If you’ve come here, you might already know what a Net Promoter Score (NPS) is, but do you know if it’s enough? What is a good score for your business?
Understanding your NPS, creating strategies to improve it, and using it efficiently to grow your business, reduce cart abandonment and/or improving your customer’s experience starts by getting familiar with your score and what it means.
Benchmarking the NPS can be a complex process, but today we’ll break it down for you and so you can learn how to effectively measure your net promoter score and make it beneficial for your business.
Your net promoter score is based on asking one simple question:
How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?
Customers will then rate their answer on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being the ‘Least likely’ and 10 being ‘Most likely’. Based on what score the customer selects, you will group them into these 3 categories:
These are customers who gave a score from 9 to 10. They are likely to stay loyal to your business for a long time. These customers will probably go out of their way to speak highly of you within their network, they’ll promote your products and services, and will come back to you for more time and time again.
These customers gave a score from 7 to 8. They are satisfied with your business, but won’t go out of their way to refer you to their family and friends. They are likely to keep their options open to shop around and will stay neutral in their opinions.
These are customers who gave a score from 0 to 6. They are not satisfied with your product or service, will not recommend your business to their network and may go so far as to damage your reputation by speaking negatively and writing bad reviews about you. They are not likely to come back to you unless you take some action.
To calculate your NPS, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. This will give you your overall Net promoter Score. For example, if you surveyed 100 customers and 80 of them gave you a score of 9 or 10, your percentage of Promoters is 80%. If 10 people gave you scores from 0 to 6, you have 10% Detractors. Your NPS in this situation will be 70% (80-10=70).
So, what do you do with this data? How can you improve your score and what score is ideal for your industry? How can you reduce cart abandonment, keep your customers happy and increase customer retention?
Your next aim should be to turn the Detractors into Promoters, and you can start by benchmarking your NPS with industry standards and those of your competitors.
NPS is an absolute number between -100 to 100. As a baseline number, any positive NPS is deemed to be good NPS. According to SurveyMonkey, the average score for the NPS is +32, with a median of +44.
However, since each industry has its own standard, expectations and outcomes, this is not always the best approach for everyone. The NPS can vary dramatically and can depend on how many people are taking the survey, as well as what part of their customer journey they’re being asked their opinion on. To accurately know if your NPS is good or bad, you need to benchmark them within your industry, as well as considering the various internal and external factors that could skew a score.
Let’s look at some elements to keep in mind when benchmarking your NPS.
Different cultures and people across the world deal with ratings and business reviews differently. In the US, it is common for customers to be generous and open with their feelings and they would be happy to provide higher scores when they are satisfied with a business.
However, in some cities and even in certain cultures, giving a perfect score to a business is frowned upon. Perspective compared their SaaS clients across the world and found that their net promoter scores varied from country to country, sometimes showing 20 to 30 points difference at a time.
If you are operating a global company, you might need to consider surveying different regions and cities separately and comparing it within that specific region only and not for your company as a whole.
To be an industry leader, you will want to compare your NPS with your competitor’s scores. Think about what industry you’re in, and how likely it is that your customers would be happy with you even when you do your best. In many places, customers are restricted to just a few telecommunications providers that can serve their area. This does not provide them with an opportunity to compare or rate within the industry if they are restricted to only one choice.
Customers tend to react negatively towards telemarketers, salespeople, debt collectors, traffic wardens and other businesses that they view as an inconvenience and would generally not provide them with high ratings or reviews either.
Focus on doing the best for your own industry. Effective industry benchmarking means that if you work in retail, don’t compare yourself to the automobile industry. Customer experience and expectations are different for every business, look at your immediate competitors for guidance.
We find that the best indication of a good NPS score is comparing it against ourselves by looking at what went wrong and finding ways we can do better. Compare your NPS every 6 months or annually and try to identify patterns along the way. You can control how customers feel about you only by looking at it from a different perspective each time.
When used for your own benefit, and without constantly comparing yourself to others, NPS surveys can help you analyse your performance and steady yourself for long-term growth and progress. Benchmark yourself against your previous performance, use NPS to identify which of your departments are weaker than others and find ways to support them.
By improving even by a few points at a time each quarter, you’ll be heading in the right direction for your business. Focus on turning your Passives and Detractors into Promoters, while continuing to keep your Promoters satisfied.
NICE Satmetrix publish their industry benchmarks annually, and their 2020 predictions for some industries are as follows:
- Department & Speciality Stores: 59
- Brokerage & Investments: 49
- Tablet Computers: 48
- Credit Cards: 43
- Online Entertainment: 43
- Auto Insurance: 41
- Laptop Computers: 41
- Smartphones: 41
- Grocery & Supermarket: 40
- Online Shopping: 40
- Banking: 36
- Hotels: 36
- Home & Contents Insurance: 35
- Software & Apps: 34
- Shipping Services 33
- Life Insurance: 32
- Cell Phone Service: 30
- Drugstore & Pharmacy: 29
- Airlines: 27
- Travel Websites: 24
- Health Insurance: 19
- Cable & Satellite TV: 1
- Internet Service: 1
What we can learn from this list is how varied and unique the NPS is for each industry. Specialty and niche products and services tend to have very high scores, and those that are used more frequently tend to have very low scores. Your NPS can depend on many factors, including your customer’s expectations, the size of your market, the level of competition and even the time of year.
NPS scores and averages for every company and industry change over the years and yours will too. Up until a few years ago, the NPS benchmark for Internet Service was in the negative zone and has come up to 1 only this year. Customer expectations across all platforms and industries are higher than ever, so it looks like businesses are stepping up their game and taking a more loyalty-oriented approach to customer experience.
Compare your NPS average, but also deep dive into your customer’s tolerance levels and expectations. The NPS can be a strong driver for feedback and quality control. The scores can give you a good indication of how happy your customers are and how likely they are to go through with cart abandonment or a successful transaction.
Once you fully understand your NPS, you can invest in improving it. Use it as direct, actionable insight into what your business can do next, and which new opportunities you can undertake. The main function of the NPS should be to help you track and maintain your relationship with your customers. Listen to the voice of your customers, ask better questions in your NPS survey and analyse what your customers are saying.
Use the NPS to become more competitive, but also to improve your products and services as a whole. Ultimately, you want the NPS to show you how satisfied your customer is. And a satisfied customer is key to a business’ success. The quantitative data can be distracting, but when used efficiently, the NPS can add qualitative value to your business and its future.
Net Promoter® and NPS® are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.
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