forefront of their minds. 

A second NPS survey can also be sent to your customers a few months after the initial purchase. This way, you’ll learn more about their experience using your product or service, allowing you to collect another round of helpful customer insights.

Always include appreciation

Appreciation goes a long way with customers (and is likely to help enhance their experience and, in turn, your NPS score). Whenever possible, personalizing your email introductions, adding friendly and well-designed visuals, and including thoughtful thank you messages after they complete NPS surveys are all great options for showing your appreciation. 

Additionally, encouraging your customers to provide additional feedback and offering high-quality customer service support are other ways to build appreciation into your brand communication and culture.

Improve your offerings by using customer research software

While the first two options offer relatively quick options for improving your NPS score in the short term, the most effective way to enhance your customer loyalty is to factor their opinions and values into your existing and new products and services.

Customer experience research is becoming increasingly important and popular across all industries. As more and more businesses strive to listen to the voice of their customers as a guide, integrating this philosophy into every level of your business is the best way to build long-term customer relationships and loyalty.

For companies new to custom research (or for those looking to fine-tune their current UX research programs), using customer insight software like Dovetail can be incredibly helpful. 

Designed to highlight and categorize the most prominent opinions and points of feedback shared by your target audience, Dovetail is a great way to encourage improved customer service, gain better insights into the experience and sentiment of your target audience, and increase your current NPS score over time.

With all of this in mind, we wish you the best on your mission to better serve your customers—and we hope your NPS continues to rise!

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