11-Point or 5-Point NPS Scale: Which NPS Scale Should You Use

Net Promoter Score

11-Point or 5-Point Scale: Which NPS Scale Should You Use?

Apr 20, 2023

11 mins read

Manisha Khandelwal


The 5-point NPS scale is navigating through the metric system nowadays, with the NPS platform providing an efficient way for organizations to collect and analyze customer feedback.

Many organizations have started using it on their mobile surveys and many are in the process of adapting it. 

But is this the right scale to measure your customer loyalty?

If yes, then what are its applications? Where to use it? And, how to calculate its NPS score?

Before indulging in the 5-point NPS scale, let’s talk about the NPS in brief.

What is NPS?

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric used by organizations to gauge their customer loyalty by asking one simple question.

→ How likely are you to recommend us to your friends or colleagues?

NPS loyalty question

This loyalty question is asked on an 11-point scale where the responses 0-6 denote detractors (unhappy customers), 7-8 denote passives (neutral customers), and 9-10 denote promoters (happy customers). 

The NPS question is followed up by an open-ended question asking the reasons behind the score shared. 

→ Could you please share the reason behind your score?

An image showing open-ended question that you should ask after creating 5-point NPS survey scale question or 11-point NPS survey scale

The NPS score not only helps you measure customer loyalty but also informs you of the retention rate. It tells you what your customers are most unhappy about and if they are about to leave you. And not just that, but it enables you to build a healthy relationship with your customers.

Now you must be wondering about how to calculate it, right? Learn it here

How to Calculate NPS?

An image showing how to calculate NPS

NPS is simple to calculate as it is only the difference between the promoters’ % and the detractors’ %. 

For example, if promoters are 75% and detractors are 10%, then your NPS will be: 

75%-10%= +65%  

To calculate NPS on a 5-point scale, the formula stays the same. 


Calculate your NPS Score


After knowing about NPS in detail. Let’s have a glance at the types of NPS Scales.

Types of NPS Scale

There are two types of NPS scales used to measure customer loyalty. 

  1. 11-point NPS scale
  2. 5-point NPS scale

11-point NPS Scale

The 11-point scale is a commonly used scale while measuring NPS. Based on the score, the respondents are categorized into detractors, passives, and promoters. 

→ Learn about color coding your NPS Scale

An image showing an 11-point NPS scale

Receiving a “0” or a “1” on the NPS scale can be disheartening, especially when it comes from a seemingly satisfied customer. However, it’s crucial to understand that not all customers giving low scores are necessarily unhappy with what you provide.

Detractors sometimes have underlying issues that don’t directly relate to your business. Engaging with them and addressing their concerns offers an opportunity to uncover the actual source of their dissatisfaction. These underlying causes could stem from external factors like financial challenges or personal situations, rather than any shortcomings in your product or service.

This underscores the importance of taking proactive steps to connect with dissatisfied customers and resolve their issues. Doing so not only helps in preserving customer relationships but can also potentially protect valuable revenue streams.

That’s all about the 11-point NPS scale. It’s time for the 5-point NPS scale.

5-point NPS Scale

Similar to the 11-point NPS scale, the 5-point NPS scale helps you to measure the immediate customer sentiment about their recent experience with the products and services. Also, as per some studies, it is easier to use and understand for the customer as there are not many options available to confuse them. 

Here’s an example of a 5-point NPS scale.

An image showing 5-point NPS scale in mobile phone view.

The respondents on the 5-point scale are divided into three categories. Respondents who share 1-3 scores are detractors, 4 are passive, and 5 are promoters. 

Now that we know what a 5-point NPS scale is…let’s unravel the reason behind why it is not recommended.

Why is a 5-Point NPS Scale Not Recommended?

There are a few reasons why a 5-point NPS scale is not usually recommended.

1. Fluctuations in the result 

A 5-point NPS scale, offering options like “Very Unlikely,” “Unlikely,” “Neutral,” “Likely,” and “Very Likely,” doesn’t give enough detail for people to express their feelings. It’s not sensitive enough to notice small differences in how customers think. Because of this, even small changes in how customers feel can make a big change in the NPS score.

MeasuringU did a UX Benchmark study on TV companies using both 5-point and 11-point scales. For Comcast, the score went from -63% on the 5-point scale to -55% on the 11-point scale. For DirecTV, it changed from -14% on the 11-point scale to -20% on the 5-point scale.

Even though the questions were the same in some surveys, changing the scale made people give different answers. This matters a lot because it could make companies sell less, affect how well the NPS score works, change how people see the companies, and more.

2. Reduction in Promoters 

On an 11-point NPS scale, two scores (9,10) denote promoters, giving them the option to choose from a great experience to the perfect one.

On the other hand, on a 5-point NPS scale, only one score (5) denotes promoter, which signifies perfect experience…something rarely happens. So the customer opts for a (4) score adding to the number of passives.

3. Affects external benchmark 

If you use the 5-point NPS scale, your external benchmark will differ. Why?

Because organizations commonly use an 11-point NPS scale. Using 2 different NPS scales gives you a different benchmark as compared to using the same NPS scale. And the benchmark can vary by 4%.

Here is an insight for you to better understand the NPS benchmark across industries

4. Loss of score zero (0) 

The score zero (0) plays a crucial role on an 11-point scale as it describes the terrible experience of the customer. But, the 5-point scale begins with 1, not giving an option to the respondent to share that they had the worst experience.

As for the organizations, they won’t be able to identify these respondents and take immediate action.

These are the reasons why it is not usually recommended. But do you know the right time to use this scale? Let’s find it out here.

When to Use Which Scale?

Using the 5-point NPS scale or 11-point NPS scale depends on your specific needs.

5-point NPS scale:

  • Commonly used by researchers and marketers
  • Ideal for compact transactional and mobile surveys.
  • Suitable if you’re new to NPS and don’t need benchmarking.

For instance, Microsoft Windows pops up its 5-point NPS scale survey questions on users’ desktops. 

While most companies still prefer the 11-point NPS scale because 

  • It provides a more nuanced view of customer sentiment.
  • Allows for finer distinctions in feedback.
  • Enhances benchmarking capabilities.
  • Supports deeper insights into customer satisfaction.
  • Aligns with industry standards for NPS measurement.

But whichever scale you use, make sure to close the feedback loop.

To do that, you need someone to actively address the feedback you receive. It’s not about chasing a higher score, but about making your customers happier. We’ve been there ourselves – our score was once a mere 40, and now it’s 83.

So, what you have to do is – listen to your unsatisfied customers, aka detractors. Understand their concerns, and take action to fix the issues. And don’t forget to let them know you’ve heard them – it makes them feel valued.

Identifying where your customers are struggling and smoothing out those pain-point areas can help you to make lasting customer relationships and ensure their loyalty. Also, if they request new features, add them to your product roadmap and let them know. This way you’ll increase their satisfaction and retain them. 

Now that you know everything about the types of NPS scales, let’s explore which scale is best. 

5-Point NPS Scale vs 11-Point NPS Scale

Let’s find out the difference between the two scales here. 

5-Point NPS Scale 11-Point NPS Scale
Best used on the mobile, tablet.  Users are not comfortable on mobile. That’s why they’re best used on the web. 
Only one score (5) denotes promoter, which signifies perfect experience…something rarely happens. So the customer opts for a (4) score adding to the number of passives. Two scores (9,10) denote promoters, giving them the option to choose from a great experience to the perfect one.
Easy to aggregate and analyze due to fewer response options. Requires more data points to draw statistically significant conclusions.
External benchmarking could be difficult due to the limited use of a 5-point NPS scale Get real-time data and do not affect NPS benchmarking

Here’s a quick video that can help you decide which NPS Scale you should use and why.

Now let’s have a glance at how to create NPS surveys.

Steps to Create a 5-Point NPS Scale Survey

Why SurveySensum?

Because with this NPS platform, you don’t need to create the survey from scratch, the template is inbuilt

STEP 1: Create a free account

You can sign up for free to create an account on the SurveySensum platform.

Sign up on SurveySensum

STEP 2:  Click on Create Survey

After signing up, you will log into the portal, then click on the top-right corner “Create Survey”. And choose “NPS” or “Start from scratch”. 

NPS Built in Template

STEP 3: Customize the question template and branding as per your preference 

Now you can customize the question and branding as per your requirements. And your 5-point scale NPS survey will be ready to share. 

An image showing how to create 5-point NPS scale and customize it as per your branding on the SurveySensum tool

STEP 4: Don’t forget to share your survey on the right platform 

After making the survey, it’s time to execute it in the appropriate manner. So, share your survey on the most-used platform as per your customers’ usage. Here we are sharing the survey on WhatsApp.

share your survey on the right platform 

The next step is to create a contact list including all your customers

create a contact list

After clicking on ‘save & exit’, choose the template and your survey is ready to ship on WhatsApp.

NPS survey template on WhatsApp

And here’s the message that customers will receive on their WhatsApp.   

An image showing WhatsApp survey created on the SurveySensum tool

Launch 5-point NPS Scale Surveys to Uncover Customer Insights!

After knowing how to create NPS surveys in 4 easy steps it’s time to wrap up.


To wrap up the whole discussion on a 5-point and 11-point NPS scale to gauge customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, you must bear one thing in mind for sure, and that is CONSISTENCY. 

Both 11-point and 5-point scales have their merits and demerits. Remember the pointers we discussed in choosing the right NPS scale for your business, and keep to it. Follow only one scale that you prefer and stick to it. Don’t change the scale in between while sharing the survey because that will affect the whole result. 

Consistency and continuous improvement are the keys to unlocking the full potential of NPS. This was all from our side.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an 11-point and a 5-point NPS scale?

An 11-point NPS scale ranges from 0 to 10, providing a more detailed insight into customer satisfaction levels. It also allows for better differentiation between varying degrees of satisfaction. As a result, it is popular for benchmarking and in-depth analysis. 

Whereas a 5-point scale, ranging from 1 to 5, simplifies the decision-making process for respondents. It is best suited for running surveys on channels like SMS. Though it brings a high response rate and faster completion, it offers less granularity. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a 5-point NPS scale?

Advantages of a 5-point NPS scale:

  1. The scale has fewer options, making it easier for respondents to provide feedback.
  2. It is simpler, encouraging more people to complete surveys and increasing the response rates.
  3. It allows for quicker completion of the survey, reducing survey fatigue.

Disadvantages of a 5-point NPS scale:

  1. It offers limited options making it harder to differentiate between satisfaction levels.
  2. It cannot capture specific customer concerns effectively.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using an 11-point NPS scale?

Advantages of an 11-point NPS scale:

  1. It provides a deeper understanding of the customer, helping you differentiate satisfaction levels more accurately.
  2. It allows for benchmarking against industry standards.
  3. It also helps in the precise identification of improvement areas.

Disadvantages of an 11-point NPS scale:

  1. The complexity may lead to lower response rates or non-completion.
  2. It provides too many options, which may make respondents struggle to select the appropriate score.

Manisha Khandelwal

Senior Content Marketer at SurveySensum

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