5 Ways to Run Net Promoter Score Programs Right—and Boost the Effectiveness of Your Business


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How do customers feel about your business? It’s important to know. And a good way to learn is your Net Promoter Score (NPS). This customer satisfaction metric gauges how likely your customers are to recommend your products or services to others. Your score is measured on a scale of 0 to 10. A higher score means a higher likelihood that your customers will recommend your business to friends and colleagues.

When you send an NPS survey to your customers, you gain valuable insights into their satisfaction with your company and pinpoint areas that need improvement. Many companies gather NPS scores – but how can you lean into that quantitative and qualitative data to make impactful improvements to your plans? And how can NPS be a driver for consistently improving your customers’ experience?

An NPS survey is not a one-and-done deal, it’s a program. If your survey is to be successful, it requires commitment on your part. Here are five ways to deploy an NPS program effectively, gauge the satisfaction of your customers, and improve your business.

1: Pursue responses persistently

Sending out your survey is the easy part. The hard part is getting responses. At my company, it’s our account managers who know our customers best. They’re the main point of contact – the first port of call when they need us. So, they’re tasked with encouraging customers to fill out the NPS survey and take the opportunity to provide us with critical feedback, which in the end helps improve the experience of our customers. To quote Jerry McGuire, we ask them to “help us help you!”

Achieving a high response rate to your NPS survey is important because it helps ensure that the results are representative of your overall customer base. If the response rate is low and your sample size is small, it may be difficult to accurately interpret the results and identify trends. We use NPS as a pulse of our whole customer base. Additionally, a low response rate may indicate that customers are not interested in providing feedback and are not engaged with your company, which could be a cause for concern.

Some companies offer perks, like discounts or loyalty points, to encourage their customers to complete the NPS survey. It’s important not to bribe customers for their feedback but to emphasize the ways their feedback will reinforce the things they need out of our partnership. It’s also key to follow up with customers after the survey and let them know that their feedback is being put to good use. When customers see that their feedback has an impact, it can increase response rates and engagement, and ultimately improve your NPS scores.

2: Get executive buy-in

Without the backing of executive leadership, it may be difficult to effectively implement and sustain an NPS program over the long term, which is your aim. An NPS campaign is not a one-off. And if you are going to prove you are customer obsessed, those executives need to act on that feedback each year. Executive buy-in also helps ensure that your NPS program supports the overall goals and strategies of your company and that it is given the attention it deserves.

Once our NPS surveys are collected, we make sure our executives read every comment across the board. This helps them stay connected to our customer base and enhances awareness of the concerns and ideas of the people who use our services. It also helps executives make informed decisions about the direction of our company and the actions that need to be taken to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

3: Keep it short and sweet

It’s important to keep your NPS survey succinct. This increases the likelihood that customers will complete your survey and provide the honest, thoughtful responses you need. A tedious and time-consuming survey will discourage some customers from completing it. When a survey drags on, customers grow less engaged as they go through it, which can lead to less accurate or valuable responses. We’ve all been there. We’re given a long survey by a business we use and halfway through our interest flags and we start to race through the answers—or we bail altogether.

By keeping your NPS survey short and to the point, you make it more convenient and appealing for customers to provide feedback, which can lead to higher response rates and more valuable insights. It’s also worth noting that an effective NPS survey does not require a lot of detailed information. A short and concise survey can effectively capture the data you need while minimizing the time spend of your customers.

4: Don’t go overboard

Don’t get survey happy. Some companies send out a new survey every few months. But sending NPS surveys too frequently could result in survey fatigue, which leads to lower response rates and potentially less-accurate feedback. By limiting the frequency of your NPS surveys to once a year, you can avoid overwhelming your customers and improve the quality of the feedback they give.

We also like to give our customers a few weeks’ warning before we send out our surveys. Customers are usually more likely to respond to an NPS survey if they know it’s coming and they know it matters to us as a key element of our CX plans. Telling customers in advance can help ensure that they’re available and willing to participate when the survey arrives.

5: Prioritize the feedback

Not all feedback is valuable—some ideas are more feasible than others. For instance, an errant suggestion by a customer that you completely revamp your company’s product line is probably not realistic or practical, while a suggestion that comes up again and again that you make a small adjustment to your product’s call center process is easier to implement. You may uncover opportunities for business benefits, like case deflection, that you hadn’t considered before.

It’s also essential to ensure that the feedback you get is rooted in valid and accurate information. Feedback based on misunderstandings or incorrect assumptions is obviously not as valuable as feedback that is well-informed and accurate. That’s why you need to examine feedback in relation to relevant data you track in your CRM platform. You should prioritize your survey feedback according to its relevance, feasibility, and validity in order to make informed decisions and drive positive change.

Final takeaway

In today’s challenging economic conditions, promoters are incredibly valuable to a company. The same people who will give you 9s and 10s in NPS will help your business grow. And in an ever more online marketplace, it’s easy for customers to quietly reevaluate their investments and for competitors to do their best to lure your best customers away, while you sit and wonder where they went—and why they went. You need to establish yourself as a trusted partner, stay connected and know exactly what your customers want, so you can give it to them and keep them loyal. An NPS survey program, done right, can help make it happen.

Deirdre Yee
I've spent more than 10 years focused on customer marketing, driving strategy to help celebrate and promote customer success. It's been interesting and exciting to launch programs and see great engagement via projects in customer communications, upsell campaigns, analyst reports; injecting customer stories across marketing messaging and company strategy, while co-marketing with customers via case studies and videos.


  1. I am a big fan of Fred Reichheld’s Net Promoter Score. That said, the number is of only modest value. Getting input from customers on the why behind the number is much more important. In doing so, you not only get a better understanding of what your customers value. You also get a better relationship with your customers, just by asking. This article provides more information on the how: https://www.inc.com/bill-fotsch-and-john-case/what-are-your-customers-thinking-right-now.html

  2. Bill, I definitely agree that the number itself is only a small part of the business value of a NPS Program. The verbatim comments attached to the score provide insights into the trending topics that are most influencing their perspective on our partnership. We use the opportunity to ‘prove’ our promise, that we are obsessed with customer experience. After the survey, we report out, you told us X, we’re going to do Y. And the next year, when we ask for responses, we remind them of the initiatives and programs that were born out of their feedback.


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