NPS Net Promoter Score


The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an easy UX method to measure customer loyalty

It was developed in 2003 by management consultant Fred Reichheld of Bain & Company and Satmetrix.  Based on the assumption that if you like using a product or service, you like to share the experience with others. If there is no specific demand for it, experts recommend to use SUS instead. 

THe NPS question: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company, product or service to a friend or colleague?”

This is usually asked in a survey box on the home page of a site or app. People check a number on an 11-point rating scale from 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely).


NPS today is usually part of a larger customer experience SaaS

Companies can track the results of the NPS questionnaire and other user behaviour tools through a dashboard.

“Drive loyalty at every point along the customer journey. Capture and analyze signals, predict behavior and create experiences that keep customers wanting more.”

Medallia, one of the leading companies offering NPS solutions

How-to Guide

Companies ask the question to app or site visitors through a question module, usually placed on the homepage for a time period.

Example from Surveymonkey

Alternative: Add more questions on the reason why

Some UX designers add more questions to get to the reasons behind the ratings. This is often done through a customer experience services.

Alternative: Combine with SUS

Some UX designers take it into usertesting, together with the SUS questions. Hardly more effort but a much more sound result.

Results are added up in 3 groups: people who checked 0-6, 7 or 8, and 9 or 10. They're called "Destractors", "Passives" and "Promoters".

Example from Netigate

You add your feedback to the 3 groups.


30% Detractors


12% Passives


58% Promoters

You forget the middle group. For NPS, they don't count.


30% Detractors


12% Passives


58% Promoters

Take "the good" and subtract "the bad". On the result, remove the "%" (the NPS score is used as a number)


58% Promoters


– 30% Detractors


= 28 is the NPS

Compare to others in your industry. There is no general NPS high score. Each has its own.

Example from Userpilot

Better: Also show the raw data as a bar chart

Example why NPS alone doesn’t really work: You: 0 Detractors, 75 Passives and 25 Promoters =  NPS of 25. Not bad. Your competitor: 40 Detractors, 0 Passives and 65 Promoters = NPS of 25. When you calculate the NPS, some information gets lost, because it makes a big difference whether 65 of your test subjects find your product super or only 25.

Example from Testingtime that shows how the NPS values are calculated and whether the product polarises

Better: Use one of the larger scale CRM services

They add all kinds of options built around the initial questions. More questions, sorting of answers based on importance of action items etc. See Customer experience tools

Priority Matrics by QuestionPro

Now what? The discussion on the "why" of the NSP score can be used as momentum into a "reason why" usertest to generate S.M.A.R.T.goals, signals and metrics

Its about test repetition and re-evaluation, and doing something usefull with NPS: creating S.M.A.R.T. goals that are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, time-related

If not already combined with SUS or other “why” questionnairs, a good idea now is to either do SUS or  continue directly with HEART to create those goals

Combination with SUS should always be tried, to give the test more substance and value

Many UX designers combine NPS with SUS into one questionnaire. It’s hardly more effort and generates much better results.

Combination of NPS with SUS, chart by Measuring U

Alternatives (besides the fallback SUS), if it has to be a single question questionnaire

Customer Effort Score (CES)

“The organisation made it easy for me to handle my issue”

5 scores: Strongly disagree/ Disagree/ Somewhat disagree/ Neutral/ Somewhat agree/ Agree/ Strongly agree. The reason behind this variation: “Service organisations create loyal customers primarily by reducing customer effort – i.e. helping them solve their problems quickly and easily – not by delighting them in service interactions.”

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

How would you rate your experience with your … (e.g. recent support requirement)?

Very unsatisfied / unsatisfied / Neutral / Satisfied / Very satisfied. Focusses on specific interaction (support event or product) and not on wider relationship with the company

Good comparison of CSAT, CES and NPS by CheckMarket


NPS is famous for its simplicity but has several severe problems when used in UX projects

Because of its addictive nature where it becomes more important to tweak the number than to improve UX, most reputable consultants recommend to use NPS only as starting point into more sensible UX work. The main reasons are:

Not all want advice

NPS is only useful for products with lots of competition, when potential buyers tend to ask friends or acquaintances for advice before a purchase.

Not measuring non-customers

It only takes into account customers, while also a lot of non-customers can act as detractors and generate bad word-of-mouth publicity

A prediction is not reality

It’s not about an experience but a predicting the future. Customers can claim they will recommend a product or service, but will they?

realistic positive feedback is ignored

A significant amount of people will choose 7 or 8, which is a pretty positive feedback and more realistic than 9 0r 10, yet it it will be completely ignored.

Not all users count alike

The recommendation of one customer is not always as valuable as that of another one.

Same result with vastly different users

It makes no difference if there are 70% Promoters and 30% Detractors or 40% Promoters and 0% Detractors. Both have an NPS of +40

Do you agree? Have you used this method? Did it work? 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More infos