How to improve Net Promoter Score? 7 Ways to Improve your NPS

Petteri PuumalaPetteri Puumala
Last edited: June 26th, 2024

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Nobody wants to receive an NPS lower than 9, but it happens. To all of us.

The difference between people who make it and the ones who don’t is how they react to negative situations.

Let’s go over how to improve your overall NPS.

How to Improve Net Promoter Score?

The power of a good customer experience should never be underestimated. We’ve all been on the receiving end of terrible customer service at least once in our lives. It’s a virtual guarantee that it’s going to stick in your mind, far more than a positive experience ever will. Us poor human beings are just hardwired to vividly remember our negative experiences.

It’s also been known in sales and marketing circles for a number of years now that customers are far more likely to share bad experiences on social media than a positive one.

On top of that, it takes multiple positive experiences to undo the damage done by just one negative experience. These numbers can range from just five to a staggering 40 experiences needed to outweigh one negative event.

improve nps by responding to customers

Now, this is where your Net Promoter Score comes in (NPS). This incredibly valuable tool measures the loyalty of your customers and tracks exactly what kind of experience they’re having.

Essentially, if you’re not keeping track of your NPS, there’s a very good chance you could be losing customers and you don’t even know why.

Looking for a tool to measure your NPS? Start a free trial of our NPS software! 👇

Your NPS score works on a 0-10 scale based on how likely someone would be to recommend your product or service to a friend and then breaks your customers down into three groups:

  • Promoters (a score of 9 and 10) – Your loyalists. Those customers who will sing your praises to others.
  • Passives (a score of 7 and 8) – The ones who think you’re OK. Happy enough but can be easily swayed by a competitor.
  • Detractors (a score of 0-6) – You definitely don’t want these. These are unhappy customers, the ones who will actively put you down in front of their friends or via social media.
net promoter score nps

These are, of course, just the basics of the NPS, in a previous post we’ve given a comprehensive guide to the NPS, what to focus on, how to calculate it and most importantly, how to interpret it.

So now we understand the importance of the score, we’re going to tell you how to improve NPS with some easily actionable tips you can use to get more promoters and fewer detractors.

How to Improve NPS: 7 Ways to Improve Your NPS

1. Swiftly Follow up with Detractors

act fast on nps results

For those companies who ignore detractors, lessons are never learned and they’ve likely lost that customer forever.

It’s important to do NPS surveys in different stages of the customer journey.

However, if you follow up on negative feedback quickly (while it’s still fresh in the customer’s mind) not only can you help negate the impact of that review, there’s a good chance you might also retain that customer or even, as unlikely as it might sound, turn them into a promoter.

This is where the speed of the response comes in.

Get in touch with your detractors quickly and directly. Chances are you’ll have their contact details gained as part of the transaction like an email or phone number, get in touch with them, let them know why you’re following up and try to understand their perspective.

Quickly Increase NPS by…

Each customer will likely have different reasons for their negative experience, but some good general responses to turn that negative into a positive and up that NPS could be:

  1. Offering an upgrade to their current product or service.
  2. Giving them an alternative solution that better fits their needs.
  3. Simply the act of reaching out and treating them with respect can sway them back to you.

If you like the sound of turning your detractors into promoters, then the Business 2 Community has prepared some useful tips to get you started.

The quicker you can follow up with your detractors, the more impressed they’ll be. Try and resolve their issues within 24 hours of a complaint. It’ll greatly increase your chances of retaining them and positively impacting your long-term NPS.

Interestingly, the ones that give you lower score (rather than not replying at all) are the easiest to turn into promoters.

2. Get the Whole Company on Board with the Importance of a Good NPS

Providing an excellent customer experience and the importance of NPS should be at the forefront of the mind of every staff member in your organisation.

You want your staff to be asking themselves daily how to improve NPS and embedding it in the company culture.

improving nps is a company-wide goal

This is especially important for

  • your front line staff
  • those working hard in the contact center services and customer support,
  • those in direct sales or
  • the teams tasked with dealing with the first stage of a complaint

These will be the people your customers will first come into contact with and will form the strongest impression on which to base their survey scores, directly impacting your NPS.

It can sometimes be difficult to motivate staff to be passionate for customer service 100% of the time. You’ll find that if you embed the collection and assessment of NPS data into operational processes, you make it a normal part of the job and something your staff will do naturally.

Some quick win methods include:

  • Link customer feedback directly to the staff member or customer service team that interacted with them where possible. In essence, your customers will be reviewing your staff for you. Show your staff this feedback to direct improvements or praise staff where their hard work is paying off.
  • Make management accountable for the NPS as part of their annual review. Where scores are not satisfactory, cut bonuses for example. This will highlight to staff at all levels the importance of good customer service and the need for a strong NPS.
  • Ask your front line staff what support they’re getting from other internal departments in customer loyalty efforts. Staff must understand everyone can play their own part in NPS improvement.

aTalent Recruiting uses Trustmary and it has helped them to make every individual’s work visible.

Troy Stevenson, the VP & Global Head of Community Operations at Uber believes embedding NPS into company culture is a secret weapon.  At the Customer Experience Leadership forum in 2016 he outlined a four step plan to embed NPS as part of corporate culture and ensure customer loyalty.

Have a look at our 7 step guide to get you started on implementing NPS in your own company.

Learning how to present NPS results internally might help in getting everyone involved.

When people understand what NPS is about, they’re more likely to participate in improving it!

3. Don’t Forget to Give Incentives to Your Promoters

While we saw in point one that it’s important to focus on detractors, it should go without saying that every customer should feel special. It’s important not to forget to nurture you promoters.

It can be easy to neglect the things that are going well, but pouring all of your efforts into detractors could drive away your loyal customers. They could perceive your actions as rewarding those who complain while they themselves are getting nothing for their loyalty.

Marketing experts have used some well known figures for a number of years now that show acquiring a new customer is five to 25 times more expensive than retaining a current one.

customer retention vs customer acquisition

Increasing retention rates by just 5% can yield increased profits of between 25% and a staggering 95%. If this doesn’t highlight the importance of retaining those promoters than nothing will.

The Best Thing about Promoters Is…

that you’re starting with a passionate customer base. These are the ones who are so impressed with your product and service they’re happy to tell others about it. By offering rewards to them you’ll not only solidify their loyalty, they can in effect become an extension to your own marketing department as they share their satisfaction with others.

They’ll most likely impact your NPS through referrals, happy to tell others of the amazing customer service received and rewards such as:

  • Loyalty cards
  • Discounts
  • Limited edition or exclusive products
  • The opportunity to be the first to try a new product for free

How you respond to promoters will be specific to your organisation and your offering, but never forget to reach out to them and reward them regularly.

promoters in improving nps

Create a customer loyalty program to reward those happy customers (and to keep them happy.)

4. Personalise your Interactions with Customers

When you’re collecting feedback and responses for your NPS, it’s important that every customer feels valued. To be honest, this is a common theme that underpins all of the other advice in this article: Human beings want to feel that their opinions are respected and that they are valued.

It’s so important that in the collection, analysis and response to feedback, you make it personal to that individual customer which in turn ensures a higher NPS in the future.

This starts simply with actions such as:

  • Include the recipient’s name in the email title when requesting feedback
  • Address them by name in the main body of the text
  • Try not to automate responses and instead send out surveys from a real live staff member. Nobody likes getting emails from a generic address that can come off looking like spam
  • Try different methods for different customers. Email might not work for everyone, some may prefer a text or a call, or even a good old fashioned letter can have a much more personal impact on a customer.
  • When responding to detractors, be specific to the product the customer bought and don’t ask generic questions. Get to the heart of the issue.

When people feel like they’re being spoken to directly and being treated with a little respect, they’re much more likely to respond to a survey and give honest feedback. It’s amazing just how far these small steps above can go.

If you’d like to know more about the future of personalisation and just how it can work for you, Forbes has prepared some advice outlining just what we can expect to see and how to use it effectively.

5. Make Providing Feedback as Straightforward as Possible

As much as we might not want to believe it, most of your customers don’t possess the same passion for your company and product as you do. They are not actively thinking about how you could improve your NPS. The overwhelming majority will likely not give a second thought to you once they’d bought the product or service and moved on with their lives.

It can be a monumental effort to get large scale feedback from your customers, which is why you have to make it as easy as possible for them to give it to you.

If the average customer senses there’s going to be a lot of effort involved in giving feedback, they’re likely to switch off immediately. It leaves your NPS skewed by only your most passionate detractors and promoters.

improve nps by optimizing channels

How do you make the feedback process simple?

Trustmary has a unique flow that combines measuring NPS and collecting testimonials. Book your meeting!

  • Personalize the survey and survey title. You’re much more likely to get a response.
  • Get the timing right. Send the survey after the customer has had time to use and understand the product, a good guideline is between 14 and 30 days following purchase.
  • Never add extra questions, keep it to just, “How likely are you to recommend the product” and “Why did you give the score”. More questions at this stage will simply lower your response rate.
  • Make the ratings box large and bold, with just one simple click needed to complete.

Try the NPS survey in action by clicking it:

This doesn’t just apply to your initial NPS surveys either. You should also make it easy for your customers to complain too. As counter-intuitive as this might sound, your detractors are going to offer the most valuable information (the pain points you need to improve).

You want them most of all to be telling you what you’re doing wrong.

Many detractors will simply not leave any feedback at all. Make it easy for customers to give you feedback and you get more information. This might actually hurt your NPS in the short term (with an increased number of negative scores) but the knowledge gained long term is going to pay dividends and eventually increase your score.

Research by MyCustomer has also found that segmenting your customers into groups, tailoring their responses and offering incentives can all be great ways to increase your response rate too.

6. Complete Trend Analysis of Your Detractors

This is a another common theme throughout this article. Your detractors are important. We’ve learned above that they’re providing you with the most valuable information, and that you want to collect as much of their feedback as possible.

However, responding to each one and trying to firefight each complaint as it arises on an individual basis can quickly drain your company resources. Instead, try completing a regular trend analysis of the received negative feedback and you’ll start to build a picture of the types of common complaints arising.

For example you may find a large number of complaints relating to a common fault you might not have known about prior. What’s more important is that you would have missed it completely if you hadn’t reviewed your feedback thoroughly.

trend analysis of detractors improve nps

Benefits of Doing NPS Trend Analysis

By grouping common complaints together you can either eliminate the issue entirely (and therefore increase your NPS in the long term) or at the very least apply a solution for that type of problem.

Imagine another example where you’re running a taxi firm. By measuring NPS, you find the most common complaint is drivers turning up late. Trend analysis will not only prompt you to investigate why, but could also reveal that most customers could be retained when offered one free journey as compensation.

Once the trends are documented, staff can be trained to provide the same response to all customers raising the same complaint. It helps to provide consistency, the chance to retain customers and a long term increase in NPS.

By analyzing detractors thoroughly, you actually get them to answer the question of how to improve NPS for you.

To be able to notice trends, NPS needs to be measured more than once!

7. Don’t Forget Your Passive Customers

We’ve focused so much on the promoters and detractors in this article it can be easy to forget the often overlooked “middle child” of NPS, the passive customers. This is probably going to be your largest group of customers, therefore the one with the biggest potential to increase NPS should you reach out to them in the right way.

It’s important to connect with your passives as they’re likely on the lookout for alternative options, if you don’t pull some stellar service out of the bag then they’ll walk sooner rather than later and you may never know why or what you did wrong.

So, much like your detractors and promoters, reach out to the passives.

Ways to Reach out to Passives

  • Follow up with them, find out why they were not enthusiastic about your service
  • Try more direct questions with this group, ask them what more you could offer or where you failed. You have nothing to lose by asking and everything to gain by solving the mystery of why they only believe you to be average.
  • Engage with your passives quickly. You only have a limited window before they leave to try a new product (often around the 6 month mark. Connect with them directly before then.
  • Show passives just how different your product is to your competitors. Highlight to them it’s not just about price, but the sheer quality of your service that makes you stand out.

Remember, passives currently don’t have any brand loyalty and this is where the overwhelming majority of customers are going to sit. If you can work on pulling more of them into the promoter range, your NPS will increase exponentially.

These are just a few methods to get you started in improving your NPS and ones you can implement today. Of course each solution is going to be specific to each organization. It’s going to take a little trial and error to find the right combination that works for you.

Remember, how to improve NPS really comes down to consistent engagement. As long as you continue to reach out to your customers, whichever group they may be in, you’re heading down the right path.

Next Steps to Increase NPS

Want to know how you stack up against others in your industry? Check out our industry benchmarks in 2022 and 2020.

If you’re looking for a NPS Software, we’ve got you covered.

Book a demo with us to have a chat about how we could help you in this department.

Not really sure if NPS is the best choice for you?

Have a look at alternatives to NPS.


What is a good NPS score?

A good NPS score varies by industry, but generally, a score above 50 is considered excellent, while a score between 0 and 30 is considered average.

Do a root cause analysis on your NPS data to figure out why people like or dislike you.

How often should we measure NPS?

Measuring NPS quarterly is a good practice, though some companies choose to do it monthly or annually depending on their needs and customer interaction frequency.

What are the main factors affecting NPS?

  1. Customer service quality
  2. Product or service performance
  3. Brand perception
  4. Overall customer experience
  5. Customer loyalty

Petteri Puumala
Petteri Puumala
Petteri Puumala works as a Customer Retention Manager at Trustmary. He is especially knowledgeable on integrations and automations, and has helped dozens of businesses build automatic feedback and review collection processes.


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