No, I am not willing and able to recommend your service


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How not to implement the Net Promoter Score process

As consumers, we are currently inundated with recommendation surveys. Top management interest (it is so simple — one score — they get it!) in Net Promoter Score (NPS) have made this type of surveys ubiquitous. I get multiple every day.

The NPS survey -concept is rather simple and should be easy to implement properly. Yet I am surprised, even shocked, how badly they are being executed. Here are some of the common mistakes I have recently seen:

– NPS NOT APPLICABLE: Asking whether I am willing to recommend the whole service or product when I have just contacted a help desk. The correct question in that context should be whether the issue was resolved and am I happy with the help desk experience.

– CARPET BOMBING: Conducting the same survey multiple times even within one day even when I have already answered the survey;

– WRONG TIMING: Conducting the survey when I am logging in to a service for the first time;

– NOT NPS 1 – WRONG SCORING: Using some other scoring than 0 to 10;

– NOT NPS 2 – NO QUESTION: I have given a media company a score of 0 now over 25 times because their online magazine loses the place every time I close my iPad. Because they only ask the score, they have no idea why I gave the 0;

Here is an example of a good NPS question set.

How likely are you to recommend XYZ to a family member, friend or colleague? 0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10
Why did you give that specific score? (Write full sentences) OPEN TEXT FIELD OF UP TO 2000 CHARACTERS

I would like to hear what you think about the NPS process in general and good or bad experiences you have had with it.

Net Promoter® and NPS® are registered trademarks and Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter System are trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems and Fred Reichheld.

Photo Credits: “Window Shopping” by Loozrboy | License: CC BY-SA 2.0

Matti Airas
My main mission during the last three years have been trying to figure out how free-form text feedback (social media, forums, NPS, transaction queries etc.) analysis can improve overall customer satisfaction. Specialities: Customer Experience Management, Text Analytics, Internet applications and services, mobile applications, customer development and sales, management and startups.


  1. I could not agree more! I’m horrified at the poor application of NPS. We must stop the madness. NPS is a brand measure which should measure the overall experience. Other metrics are better suited for transactional measures in most cases. Linking your transactional measures to know how they impact NPS is the best way to connect the two, not asking NPS everywhere.

    And, those blanky, blank web popup surveys that happen when I’ve just visited your site? Really? you have not earned the right to ask me to invest my time in you.

    It’s not about the score folks – it’s about what you can do to deliver a differentiated customer experience that allows you to outgrow the competition.

    Here’s a blog post I wrote about the best practices companies should apply:


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