5 Smart Ways to Use Your NPS® Survey Results

A Net Promoter Score isn't just a number. Learn how to use your NPS survey results to boost customer retention and provide the best customer experience.


Sara Staffaroni

January 28, 2019

Back to Resources

The results from Net Promoter Score® (NPS) surveys are the most underutilized tool in business. Okay, it’s a bold statement, but the potential locked up inside your NPS survey results is huge.

From telling you that the majority customers are extremely annoyed with your new website design to predicting that your customers are about to switch to your closest competitor, there are so many valuable insights that are lost if you’re only looking at your NPS as a number. 

The real value doesn’t come from knowing your NPS is 70 or 0. It comes from knowing what that score really means to your organization and learning how you can continue to improve your customer’s experience. Both of these insights depend on analyzing responses from customers using additional context.  

While the exact steps to analyze your NPS survey results will differ depending on the tools you use, I hope this article will get your brain churning in the right direction so that you can start digging deeper into your NPS data.

Here are 5 ways to turn your NPS survey results into actionable insight.

Combine NPS survey results with your CRM

NPS surveys should never be anonymous. Without being able to connect the score to a person, you can’t gain a deeper understanding of who your promoters and detractors are.

The best way to get context on your customers is by using the data you already have from your ongoing relationship. Usually, this is stored in a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, like Salesforce.

When you combine your NPS survey data with your CRM data, you can find patterns within segments of promoters and detractors that can help inform future decisions. Let’s take a closer look at what this entails.

Use cohort-based NPS analysis  

Every group of customers will have a different experience with your company depending on when they signed up, and who they are. A cohort can be any group of people that share similar characteristics, but in software, it’s typical to create cohorts based on the month they signed up.

Segmenting customers by their joining date can help you identify how their concerns change over time. For example: 

  • How long does it take customers to see value? If NPS doesn’t improve until month three, a 30-day free trial might not be effective for your company. However, if customers rate you highly early on, consider offering annual upgrades when the NPS peaks.

  • How do onboarding improvements change your NPS survey results? As you become better at welcoming new customers, showing them how to use your product and smoothing their journey, you should see your NPS improve. If you don’t segment out NPS by cohort, or run a specific post-onboarding improvement, this signal could be hidden in the general population. A study by Retently found that up to 23% of churn is caused by bad onboarding. Finding out early that customers aren’t satisfied post onboarding can help prevent even more customers from leaving.

  • Does NPS drop, increase or stay the same over time? If your more mature customers aren’t finding as much value in your product, it might be time to build more features and functionality for them.

Combine all data for more detailed context

When you connect your NPS survey results with your CRM data, you get a treasure trove of additional insight into who your promoters and detractors are. With this information, you can make better decisions about your marketing and your product development.

From their industry to their demographical information right down to their monthly bill, your CRM can provide a lot of context about who your customer is. In particular, financial metrics like average contract size and lifetime value can show the potential revenue at stake and help prioritize feature requests.

For instance, a restaurant that ran an NPS campaign found that promoters outspent all other customers by 17%. They could only uncover this insight by connecting the amount their customers were spending with the NPS result.

Other data systems can also help provide more information about why your customers might be promoters or detractors. For example:

  • How much time do promoters spend on your website compared to detractors?

  • How many more customer service interactions do promoters have compared to detractors?

  • How much more likely are promoters to open your marketing emails?

Combining NPS survey results with your other data can help provide a lot of insight to boost customer experience.

Support frontline employees with more insight

Not all insight needs to give an overview of a large group of customers—insight about just one customer’s feelings and history is helpful too. So why not let frontline employees see individual customer responses from your NPS survey? This way they can tailor their approach and tone to be suitable for a detractor or a promoter.

Sales and customer success teams can sort through their accounts to find the happiest customers who might be primed for an upsell. Customer support and service teams can review why a customer is unhappy before composing a response. Or they can prioritize incoming cases to provide VIP service to detractors.

Providing this support to your employees is easy if you’re using GetFeedback and Salesforce—you can connect your NPS surveys with the relevant record on Salesforce for a 360-degree view of the customer is straightforward. For other providers, you might need to make a custom field and integrate your surveys using a tool like Zapier to update customer profiles.

More NPS survey results analysis

Combining your NPS data with your CRM is just the beginning. Here are some other ways you can make use of your NPS survey results.

Analyze NPS text responses with machine learning

Machine learning has made it possible to analyze large amounts of qualitative data (like customer comments and responses) and produce actionable quantitative data. Besides reading every customer response and taking action on NPS responses that need a reply, you should also look at the text responses as a group.

GetFeedback offers NPS text analytics that crawl through your customers’ comments to pull out the most common themes, the sentiment of responses and the trends emerging over time. If you don’t use GetFeedback, there are several text analysis programs (Google Cloud Natural Language, MonkeyLearn, or MeaningCloud) that can help deliver similar insights with a little more hands-on work required.

This kind of analysis is great for measuring:

  • The response to product updates and releases

  • The impact of pricing or marketing changes

  • What customers feel the most strongly about

When you’re reading through comments, it’s easy to get bogged down in your own bias or be impacted by particularly emphatic responses. Text analysis using machine learning can help eliminate those human biases and uncover what customers are actually thinking.

Leverage your historical data

Rather than taking the (sometimes flawed) research for granted, confirm that NPS does predict your customer’s future loyalty by looking at historical data. Some products are more impacted by customer loyalty, and a simple analysis of whether your promoters are truly loyal can help validate the actions you take due to NPS.

Use data from a year ago to answer these questions:  

  • What was the average NPS of all customers who churned over the last year?

  • How much did the average promoter spend in the following year?

  • How much did the average detractor spend in the following year?

Once you understand how much more promoters have spent (or not spent) compared to detractors and passives, you can start to justify the investment required to move a customer from a 5 to a 9. Or you can start to proactively contact customers who are at a higher risk of churning based on your past NPS trends. Either way, knowing how your customers act based on their NPS responses is critical to taking action.

In conclusion 

The important thing to remember about analyzing NPS survey results is to never stop asking questions.

In particular, never stop asking “Why?”

NPS results combined with other business data can tell you so much about why your customers spend money with you, why they stop and what will get them to spend more. Without diving deeply into the Why behind their responses, you miss all the valuable insights NPS can provide.

Check Out Our New Net Promoter Score (NPS) Guide

Learn how GetFeedback can help you create the best customer experience—start your free trial today.

Subscribe for the latest CX content

Privacy notice|California privacy notice
Terms of use
|Cookie policy

*Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.