Types of Net Promoter Score and When to Use Them

Net Promoter Score

Explore the Types of Net Promoter Score (NPS) Surveys

May 26, 2023

11 mins read

Manisha Khandelwal

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is one of the popular CX metrics in the business offering valuable insights to the businesses to measure customer loyalty and gauging the overall satisfaction levels.

By understanding your NPS, you can make informed decisions to enhance your products, services, and, ultimately, your customer experience.

However, have you ever stopped to consider that there might be different types of Net Promoter Score surveys? 

If not, don’t worry—you’re not alone. 

Many businesses overlook the various types of NPS surveys and fail to leverage their full potential.

In this blog, we aim to shed light on the different types of Net Promoter Score surveys and their distinct uses. We’ll delve into the importance of each type and guide when and how to implement them effectively with Net Promoter software.

You know what NPS is and how to calculate it. So, let us jump directly into its types. 

Types of Net Promoter Scores (NPS) Surveys

There are three types of Net Promoter Score surveys that many customer-centric businesses use to listen to their customers and identify their pain points. The received data helps businesses to find areas of improvement to improve their products and services. 

Following are the 3 types of NPS:

  1. Transactional NPS or tNPS
  2. Relationship NPS or rNPS
  3. Employee NPS or eNPS

Let’s begin with the transactional Net Promoter Score survey also known as tNPS. 

1. What is a Transactional NPS (tNPS) Survey?

Types of Net Promoter Score (NPS) Surveys

As the name suggests, transactional NPS deals with a specific transaction. It helps measure the customer experience of a particular transaction that concluded recently. 

The question that you can ask in the tNPS survey is 

Based on your recent transaction, how likely are you to recommend our product and services to your friend or colleague? 

After sending a tNPS survey, you will receive instant feedback on how your customers feel post-transaction. If you receive negative feedback, you can take immediate action, and if you receive positive feedback, you can share it with your team to boost their morale. 

When to Conduct tNPS Surveys?

You can conduct a tNPS survey on the following touchpoints: 

1. Onboarding 

How was your overall onboarding experience on a scale of 0-10? 

2. Post-customer service calls

On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague based on the resolution of your recent customer support call?

3. New product launch or product update 

How satisfied are you with our latest product launch on a scale of 0-10? 

4. Post-shopping 

How was your recent shopping experience on a scale of 0-10? 

To effectively measure customer satisfaction, map the entire customer journey and identify touchpoints. After mapping the touchpoints, launch tNPS surveys on the targeted touchpoint. 

If you want to know more about tNPS, read a comprehensive guide on the tNPS survey

2. What is a Relationship NPS (rNPS) Survey?

An image that shows a screenshot of a survey from Trends

Let’s understand what relationship NPS (rNPS) is with an example. 

Laura often shops at Shopper Stop and she has been a loyal customer for 2 years.

Here, Shopper Stop has an opportunity to celebrate Laura’s priority of choosing Shopper Stop for shopping over its competitors. 

Shopper Stop decided to send her a message to express gratitude for her constant support and asked her to participate in a relationship NPS survey. And they end the survey by offering her to become a part of their loyalty club. 

This is where Shopper Stop can gauge and understand Laura’s overall experience. 

So, now you know what a relationship NPS survey is.

Relationship NPS Survey is used to gauge customers’ overall loyalty and satisfaction with a business and also assess the likelihood of recommending your business to others. 

When to Conduct rNPS Surveys?

You can send a relationship NPS survey quarterly or annually varying from business to business to 

  • Know the customer’s overall perception of your organization
  • Benchmark against internal or external NPS data
  • Understand customer loyalty


Create and Launch NPS Survey!

After knowing when to launch tNPS and rNPS surveys, you must be curious to know how they differ from each other.

— Let’s find it out. 

4 Key Differences Between Transactional and Relationship NPS Surveys

Transactional NPS survey Relationship NPS survey 
Definition  The transactional NPS survey measures the customer experience post-transaction.  Relationship NPS survey gauges a customer’s overall experience.
When to use  After the customer completes a transaction  Regularly at predefined intervals 
Focus Specific transactions Overall customer relationship
Scope Individual touchpoints Multiple touchpoints over time
Measurement Experience at each touchpoint Likelihood to recommend the company or brand
Actionability Immediate improvements in specific areas Long-term strategic enhancements
Insights Granular feedback on touchpoint performance A holistic view of customer experience and perception
Use Case Pinpoint specific areas for improvement Understand the overall health of customer relationships
Advantages  Gather immediate feedback on every customer touchpoint  Gather customer loyalty and relationships at a broader level 
  • Biased responses 
  • Fluctuates NPS scores 
  • Lacks in locating passive customers 
  • Does not measure customer acquisition 

1. Timing & Frequency

Sending the survey at the right time is crucial to measure customer expectations. 

– Transactional NPS (tNPS)

A transactional NPS survey is sent right after the transaction. It is used for action-taking purposes– allowing you to analyze the received feedback and help identify issues that can be addressed promptly. 

– Relationship NPS (rNPS)

A relationship NPS survey, on the other hand, is sent periodically — like quarterly, annually, etc. The prolonged period in sending the survey gives the customer enough time to create thoughtful feedback about the relationship with the business. Also, it focuses on overall customer perception of the organization, products, services, and communication strategy.

2. Survey Questions  

No matter which survey metric you choose and send, it is vital to ask the right questions to gather apt insights. 

– Transactional NPS (tNPS)

Questions are focused on a specific customer’s touchpoint to measure their experience. Following are some examples of transactional NPS survey questions to ask: 

  • Based on your recent shopping experience, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends or colleagues?
  • How was your refund experience with us on a scale of 0-10?

– Relationship NPS (rNPS)

Questions are focused on the overall customer journey to gauge their experience. Here’re a few examples of relationship NPS survey questions to ask:

  • Overall, how was your experience with us on a scale of 0-10?
  • On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our products and services to your friends and colleagues?

3. Customer Engagement & Customer Loyalty 

tNPS and rNPS improve customer engagement and loyalty respectively in their ways. 

– Transactional NPS (tNPS)

If you look deeper, transactional NPS surveys seek to find the factors that influence customer engagement.

It asks the following questions covering 

  • Their experience in using a feature, product, or service
  • Any roadblocks or obstacles in the transaction that should be addressed 
  • Any recommendations for improvement

The feedback – you received covering the above-mentioned questions gives you instant customer experience feedback. If your customer gave you a bad review because of some unresolved issue, then you can take relevant action and close the feedback loop.

– Relationship NPS (rNPS)

On the other hand, relationship NPS surveys go beyond that and assess whether the cumulative experiences will encourage customers to refer the business to their friends and colleagues.

The objective of rNPS is to gauge customer LOYALTY that stems from previous transactions and interactions with the business. You can leverage the feedback from happy customers to turn them into promoters and add their experiences into testimonials to market your brand. 

4. Benefits accrued from the survey

Here are some benefits that businesses get while collecting customer feedback

– Transactional NPS (tNPS)

A transactional NPS survey helps businesses gather feedback from customers regarding the particular process changes they expect to see in the product or service.

– Relationship NPS (rNPS)

Relationship NPS surveys, on the other hand, aim to figure out passive customers who could be converted into promoters. They look at customer relationships from a bird’s eye view and help make long-term changes that will boost customer loyalty.


Launch your NPS Program Today!

Now you know the difference between transactional and relationship NPS, so which one are you going to opt for?

Transactional vs Relationship NPS Survey– Which One Should You Go for?

As mentioned above, Transactional NPS asks customers to recommend their business to others after a certain interaction. 

Is this the right approach?

Do you think your customer will recommend your product or business just after one single transaction? 

– No

That’s why it’s always advisable to launch a Relationship NPS and CSAT/CES survey instead of a Transactional NPS survey.

While many businesses use tNPS to gauge experience at each touchpoint, it is not recommended. 

So, after choosing the survey, don’t forget to implement the best practices. 

Best Practices to Conduct tNPS and rNPS Surveys

Best Practices to Conduct tNPS and rNPS survey

Here are the best practices that you can implement in your organization to drive business.

  1. Know the OBJECTIVE of your survey.
  2. Send the survey at the RIGHT TIME and CHANNEL.
  3. Make the survey CONCISE and PERSONALIZE. 
  4. Ask STRAIGHTFORWARD questions that deliver and invoke the right responses from respondents. 
  5. Analyze and take relevant action on the gathered data. 
  6. SHARE survey results with your organization and make data-driven decisions. 
  7. Constantly TRACK tNPS and rNPS scores to evaluate the trends and effectiveness of the action taken.
  8. CLOSE THE FEEDBACK LOOP by engaging and resolving their issues. 

By following these best practices, you can effectively leverage transactional and relationship NPS surveys.

And that’s not it! 

There is another type of NPS survey – eNPS Surveys

What is Employee NPS (eNPS) Survey?

An example of eNPS survey

Employee NPS aka eNPS is usually used by businesses to measure their employee’s happiness and satisfaction with their work culture. It is an easy and effective way to measure your employee engagement

Just like tNPS and rNPS are used for gauging customer satisfaction, organizations measure their employees’ pulse via eNPS.

When to conduct eNPS surveys? 

You can conduct eNPS surveys quarterly or annually to know how likely your employees are to recommend your organization to your friends and colleagues.

With eNPS surveys, you can also 

  • Gauge overall employee loyalty 
  • Reduce employee attrition 
  • Allow converting negative employees into positive ones

You can also boost your employee engagement, by trying pulse surveys


Everyone knows the power of NPS and now you also know how its types can offer valuable insights into customer and employee satisfaction. 

By understanding different types of Net Promoter Score, exploring their differences, and implementing best practices, you can leverage NPS effectively to enhance customer loyalty, drive growth, and create a positive organizational culture. 

It is essential to choose the right NPS tool for your organization. You have to ensure that the tool you choose meet your requirements, is easy to use, and falls well within your budget. We have compiled a list of the best NPS tools to help you with it. Have a look. 

This multi-pronged approach has become a pivotal factor for the success of growing companies as it can measure and improve multiple touchpoints – proving to be a game-changer in today’s competitive business landscape.

But remember, the key to success lies in continuously monitoring and acting upon the feedback received through NPS surveys.

So, launch your surveys with SurveySensum now to keep track of all your surveys and make them actionable. 



Continue reading about the Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey here:

Manisha Khandelwal

Senior Content Marketer at SurveySensum

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