Product Management Dictionary

The Product Management Dictionary: NPS

Learn about the Net Promoter Score (NPS) in our comprehensive Product Management Dictionary.

If you work in product management, you're likely familiar with the term "Net Promoter Score" or NPS. It's an important metric for measuring customer loyalty and satisfaction that has gained wide usage in recent years. In this article, we'll break down what NPS is, how it works, and steps you can take to improve it.

Understanding NPS

What is Net Promoter Score (NPS)?

Net Promoter Score is a customer loyalty metric that measures the likelihood of customers to recommend a company's products or services to their friends and colleagues. It is a single number that ranges from -100 to +100, with 100 being the highest score a company can achieve.

Net Promoter Score is calculated by asking customers a single question: "How likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?" Customers then rate their likelihood on a scale of 0-10, with 0 being "not at all likely" and 10 being "extremely likely".

Customers who give a rating of 9 or 10 are considered "promoters" and are likely to recommend the company to others. Customers who give a rating of 7 or 8 are considered "passives" and are neutral about the company. Customers who give a rating of 0-6 are considered "detractors" and are unlikely to recommend the company to others.

The History of NPS

NPS was first introduced in 2003 by Fred Reichheld and Bain & Company as a way to measure customer loyalty. The idea behind NPS was that companies could use a simple metric to measure customer loyalty and identify areas for improvement.

Since its introduction, NPS has become a widely adopted metric in many industries and is used by companies like Apple, Amazon, and Zappos to evaluate their customer experience. In fact, many companies now use NPS as a key performance indicator (KPI) and track it regularly to ensure they are meeting their customers' needs.

Why is NPS Important in Product Management?

NPS is an important metric for product managers because it provides insight into customers' perceptions of a company's products or services. By tracking NPS, product managers can identify areas for improvement and take action to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction, ultimately driving business growth.

Product managers can use NPS to identify which products or features are most popular with customers and which ones need improvement. They can also use NPS to track the impact of product changes and updates on customer satisfaction.

Ultimately, NPS can help product managers make data-driven decisions and ensure that they are creating products that meet their customers' needs and expectations.

Calculating NPS

Identifying Promoters, Passives, and Detractors

To calculate NPS, companies need to survey their customers and ask them a single question: "On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?" Based on their response, customers are classified as:

  • Promoters (score 9-10) - these are customers who are highly likely to recommend the company and its products or services.
  • Passives (score 7-8) - customers who are satisfied with the company, but not enthusiastic enough to promote it to others.
  • Detractors (score 0-6) - these are customers who are unhappy with the company and are likely to discourage others from purchasing its products or services.

It is important to note that the NPS system is not just about measuring customer satisfaction, but it also measures customer loyalty. By identifying Promoters, Passives, and Detractors, companies can better understand the level of loyalty their customers have towards their brand.

The NPS Formula

To calculate NPS, companies subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. Passives are not included in the calculation. The formula is:

NPS = % Promoters - % Detractors

For example, if 50% of customers are Promoters and 20% are Detractors, the NPS would be 30 (50% - 20% = 30%).

Interpreting Your NPS Results

After calculating your NPS, you'll have a number that ranges from -100 to +100. An NPS score of 0 is considered average, while a score above 50 is considered excellent. A negative score indicates that you have more Detractors than Promoters, indicating an urgent need for improvement.

It is important to note that NPS is just one metric that companies can use to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution and should be used in conjunction with other metrics and customer feedback to gain a complete understanding of how customers feel about the company and its products or services.

Companies should also consider conducting follow-up surveys or interviews with customers to gain more insight into their NPS score. This feedback can help the company identify specific areas for improvement and make changes to better meet the needs and expectations of their customers.

Improving Your NPS

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a valuable metric for any business that wants to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction. A high NPS score indicates that customers are likely to recommend your products or services to others, while a low score suggests that improvements are needed. Here are some tips for improving your NPS:

Gathering Customer Feedback

One of the most important steps in improving your NPS is to gather feedback from your customers. There are many ways to do this, such as surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews. It's important to ask open-ended questions that allow customers to share their thoughts and feelings about your products or services. This will provide you with valuable insights into what your customers like and dislike about your business.

When gathering feedback, it's important to make it easy for customers to provide their input. Consider using online surveys or feedback forms that can be completed quickly and easily. You may also want to offer incentives, such as discounts or free products, to encourage customers to participate in surveys or focus groups.

Analyzing Feedback for Actionable Insights

Once you have gathered feedback, it's time to analyze it and identify areas for improvement. Look for common themes and issues that customers bring up repeatedly. These can be used as a roadmap for changes to your products or services.

It's important to be objective when analyzing feedback. Don't dismiss negative feedback or try to explain it away. Instead, use it as an opportunity to learn and improve. Look for patterns in the feedback, such as recurring complaints about a specific feature or aspect of your product or service.

Implementing Changes Based on Feedback

After identifying areas for improvement, it's time to make changes to your products or services based on customer feedback. This can include anything from fixing bugs, improving the user interface, or adding new features. Be sure to communicate these changes to your customers to show that you are listening to their feedback.

When implementing changes, it's important to prioritize them based on their impact on the customer experience. Focus on changes that will have the biggest impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. Make sure that you have a plan in place for testing and rolling out changes to ensure that they are effective.

Improving your NPS requires a commitment to listening to your customers and making changes based on their feedback. By following these steps, you can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, and ultimately improve your bottom line.

NPS Best Practices

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a powerful tool for measuring customer loyalty and satisfaction. By asking customers how likely they are to recommend your business to others, you can gain valuable insights into their attitudes and behaviors. Here are some best practices for designing and using NPS surveys:

Survey Design and Distribution

The design of your NPS survey can have a big impact on response rates and the quality of feedback you receive. When creating your survey, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Keep it short and simple. Customers are more likely to complete a survey that is easy to understand and doesn't take too much time.
  • Ask the single question about the likelihood to recommend, and include a text box for open-ended feedback. This will give customers the opportunity to provide more detailed comments and suggestions.
  • Distribute the survey through multiple channels, including email, social media, and your website. This will increase the chances that customers will see the survey and respond to it.

Timing and Frequency of NPS Surveys

The timing and frequency of your NPS surveys will depend on your business and customer base. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Some companies choose to survey customers after every interaction, while others use quarterly or annual surveys. Consider your goals and the frequency of feedback you need to achieve them.
  • Timing is also important. You want to give customers enough time to have a meaningful experience with your business, but not so much time that they forget the details of their interactions.
  • Consider using automated survey tools that can send surveys at specific intervals or trigger surveys based on certain customer behaviors.

Setting Realistic NPS Goals

Finally, it's important to set realistic NPS goals based on your industry and customer base. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Research what is typical for companies in your field, and aim to exceed those benchmarks. This will give you a sense of what is achievable and what is considered exceptional.
  • Remember that NPS is not a one-time metric. It's important to track your score over time and make adjustments as needed to improve it.
  • Consider using NPS in combination with other metrics, such as customer satisfaction (CSAT) or customer effort score (CES), to get a more complete picture of your customers' experiences.

By following these best practices, you can use NPS to gain valuable insights into your customers' attitudes and behaviors, and make data-driven decisions to improve their experiences.


In conclusion, Net Promoter Score is a valuable metric for measuring customer loyalty and satisfaction. By understanding and improving your NPS, you can drive business growth and improve the customer experience. Implementing the best practices outlined in this article can help you achieve your NPS goals and create a loyal customer base.