Customer Service Glossary

What Is the Net Promoter Scale?

Net Promoter Scale, also known as the NPS®, is a tool that businesses use to measure customer experience. Since its launch in 2003 by Bain & Company, in conjunction with Fred Reichheld, the Net Promoter Scale has become a valuable tool to benchmark customer satisfaction ratings, brand loyalty, and overall scalability.  

The Net Promoter Scale works by asking current customers how likely they are to recommend a brand, product, or service to a friend, family member, or colleague. Customers provide a score between one and ten based on their overall experience and satisfaction levels. After responding, customers are grouped into one of three categories:


Promoters are customers who respond with a Net Promoter Score of 9 or 10. Promoters are often the most engaged, satisfied, and loyal customers and are likely to recommend your brand, product, or service to others. 


Passives are the consumers who respond with a Net Promoter Score of 7 or 8. Passives are usually satisfied with their experience but won’t recommend your company. 


Finally, detractors are the customers who respond with a Net Promoter Score of 6 or lower. Detractors are unsatisfied customers who aren’t likely to make another purchase from your company again. Further, up to 75% of detractors will share their negative customer experience with friends and family members. 

Common Questions About Using the Net Promoter Scale in Customer Service Departments

What is a good NPS score?

Generally speaking, any score above zero is considered “good” because it means that your brand has sparked some customer loyalty. Companies that score above 50 provide excellent customer service, while brands with an NPS score of 80 or above are considered “world-class.” 

That said, it’s important to remember that NPS scores don’t occur in a vacuum. Instead of researching average ratings, take a look at the scores of other companies in your industry. Use your competitors as a benchmark to improve the results of your one-question survey and encourage satisfied customers to share their experiences with friends and family to increase new leads and outrank your competitors. 

How do you calculate a Net Promoter Score?

To calculate an NPS promoter score, use the following formula:

% of Promoters – % of Detractors = NPS Score

How do I increase my NPS score?

Increasing your NPS score requires a comprehensive, organizational commitment to customer satisfaction and user experience. That said, you can use the following strategies to improve NPS: 

  • Listening to customer feedback
  • Providing closed-loop customer care
  • Training staff based on NPS feedback