The NPS flip


We like to switch things up a bit here at Bazaarvoice. When it comes to Net Promoter Score, most companies give a survey, in which each responder rates the company once on a scale of 0-10 as to whether or not they would recommend this business to a friend.  At Bazaarvoice, we use our review submission process to accomplish this task. Each time a contributor submits a review, they are asked, “Would you recommend this company to a friend?” So, if they submit multiple reviews, they have the opportunity to give multiple Net Promoter Scores.


In this way, we have a unique and powerful case where we can get multiple NPS from one contributor, and track it over time. This individualized information can be super insightful when paired with net promoter comments , which are collected along with the NPS to give contributors an opportunity to explain their rating. Our recommendation to handle multiple Net Promoter Scores:

  1. Determine a timeframe for your NPS. (ie. Holiday NPS from Nov – Jan, or your company’s Q1)
  2. Look at all NPS within that timeframe
  3. If any contributors have submitted multiple NPS, take the most recent NPS for each contributor
  4. Calculate your business’ NPS by subtracting percentage of detractors from percentage of promoters
  5. Ta da! You have your NPS. Now trend this over time and see if customer sentiment towards your company is going up or down. Or you can compare yourself against others in the industry.

What’s our reasoning behind taking the most recent NPS? We assume you want to know how your customer’s would rate you right now and if they would recommend you to others. Perhaps they had a bad experience three months ago, but you reached out to them and now they would promote you to their friends and family. It only makes sense to use that last score as a way to determine their sentiment.

Other interesting stats and facts about NPS:

  • Good: Two-thirds of contributors are promoters, rating the likelihood to recommend your company a 9 or 10 out of 10
  • Bad: Only 16% are detractors, rating 6 or below
  • Ugly: Detractors rate their product 46% lower than promoters
  • Random: Detractors write 14% more than Promoters. Complaints are wordier and more detailed than praises

The million dollar question

“What can I do to improve my NPS?” I don’t want to point out the obvious, but NPS decreases as your product or service rating decreases. In other words, your company’s reputation and WOM is directly related to how people view your products, so improve those products and services! “Service” and “products” were some of the most frequent words in net promoter comments.  If you have great products and service, you will have a rocking Net Promoter Score, and thus be more profitable. In the words of Satmetrix:

“The Net Promoter Score, or NPS®, is a straightforward metric that holds companies and employees accountable for how they treat customers. It has gained popularity thanks to its simplicity and its linkage to profitable growth.”

Well, duh. Great Products + Awesome Customer Service = High NPS and High Profitability.

But there’s more you can do

Analyzing a sample of 30,000 net promoter comments from over 550 brands, we found that the store experience, especially having friendly and helpful staff, is crucial.

Promoters also rave about:

  • prices
  • delivery
  • value
  • selection/variety
  • shipping,
  • speedy service

What Promoters are saying:

What promoters are saying

Detractors are unhappy about:

  • store experience
  • online orders
  • shipping
  • and delivery

But poor customer service and product quality were still the largest offenders.

What Detractors are saying:

What detractors are saying

For a sky-high NPS, focus your resources first and foremost on products and service, and then on store experience, delivery, selection and shipping.

  • cheap bras

    Amazng wrte-up! Ths could ad plenty of people fnd out more about ths partcular ssue. Are you keen to ntegrate vdeo clps coupled wth these? It would absolutely help out. Your concluson was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to descrbe everythng to my pals. I can smply drect them here!

  • Rachel Eng


    Thanks for your comment. You touch on some very valuable ponts. When NPS s ntegrated wth a company’s user-generated content, onlne revenue, and maybe even CRM, a company can get a 3D move experence, nstead of just a snapshot n tme.

    Thanks agan,

  • Rachel Eng


    Thank you for your comments. You brng up a great pont that NPS s an emotonal decson and part of t may be based on the servce nteracton the customer receves. Perhaps, I should emphasze that even f a company sells tangble products, they must not forget they are also n the busness of customer servce. Whether a product or servce company, everyone must focus on the customer nteracton, f ts face-to-face, phone, emal, or onlne chat experence; t all makes a dfference.

    HOWEVER, the product s an mportant (arguably the most mportant) factor behnd the NPS score. If I go to a restaurant, order the house specal, and t tastes horrble, I’m not gong to recommend t to a frend, even f the watstaff s 5-star. My pont s that a company must have a great product that they frmly stand behnd and follow up wth great customer servce.

    Thanks agan,

  • Scott Heitland

    I talk to a lot of reps who are measured by NPS, and one comment I hear frequently goes somethng lke ths: “My NPS would be hgher, but the customer wll often dng me on the survey because they’re upset about the product.  There’s nothng I can do about that.”

    There s no queston that the qualty of the product can affect the customer servce porton of NPS.  Some customers smply wll not gve a 9 or 10 on the survey f they don’t get ther practcal ssue resolved the way they want, perod.

    BUT (and there’s always a “but”, rght?), NPS s an emotonal score.  A person’s decson to recommend a company’s product or servce to someone else s an emotonal decson.  In order to mprove NPS, you have to mprove how your customers are made to feel about your company, brand or products durng ther servce nteractons wth your company.

    What s often overlooked n the quest to mprove NPS are the sklls and behavors of the reps, the very people charge wth solvng customers’ problems and delghtng them durng the experence.

    What does the rep say?  How does he say t?  What does he say that adds value?  What does he say that adds no value or detracts value?  Is he creatng a hgh-effort experence for the customer, or s he makng the company easy to do busness wth?  Is he truly lstenng to the customer’s story?  Is he assessng where the customer s from an emotonal standpont wth the product and attemptng to overcome emotonal barrers to gan emotonal buy-n from the customer?

    Remember that based on how NPS s calculated, NPS goes up even f a would-be detractor s turned nto a passve (.e. not just by turnng passves nto promoters).  The key s creatng upward pressure.  And a rep can create upward pressure on NPS through the rght knds of behavors durng the customer nteracton, even f the customer s ultmately dssatsfed wth the practcal outcome due to no fault of the rep (for example, a product s out of warranty).

    When the rep handles the nteracton usng the rght set of sklls, the rep can successfully separate the product ssue from the qualty of the customer servce n the mnd of the customer.  Not every tme, of course.  But agan, the goal s upward pressure.  Reducng the number of detractors, ncreasng the number of promoters, and most mportantly, creatng loyalty.

    Scott Hetland
    Prncpal | Pretum Solutons

  • Kent White

    To me, one of the key values of gettng NPS nformaton along wth revews s that you not only see changng trends, but you can actually track the contrbuton of net promoters.  The assumpton behnd the concept s that net promoters wll tell more people about your servces/products; ths lets you prove t out.  As you track net promoter contrbutons on your webste, you can actually see how ther content s nfluencng behavor and conversons, and quantfy the value of net promoters’ advocacy.

    Input from both promoters and detractors s very valuable – both wll gve you clear sgnals on where to make mprovements and how.  When you mplement mprovements, you can track not only the overall effect on your bottom lne, but also the change n satsfacton scores – all a lot faster than wth a standard survey approach.  Surveys can gve you a snapshot, but a steady stream of nput gves you the whole move. Powerful stuff.