18 NPS questions & how to increase response rate

Customer Experience

background_image background_image

Do you have loyal and happy customers? Your Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures customer satisfaction and can quantify your customer’s opinions to help inform your business and marketing decisions and provide a better customer experience. It gives you an overall perspective of the entire customer journey. 

NPS surveys answer the basic NPS question: “How likely are you to recommend this company to others?” This question is usually explicitly asked, and the respondent is asked a series of other qualifying questions to dig deeper to see what’s working and isn’t working in the customer experience. 

In this article, we’ll define how NPS surveys measure customer satisfaction and take a deeper dive into what questions you should ask in your survey to get the quantifiable results you need to grow your business and boost revenues. 

What are NPS Surveys?

Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys provide a glimpse at the success of your business by collating all positive and negative feedback to create a benchmark for current and future business performance. By asking customers to fill in a short survey, your business receives anonymous and summarized data regarding the customer experience. 

NPS questions are mostly rated on a scale of 0-10, rather than depending on a majority of open-ended survey questions:

  • Scores 0-6 = represent a negative experience
  • Scores 7-8 = represent a passive experience, with room for improvement
  • Scores 9-10 = represent your loyal enthusiasts likely to recommend you to others

The final question of the NPS survey may be an open-ended follow-up question, allowing the respondent to add additional comments, but otherwise, the most of the survey gathers quantifiable response data.

What are 3 categories of NPS?

Based on this collected data, customers fall into one of three target audience categories based on their responses:

  • Detractors: Those who provided low scores (0-6). These unenthusiastic customers are least likely to recommend your company to others.
  • Passives: Those who provide median scores (7-8). They’re on the fence between being positive and negative influencers for your brand. It won’t take much for them to fall on one side or the other. 
  • Promoters: Those who provide high scores (9-10). These are your most loyal customers who will likely refer your company to others. 

It’s normal to have a  mix of all three customer groups. Very few companies have 100% customer loyalty (aka Promoters). Your job is to analyze the survey data and use it to find ways to turn Detractors into Passives and push Passives onto the Promoter’s side of the fence. This analysis can be done by manually reading and interpreting the data or using machine learning algorithms to match survey data with other data points to develop a more detailed picture. 

Benefits of an NPS survey 

Gathering data from an NPS survey is a good business practice because it helps you get deeper insights into your business from your customer’s (anonymous) perspective. Because it’s anonymous, the results give an honest, more reliable picture of your customer feedback than if you directly ask a specific customer for your feedback. It helps you see why you have unhappy customers and how loyal customers feel about your brand and offerings. Companies like Pinterest ensure their solutions are meaningful to their customers by basing them on the “why” behind customer feedback which lead to an increase in their Net Promoter Score.

With a Net Promoter Score survey, you benefit from:

  • Quick implementation: The survey is flexible, so you can ask just the one NPS question (“Would you refer this business to others”) or ask more and dive deeper into the customer experience to improve it
  • Standardized: Quantifiable NPS scores are a globally recognized measure of customer loyalty and satisfaction. 
  • Benchmark data: You can use your scores to see how your business compares to others in your region or niche and create benchmarks to measure future performance. 

You can generally expect response rates of 10-15% but aim for 30-50%. This can vary depending on how you send the survey, the survey questions and usability, and how engaged customers are with your brand already. When developing a Net Promoter Score that collects enough samples to be representative of your full customer base, statistically, you want to collect responses from at least 10% of your database. 

How to get a better NPS survey response rate

Feedback and NPS surveys end up in our inboxes all the time, but most often, they get ignored. If you’re struggling to get a good sampling of respondents, here are some ideas to help get a better response rate:

  • Shorten your NPS survey: Quick-to-complete surveys have a much higher response rate than longer ones. Everyone has 30 seconds to answer a few questions, but not as many can (or want to) space 5 minutes to fill in a more detailed questionnaire. 
  • Reword the questions: Keep the language and questions as short as possible. The more people have to read and think about their responses, the lower the likelihood of them completing the survey honestly without rushing. 
  • Segment your surveys: People hate filling in surveys that don’t apply to how they interact with your business. Consider segmenting your survey and customizing the questions to specific target audiences. For example, if you’re a retail storefront with both in-person shopping and curbside pick-up, consider sending separate surveys based on how they received their product from you. The experience in-store is much different than curbside pick-up, and it can help you get more granular data on each part of your customer experience. You can also segment them based on where they are in the customer journey. 

What is a good NPS question?

Well-written and formatted NPS survey questions can get you more accurate results. A good net promoter score question has 3 key attributes:

  • It’s quantifiable (the response provides a score out of ten)
  • The question is relevant (or skippable if not)
  • You ask follow-up, open-ended questions, only when appropriate

How many questions are in an NPS survey?

The most basic NPS survey contains just one question: “How likely are you to refer this company to others?” You can add additional questions to get more detailed insights into specific parts of the customer journey and experience to learn how customers feel about your business.

If you need more data, you can ask more questions or do follow-up surveys or interviews, but keep any survey as short and easy to read as possible to boost your response rate and accuracy of results. 

11 Sample NPS questions and templates

Here are some sample NPS questions you can ask in your next feedback survey to better understand customer satisfaction levels and delight your customers

1. How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend?

This is the basic question you want answered. If you only have 1 question in your survey, this would be it. Keep it short, simple, and unambiguous. You can reword this question depending on how you segmented your survey recipients or your type of business. Here are some sample NPS questions:

  • How likely are you to recommend curbside delivery from this company?
  • Based on your experience so far, how likely are you to recommend this company?
  • Based on your recent purchase, how likely are you to recommend this product to others?

2. What did we do well?

This helps identify specific areas of customer satisfaction in an NPS survey. Write one question per feature or experience and ask them to rate it on a scale of 0-10. Here are some example questions you could ask for an in-person or online course:

  • How well did the course content meet your expectations?
  • How helpful was the workbook and handouts?
  • How appropriate was the course length?
  • How helpful did you find the peer/group work sessions?
  • How would you rank the expertise of your instructor?

3. What would improve your experience?

If a customer rated question #2 low, ask a clarifying question to get more details. It can be an open-ended text box, but to increase response rate for this type of clarifying question, give them a small service of option. Here is an example: 

What can we do to improve your experience?

  • Better product features
  • More responsive customer support
  • More detailed product manuals and troubleshooting
  • Video tutorials
  • One-on-one support
  • Product pricing

4. Rate your experience with our customer service team.

This is an excellent question to ask directly after the customer has interacted with a help desk or customer service representative. This data can often be attributed to specific employees. You can reward employees who get positive feedback and help lower-scoring staff get the skills or training they need to improve scores. You can modify this question in many different ways, including:

  • Did they understand your needs?
  • Were they friendly?
  • Did they respond promptly?
  • Did they answer your question to your satisfaction?
  • Did they greet you at the door?

5. Rate how well our product/service met your expectations

This helps measure customer satisfaction of a specific product or service. Ask them to rank how well your product or service performed. Low scores here could mean that your product:

  • Doesn’t work or is defective
  • Doesn’t do what it promises 
  • Has a poor market fit
  • It is not advertised accurately
  • Is missing supplementary information (like a manual)

6. Rate how heavily the [FEATURE] weighed into your buying decision

When you add product features or service add-ons, this is a great question to see what your customers think about it. Have separate questions for each new feature you want feedback for and ask people to rate how that feature influenced their buying decisions.This can help you test the market fit for features like:

  • Longer warranty periods
  • Added personalized services
  • New button or product feature
  • Revised pricing structures

7. NPS Follow-up question examples

If you include open-ended follow-up questions, have them directly after the question they clarify. If your survey platform allows for dynamic questions, ask your follow-up question only when someone provides a dissatisfactory score. Here are some examples of open-ended follow-up questions you can ask for low-scoring questions:

  1. What is the main reason for your score?
  2. Why would you not recommend us to others?
  3. How can we improve your experience?
  4. What was missing in this process?
  5. What did you expect to get/experience/receive?
  6. How can our product better meet your needs?

Other open-ended questions

Generally, you won’t ask any other unrelated open-ended questions as doing so could lower your response rate and accuracy; however, if you’ve earned the right with your customers or are doing NPS scoring as live-in person interviews, you can ask some of these questions:

  1. Why did you choose our company over the competition?
  2. How have you benefited from using our product/service?
  3. What problems did our product solve/not solve for you
  4. What is the most valuable feature of our product?
  5. What’s one thing we can do to make you happier?  

Customize your thank you messages

Add extra detail to your survey with customized thank you messages based on how they ranked in your survey. Here are some examples:

  • Promoters: “Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate local fans of our business and will use your feedback to look for ways to make your experience even better.”
  • Passives: “Thank you for your feedback. Your feedback and suggestions will help us identify opportunities to serve you better.”
  • Detractors: “Thank you for your feedback. We value your feedback and suggestions. Please enter your contact information below so a team member can reach out to you personally to discuss your experience.”

How to use NPS scores in your business

Once you have collected your NPS data, it’s time to do your net promoter score calculation:

  1. Download results from your NPS surveys to a spreadsheet
  2. Generate a percentage total/average for your Detractors and Promoters
  3. Fill in the following formula to get your aggregated Net Promoter Score:

NPS formula

For example: Based on 100 surveys, your NPS scores produce the following customer categories: 

  • 10% Detractors
  • 20% Passives
  • 70% Promoters

Your calculation would be: 

NPS formula with numbers

In this example, your net promoter score calculation would be 60 (aka: 60/100).

What is the employee NPS survey question?

The Employee Net Promoter Score is similar to the customer NPS, but in this case, you’re measuring employee satisfaction rather than customers. You still have the same three categories (Detractors, Passives, Promoters), but it’s focused on understanding employee health and satisfaction in their job. 

Employee NPS surveys can help you see which teams are performing optimally. This information helps your HR teams better support internal team members who need it and praise those who are doing well. 

The best way to analyze your NPS score

Once you have your data collected and overall Net Promoter Score, use machine learning algorithms to analyze and look for trends and meaningful insights in the data. By integrating data from multiple business systems, you can get a more complete picture of your business processes and customer experience, so you know what needs to improve to turn more customers into Promoters and reduce unnecessary churn of dissatisfied customers. 

With Idiomatic, you never need to worry about manually analyzing feedback data from your NPS score or human error in data tagging. You get analyst-quality insights in real-time, so you can act immediately to boost your customers’ satisfaction, attract more loyal customers, and skyrocket your business revenue.

Learn more by requesting a demo with Idiomatic today.