Net Promoter Score

19 NPS Survey Best Practices To Elevate Customer Experience

May 23, 2024

24 mins read

Manisha Khandelwal

In today’s competitive landscape, where differentiation is key and customer expectations are continually on the rise, focusing solely on CX misses the mark. The true emphasis must be on delivering a “good CX” – one that not only meets but exceeds customer expectations, fosters loyalty, and drives positive business outcomes. 

In fact, Harvard Business Review underscores this point with a study encompassing over 75,000 companies, which found that impressing customers with grand gestures matters less than efficiently solving problems and ensuring effortless use of products or services.

So, how to focus on creating a “good customer experience” and not just customer experience? Well, by using the Net Promoter Score metric.

But only using NPS in CX is not enough to create good CX, you also need to use them effectively to understand and improve your customer experience. This is why understanding the best practices in NPS survey design is just as important as measuring it. 

Curious about these NPS survey best practices? Let’s scroll down and start by understanding NPS surveys.

What is an NPS Survey?

This is the image of an NPS survey where users are being asked to rate their likelihood of recommending SurveySensum to friends or colleagues.

NPS survey is a widely used tool for measuring customer loyalty and satisfaction. It consists of a single question that asks customers how likely they are to recommend a company, product, or service to a friend or colleague, using a scale of 0 to 10.

Based on their responses, customers are categorized into three groups – Promoters (score 9-10), Passives (score 7-8), and Detractors (score 0-6).

→ Here’s how to convert detractors into promoters in NPS.

To calculate the NPS, the percentage of detractors is subtracted from the percentage of promoters, resulting in a score that can range from -100 to +100. A positive score indicates that there are more promoters than detractors, while a negative score suggests the opposite.

Now before we explore all the NPS survey best practices, let’s have a look at what is considered a “good” NPS survey response rate.

What Is a Good NPS Survey Response Rate?

Achieving a good NPS survey response rate depends on many factors such as industry, audience demographics, and survey distribution methods. 

However, as a general rule of thumb,

  • A response rate below 10% is considered low. The sample size is too small to with this response rate.
  • An average response rate falls between 10% and 30%. This response rate can be considered a reasonable range for many businesses.
  • An NPS response rate above 30% is considered good. It indicates active engagement from your customer base.
  • A response rate above 50% is considered excellent. This level of engagement demonstrates a high level of customer interest and satisfaction. 

Let’s now dive deep into all the NPS best practices.

19 NPS Survey Best Practices To Improve Your Survey Design

Here are all the NPS survey best practices that you need to implement into your strategy.

The images shows al the 19 best practices that will help you improve your survey design.

1. Know What You Want To Achieve

Ever planned a trip? How do you get started? Obviously by first deciding on where you want to go. Because without narrowing down your destination first how else would you pack and plan for the trip?

The same goes for launching your NPS program. Before gathering relevant data to measure and improve NPS, you need to clearly define your survey goals and narrow down your objectives.

Without this step, your NPS program will become half-baked and even a complete failure.

So, before rushing on to design your NPS survey, clearly define the objectives you want to achieve. Whether it’s measuring overall customer satisfaction, identifying areas for improvement, or tracking loyalty over time, having clear objectives will help you gather and analyze relevant data.

2. rNPS vs tNPS: Which One To Use?

rNPS measures overall satisfaction and loyalty towards the brand, while tNPS focuses on specific interactions or transactions.

The choice to choose between rNPS or tNPS completely depends on your survey goals and what you want to achieve. But before choosing either of them, it is also important to understand the usage of each of them.

Now, when it comes to choosing one over the other, we recommend choosing rNPS over tNPS. This is because NPS is a relationship metric and needs to be measured as a whole. With rNPS you can gauge customer loyalty as a whole over a period of time, but with tNPS you gauge customer loyalty only at certain interactions and touchpoints.

→ Discover the different types of Net Promoter Score surveys.


So, launch your first NPS survey with SurveySensum’s industry-specific survey templates in under 5 minutes!


3. 5-Point vs 11-Point: Which One To Use?

Now, after deciding which type of NPS survey to launch, it is now time to decide what type of NPS scale to use. 

With 5-point NPS scale, respondents need to choose between a 1-5 score where 1-2 is Detractor, 3 is Passive, and 4-5 is considered Promoter. With an 11-point NPS scale, the respondent has a wider range of choices from 0-10 where 0-6 is Detractor, 7-8 is Passive, and 9-10 is Promoter.

Now, when it comes to choosing between these two scales, we recommend going with the 11-point NPS scale. This is because, with a 5-point NPS scale, you can experience some fluctuations in the result as the scale doesn’t give enough detail for people to express their feelings. Also, it might affect your external NPS benchmarking as most organizations use an 11-point NPS scale, and using two different NPS scales can give you a different benchmark as compared to using the same NPS scale.

→ Discover more about the 11-point NPS survey scale vs 5-point NPS survey scale.

4. What NPS Question To Ask?

Asking the right question is as important as choosing the right type of NPS survey and the right scale. If you don’t frame your NPS questions correctly then you are risking your whole NPS program as this will result in gathering irrelevant and biased survey data.

Start with the OG NPS question – “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or colleague?” Sweet, simple, yet powerful.

Now, don’t just stop here, add an open-ended question – “What is the primary reason for your score?” This open-ended question allows customers to provide qualitative feedback on why they gave their rating. 

If you want, you can add another question – “How could we improve your experience?” This encourages customers to suggest specific actions or changes that would enhance their experience with the company.

But that’s all. Asking these three questions in an NPS survey is more than enough as an NPS survey is about uncovering customer loyalty, not investigating customer satisfaction with each and every aspect of your company. 

Asking these three survey questions is more than enough to gather feedback that informs strategic decisions, drives improvements, and strengthens customer relationships.

Tip: Limit your NPS survey questions to a minimum of 2 questions and a maximum of 3 questions.


So, launch your simple, yet powerful, NPS survey with SurveySensum’s survey templates in under 5 minutes!


5. When to Ask?

Now, just like asking the right questions, asking it at the right time is also crucial to the success of your NPS program. 

Why? Because determining the optimal time to send NPS surveys is essential for maximizing response rates and gathering timely and relevant feedback that accurately reflects the customer experience. 

So, when to send your NPS survey? Well, different rules apply for different industries, but the general rule of thumb is that:

  • Send the NPS survey shortly after a customer has completed a purchase or interacted with your product or service. This ensures that the experience is fresh in their mind, increasing the likelihood of an accurate and insightful response.
  • Also, send NPS surveys at regular intervals to track progress over time. Sending quarterly or bi-annual surveys can provide valuable insights into trends and patterns, allowing you to identify areas for improvement and measure the effectiveness of your CX initiatives.

6. Find Out the “Why”

You launched your NPS survey with the right questionnaire at the right time and also received lots of relevant feedback, now what? Does the process end here? Absolutely not! 

Now begins the journey of discovering the “why” behind the level of customer satisfaction. It’s now time to unravel why your customer is happy or unhappy, what they expect, what are their needs, and where they are getting stuck. 

Here’s how you can properly analyze your NPS feedback.

This is a GIF of Text Analytics Software where the tool is categorizing and segmenting feedback into different categories based on the keyword.

  • Leverage tools like Text Analytics Software to identify recurring themes and trends in your customer feedback. This will enable you to pinpoint specific areas for improvement and prioritize initiatives to address the root causes of customer dissatisfaction. 

With an effective tool, you don’t even need to do much. All you have to do is:

  • First, train the system by reading a few comments and figuring out some categories. For example, a category for SAAS company can be ‘Product Design’. 
  • Then add some keywords related to it.
  • Now, in tag analysis, the platform can automate the process of tagging every comment.
  • After the analysis is done, get a detailed report of top trends and sentiments in just a few minutes.

This will help you uncover valuable insights hidden within NPS feedback, enabling you to understand the “why” behind customers’ scores and take targeted actions to enhance the customer experience.


So, automate the process of measuring and analyzing your feedback efficiently with SurveySensum’s AI-enabled text analytics software.


7. Don’t Make It Boring

NPS surveys are simple but who said it needs to be boring?

Creating visually appealing surveys and engaging doesn’t just look good but is also crucial to encouraging participation and gathering meaningful insights. Here’s how you can implement this best practice.

  • Short and Sweet: Keep the survey concise and to the point. Focus on asking not more than 3 questions – 1 NPS question, 1 open-ended question, and add another open-ended question if you think it is important.
  • Visual Appeal: Incorporate visually appealing elements such as images, colors, and branding to make the survey visually appealing and on-brand. 
  • Interactive Elements: Incorporate interactive elements such as sliders, rating scales, or drag-and-drop features to make the survey experience more interactive and engaging.
  • Personalization: Personalize the survey experience by addressing respondents by their names and tailoring the survey content based on their past interactions or preferences. 

Mobile Optimization: Many customers prefer to take surveys on their mobile devices, so ensure that the survey is mobile-friendly and optimized for use on smartphones and tablets.

→ Here’s how to create an NPS survey that is both effective and aesthetically pleasing.

8. NPS Report

This is an image of an analytical and detailed report of the NPS survey.

Now it’s time to compile all your NPS data and results and present the report to your team and stakeholders to tell them that all the hard work was not a waste of time and effort.

Also, keeping a report of everything will help you monitor and analyze customer feedback, make informed and strategic decisions, and drive improvements in your customer experience. 

So, how to do that? With NPS reports and survey dashboards.

By using effective NPS software, you also get powerful tools and features like detailed and analytical NPS reports and dashboards. With this feature, you can,

  • Compile the NPS scores over time track recurring trends and identify changes in customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  • Segment customers based on various criteria such as demographics, geographic location, or purchase history. Segmenting NPS scores helps you identify specific customer groups with differing levels of satisfaction and tailor strategies accordingly.
  • Benchmark your score against the industry average. Visualize your data with the help of charts, graphs, and heatmaps, and present your survey data in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand format. This helps stakeholders quickly grasp key insights and trends without having to go through large volumes of raw data.
  • Do real-time monitoring. This allows you to track feedback as it comes in and respond promptly to emerging issues.

9. NPS Benchmarking

Understanding if you got a bad or good NPS score is not a straightforward process. There are a lot of factors that affect your NPS score and one of them is the average NPS score of your industry.

For example, you got 45 as your NPS score but the average score of your industry is 65, this means that you are lagging behind and there is a huge gap between you and your competitors.

This is why NPS benchmarking is crucial to this process. This process involves comparing your NPS against industry averages, competitors, or internal benchmarks to gain insights into your performance relative to others in the same market or industry.

Here’s how to benchmark your NPS score effectively:

1. Benchmark Against Industry Average: Research industry-specific NPS benchmarks from reliable sources such as industry reports, etc. Then compare your company’s NPS score with the industry average to understand how you stack up against competitors and peers in your industry.

2. Benchmark As Per Your Regional/Cultural Average: Consider regional or cultural differences that may influence customer perceptions and expectations. Benchmark your NPS score against regional or cultural averages to gain insights into geographical variations in customer satisfaction and loyalty.

3. Benchmark Score Against the Channel’s Average: Evaluate NPS scores across different customer interaction channels such as in-store, online, mobile app, or call center. Benchmark your NPS score against the average NPS score for each channel to identify channels where you excel and areas for improvement.

10. Turn Feedback Into Action

All your efforts to improve your NPS – from launching the right survey at the right time to analyzing and compiling a detailed report, will be half-baked if you don’t take action on the feedback.

By taking action on your NPS feedback you actually leverage the actionable insights gathered from the surveys to make improvements, solve customer problems, and drive business growth. So, here’s how to effectively engage with each group of respondents.

1. Engage with Passives: Engaging with Passives involves understanding the reasons behind their neutral sentiment and taking proactive steps to address their concerns or areas of improvement.

  • Reach out to Passives with follow-up surveys or personalized communication to gather more detailed feedback about their experiences.
  • Use insights from Passives to identify pain points in the customer journey and implement targeted initiatives to enhance the customer experience and turn Passives into Promoters.

2. Engage with Detractors: Engaging with detractors will help you prevent further dissatisfaction and minimize potential damage to your brand’s reputation.

  • Reach out to detectors promptly to understand the reasons for their low NPS scores and address their concerns.
  • Take immediate action to resolve issues raised by detractors, whether it involves product improvements, process enhancements, or personalized resolution efforts.
  • Follow up with detractors after implementing changes to demonstrate your commitment to addressing their feedback and rebuilding trust.

3. Leverage Promoters: Leveraging Promoters involves capitalizing on their positive sentiment and advocacy to drive business growth.

  • Engage with Promoters to express gratitude for their support and loyalty. Personalized thank-you messages or incentives can further strengthen the relationship with Promoters.
  • Encourage Promoters to become your brand advocate to spread positive word-of-mouth and refer new customers to your brand.
  • Leverage insights from Promoters to identify and amplify your brand’s strengths and unique selling points. Use Promoter feedback to inform marketing campaigns, product development initiatives, and customer engagement strategies.

11. Use the Roboust NPS Tool

All the best practices you talked about above – launching the right type of NPS survey, what to ask, when to send an NPS survey, how to analyze the data and turn the feedback into action, all of these best practices need proper NPS software for effective implementation. 

A robust tool will not only help you create and launch your survey but also automate the process of analyzing thousands of feedback and presenting the data in a detailed and analytical manner for you to visualize and create effective action plans.

So, here is what you need to look for in an NPS tool to effectively measure customer loyalty, gather actionable feedback, and drive improvements in the customer experience. 

  • Customizable Surveys: Choose a tool that allows you to create customizable NPS surveys tailored to your brand’s needs. 
  • Multi-Channel Survey Distribution: Ensure the NPS tool supports multi-channel survey distribution, allowing you to reach customers through various channels.
  • Real-Time Feedback: An efficient NPS tool should provide real-time feedback capabilities, allowing you to collect and analyze NPS responses as they come in. 
  • Advanced Reporting and Analytics: Choose a tool that offers advanced reporting and analytics features to analyze NPS data effectively.
  • Integration with CRM Systems: Integrate the NPS tool with your CRM system to streamline data collection, automate follow-up actions, and enhance customer engagement.
  • Closed-Loop Feedback: Select a tool that supports closed-loop feedback processes, allowing you to follow up with customers after they provide feedback. Closed-loop feedback enables you to acknowledge feedback, address customer concerns, and communicate resolutions effectively, fostering trust and loyalty.
NPS is particularly useful in the retail industry because it helps businesses build customer loyalty, retain loyal customers, and encourage them to refer others.


→ Discover the best NPS tool to suit your business needs and goals.


12. Close the Feedback Loop in Real-Time

This is an image of the real-time ticketing system of SurveySensum.

We have talked about closing the feedback loop quite a bit in the above section, so let’s explore this concept in more detail and also understand why this is necessary for improving NPS.

Closing the feedback loop with your customer is all about taking action on customer feedback and informing customers of the outcomes or resolutions. By closing the loop, you demonstrate responsiveness, build trust, and foster a positive relationship with your customers. 

Now, one of the effective ways to implement this is with a real-time ticketing system, and here’s how you can implement this strategy.

  • Choose an NPS survey tool that offers a ticketing system to close the feedback loop on detractors. [add image] 
  • Configure your system to trigger tickets when customers leave negative feedback and automatically assign these tickets to the relevant person.
  • Set up SLAs to establish response and resolution timeframes, ensuring that critical issues are addressed promptly. Once the SLA is up and the issue is still unresolved, set up a system to escalate the issue to senior management.
  • Monitor the progress of tickets throughout the resolution process. Keep stakeholders informed about the status of their feedback with role-based dashboards and provide regular updates on progress such as the number of tickets resolved or the performance of each agent.

13. Share the NPS Data With the Whole Team

Sharing NPS data with the whole team is a critical step to foster transparency and accountability within the organization. This practice also provides a sense of ownership in the organization and encourages everyone to contribute towards improving customer satisfaction.

Here’s how to effectively share NPS data:

Internal Sharing With the Team: this helps in keep everyone aligned towards one goal.

  • Conduct regular meetings to share NPS data with all relevant teams and stakeholders across the organization
  • Provide comprehensive reports and visualizations of NPS data, including overall scores, trends over time, segmentation by customer demographics or touchpoints, and analysis of key drivers of satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Encourage open dialogue and discussion around the NPS data, allowing team members to ask questions, share insights, and collaborate on strategies to improve the customer experience.
  • Emphasize the importance of NPS as a KPI and align team goals and objectives with driving improvements in NPS scores.

14. Take a Top-Down Approach

Taking a top-down approach to getting your CEO on board with NPS initiatives is crucial for securing support, resources, and organizational commitment to drive meaningful change. 

Because only when they are on board, can you see all stakeholders [team leaders] aligned. It should come from the top! 

15. Keep in Regular Touch With Customers

Keeping in regular touch with customers and communicating the actions planned in response to their feedback is crucial for fostering trust, transparency, and customer loyalty. Here’s how to effectively communicate with customers throughout the feedback process:

  • Immediately acknowledge receipt of customer feedback by sending personalized thank-you messages or emails to demonstrate responsiveness and show that their input is valued. 
  • Share updates on the steps being taken to address their concerns. Be transparent about the timeline, progress, and status of action items to manage expectations effectively.
  • Send personalized follow-up communications to respondents, thanking them for their feedback and providing information on actions taken based on their feedback.
  • If necessary, follow up with customers to seek clarification or gather additional input on their feedback.
  • Once actions have been taken based on customer feedback, close the loop by informing customers of the outcomes or resolutions. 
  • Share NPS data and insights with your customers to demonstrate that their feedback is valued and taken seriously by the organization. This helps build trust and transparency.
  • Encourage customers to provide feedback on the communication process itself. Ask for input on the clarity, timeliness, and effectiveness of communication.

16. Stop Gaming NPS Score

As much as no one likes to admit it, many organization does game their NPS score. This refers to the practice of manipulating survey responses or gaming the system to artificially inflate or deflate NPS scores. By doing this businesses give a false impression of their customer satisfaction and loyalty and affect the brand’s reputation.

Here’s how to prevent and stop gaming NPS scores:

  • Shift the focus from achieving high NPS scores to genuinely improving the customer experience. 
  • Encourage honesty and integrity in all customer interactions and discourage any attempts to manipulate or distort NPS scores.
  • Educate employees at all levels of the organization about the purpose and methodology of NPS surveys, as well as the potential consequences of gaming the system. 
  • Look for inconsistencies or irregularities that may indicate attempts to game the system and investigate further to ensure data integrity.

17. Historical NPS

This is an image of the historical NPS where NPS scores are tracked and recorded over time.

Another aspect of measuring and improving NPS is the historical NPS. What it means is capturing the trend of NPS over time, of a company in terms of customer loyalty and satisfaction.

This gives you an idea of your company’s performance over time regarding your NPS programs – whether or not your efforts are making any changes, how is your company growing after implementing the changes, etc.

With the help of an efficient NPS tool, keeping track of your NPS program and performance is not a challenging task. Choose the right tool that allows you to keep track of all your NPS scores over time so that you can visualize the data easily and identify recurring themes, trends, and areas for improvement.

The images shows import features of SurveySensum where  NPS data can be imported in bulk.

Not only that, an efficient tool also comes with a data import feature. With this feature you can import NPS data in bulk, saving time and effort compared to manual data entry. This also enables you to analyze and track previous (imported data) and current NPS data all in one place.

18. Use the NPS Survey Along With Other CX Metrics

NPS is a valuable CX metric but it is not the only metric, right?

If you want to gain a holistic view of your customer satisfaction, then focusing only on NPS is not enough, you also need to integrate NPS with other CX metrics such as CSAT, CES, etc.

  • CSAT measures a customer’s satisfaction with a specific interaction, transaction, or experience. By analyzing CSAT alongside NPS, businesses can understand the correlation between satisfaction with individual touchpoints and overall loyalty, identifying areas for improvement.
  • CES measures the ease with which customers can accomplish a specific task or goal.

Integrating CES with NPS allows businesses to identify the relationship between customer effort and loyalty, optimizing processes to reduce friction.

  • Retention rate measures the percentage of customers who continue to use a company’s products or services over a specific period. Analyzing NPS alongside retention rate helps businesses understand how loyal and satisfied customers contribute to sustained revenue growth and profitability.
  • CLV quantifies the total value a customer brings to the business over their entire relationship. While NPS reflects customer loyalty and advocacy, CLV provides insights into the economic impact of loyal customers. So, by correlating NPS with CLV, businesses can prioritize efforts to retain high-value customers.
  • Churn rate measures the percentage of customers who stop using a company’s products or services over a specific period. Integrating NPS with churn rate allows businesses to identify factors contributing to customer churn and proactively address issues to improve retention and loyalty.

19. Localize Your NPS Survey Questions

Localizing NPS survey questions involves tailoring the questions to match the cultural nuances, language preferences, and specific market contexts of different regions or customer segments. This will help you demonstrate a commitment to customer-centricity, and enhance survey participation and response rates.

Here’s how to localize your NPS survey questions effectively:

  • Conduct thorough research and cultural sensitivity training to understand the preferences, norms, and sensitivities of each target audience.
  • Work with native speakers or local experts to translate survey questions accurately and ensure linguistic and cultural appropriateness.
  • Test the localized survey questions with sample audiences to gather feedback and identify any areas for improvement or misinterpretation.
  • Monitor and analyze responses from localized surveys to identify trends, patterns, and actionable insights that inform decision-making and drive improvements in the customer experience.

Tip: Always add follow-up questions to your NPS survey. This will enable you to capture detailed feedback on your customer’s rating and will help you identify recurring themes and trends more efficiently.

To Sum It Up,

Implementing best practices for NPS offers businesses a powerful framework for understanding customer loyalty and satisfaction. By defining clear objectives, collecting timely feedback, segmenting data, closing the feedback loop, and incorporating NPS into a long-term strategy, companies can effectively leverage NPS. With a comprehensive approach to NPS implementation, you can build stronger relationships with customers, enhance brand reputation, and stay competitive in today’s dynamic market landscape.

But the most important part of implementing these best practices is leveraging a robust NPS software like SurveySensum. What sets this tool apart from other NPS tools is that it’s not just a feedback tool, it’s your strategic CX partner. The tool comes with end-to-end implementation and consultation support from top CX experts who will help you gather, analyze, and act on feedback effectively to drive business growth.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best practice question for NPS survey?

The best practice question for the Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey is:

On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend [Company/Product/Service] to a friend or colleague?

This question allows respondents to rate their likelihood of recommending your company, product, or service, providing a clear metric for measuring customer loyalty and satisfaction.

2. How do you structure an NPS survey?

An NPS survey typically consists of three main components:

Primary Question: The NPS question, as mentioned above, asks about the likelihood of recommendation on a scale of 0-10.

Follow-up Question: An open-ended question asking respondents to provide reasons for their rating, allowing for qualitative feedback.

3. How often should you do NPS survey?

The frequency of NPS surveys can vary depending on your business needs, industry, and customer lifecycle. However, some best practices suggest conducting NPS surveys:

  • Implementing NPS surveys on a consistent basis, such as quarterly or biannually, allows you to track changes in customer sentiment over time and identify trends.
  • Sending NPS surveys after key interactions or touchpoints, such as after a purchase, customer support interaction, or product/service usage, can provide timely feedback.
  • Conducting NPS surveys in response to specific events or milestones, such as product launches, major updates, or changes in company policies, can help gauge the impact on customer satisfaction.

Manisha Khandelwal

Senior Content Marketer at SurveySensum

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