The market is saturated with competition, so it can be challenging to know how you compare against other brands offering your same product or service. How do your customers perceive your brand? Are they happy? Would they recommend you to their friends and family? The majority of American shoppers seek a referral or recommendation before they purchase. But understanding if your customers are recommending you can be difficult to measure. Luckily, there’s a tool to help, and it’s called the Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Have you used an online service and after your purchase, you receive a pop-up that says, “Rate how likely are you to recommend ______ (service name)?”

You’ve just been privy to the NPS system.

NPS has become a worldwide standard for organizations to measure, understand and improve their customer experience. NPS is a simple way to get customer feedback on their brand experience, and how likely they are to recommend your organization to friends, family and colleagues.

NPS is essential to small businesses because it will help your organization hone in on your customers’ experience, understand their journey and help you learn what to concentrate on when improving on both of these things.

First things first, there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer regarding how often you should measure your NPS. It depends on your business model, your customers and their level of interaction with your product or service. So, let’s start by framing out your NPS strategy, beginning with developing the right questions to ask your customers. Once you know those, you’ll want to focus on what to do with the data you collect from those questions.

One quantifiable question is what it takes to determine your NPS. See the example below.

Of course, there are other ways to gather qualitative data, too. Keep the quantifiable question open-ended and ask your customers to elaborate on their likeliness to refer you. See the example below.

Now that you have some responses, how do you interpret the number? For example, is a 45 low? Is it high? What are you comparing it against? According to, your NPS will fall anywhere between a -100 to 100, with a score about 50 considered excellent.

Assuming you are giving the customer the ability to elaborate on their score. There are a few steps to take once you receive the data.

1. Share the results with your company.

There should be transparency throughout the organization related to how your customers perceive the organization’s brand.

2. Create a plan to improve your NPS score.

First, you want to understand where your customers fall in the spectrum. Here are three groups of customers with different brand perception:

Brand Loyalists or Promoters

Most likely you received feedback from customers who are very loyal to your brand, love your product and love what you do. Listen to these customers and incorporate their feedback into your brand messaging, into testimonials, on your website, wherever it should apply. They are your biggest advocates.

Silent Customers or Passives

These customers are satisfied, but not enthusiastic like your brand loyalists. They will provide feedback, mostly positive, but pretty vague or general. Think about how you can turn them into brand loyalists.

Brand Critics or Detractors

This group can cause harm to your brand. They may not be happy with your product, had a bad experience or are loyal to a competitor. NPS can help you understand how to improve their scores for next time. A few ideas on how to respond to these critics:

  • Quick feedback: respond to their negative feedback quickly to understand the circumstance better.
  • Show that you care: in your responses, show that you value their feedback and are concerned about their experience.
  • Delight your customers: how can you win them back? This is a little tougher than providing them a positive response. Consider incentivizing them through a discount or small gift to try you again.
  • Learn from your mistakes: self-explanatory!

After you share your results, understand where your customers lie on the brand perception spectrum and implement a plan to improve your relationships with your brand critics, you then will move onto the next step…

3. Share the improvement plan, and make it actionable.

Share your plan to improve your NPS score with your team — the good and the bad. Assign a copywriter to find ways to include the positive feedback into your messaging on your website. If customers had a negative customer service experience, assign your customer service manager to develop a new training plan. Delegate the work so everyone within the organization can focus on and be involved in improving.

4. Check in, monthly.

Or quarterly. But make sure you check-in on progress frequently. Once your organization has implemented the improvements and given time to adjust, consider running another round of NPS to measure your progress. This process can and should be repeated!

Net Promoter Score is a great tool to use when measuring customer satisfaction for your product or service. The data received will help validate where your organization stands in the marketplace and against your competitors, as well as where you can improve. This is not a tool meant to be used just once. Your organization should continue to look in on your customers, and implement improvement plans with the goal of raising your NPS.


Jeanna Barrett is the Founder & Chief Strategist of First Page, an award-winning online marketer and an expat entrepreneur. Through content, social media and SEO, Jeanna uses the power of words and data to drive growth in brand awareness, organic traffic, leads, revenue and customer loyalty. She has a combined 12 years of inbound marketing experience at venture-backed startups, digital agencies and Fortune 500 companies, with an expertise focus on small business and technology. She’s been named ‘Top 40 Under 40’ of brand marketers and ‘Best in the West’ for financial technology marketing. In 2016, Jeanna left the U.S. to lay roots and build her business in Belize.