Net Promoter Score Misuse

October 19 , 2017 by in Stories
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NPS net promoter score

I realize I just wrote about this, but this morning I received a survey that is utilizing the Net Promoter Score (NPS) horribly wrong. Of course, as the founder of a survey software, I try to complete every survey sent my way.

I won’t reveal who sent it to me, but the question asked was this…

“How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or a business contact?”

Nothing wrong here. It’s a very typical NPS question, so on the slider scale I gave this company a 5.

net promoter score scale

The problem came with their follow up:

“We’re sorry you weren’t happy with your experience. Please let us know why.”

 

Ugghh! You did ask me how I felt about my experience, I thought.

I’m actually really happy with my experience. I’m just not likely to recommend them.

Now, with a score of 5, I’m bringing down their NPS. How many other people answered the same way I did? They’ll never know because they’re asking the wrong question. And, unfortunately, their NPS will not be giving them the data they think they’re getting.

If you’re going to use the NPS, use it right! In this case, the company should change one of two things:

1. Initial Question: Rather than the NPS, try something like this…

“How was your experience?”

2. Follow Up: Instead of following up with an assumption, be more open-ended:

“Why did you give us a 5?”

There’s a chance this company couldn’t make a change even if they wanted to. On several occasions I’ve seen softwares like this one restrict the questions and/or possible answers the company has available to them.

A restriction like this isn’t bad, necessarily, as long as the questions, follow ups, and answers make sense. Unfortunately, the case above just shows another misuse of the Net Promoter Score.

Thanks for reading!

-Brodie Tyler

Brodie Tyler

About Brodie Tyler

Brodie Tyler is an experienced speaker, published author, innovative entrepreneur, and digital marketing expert since 2000. When he's not working, he's probably hanging out with his wife and four kids.

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