Stacked bar chart showing the trend in Net Promoter Scores

Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) was developed by Fred Reichheld from Bain as a simple measure of customer loyalty. It measures the likelihood, on a 1-10 scale, that a customer would recommend you to a friend. Survey responses are grouped into 3 categories: Promoters (score of 9-10), Passives (score of 7-8) and Detractors (score of 6 or less).

Calculating the Net Promoter Score

To calculate the NPS, use this formula:

(Promoters – Detractors) / (Respondents) x 100

Scores range from 100 (all of your customers are promoters) to -100 (all are detractors). A positive score is considered good and a score of 50 is considered excellent.

Net Promoter Score Trends

This stacked bar chart shows the trend in the number of promoters and detractors by month. The NPS is shown as a net line on the chart. The data row shows total number of survey responses for each month.

Stacked bar chart showing the trend in Net Promoter Scores

Another way to look at this data is in a bar chart with a line. In this example, showing the responses as a line plotted on the 2Y axis allows you to see if an NPS score change may be related to a change in the number of survey responses.

Bar chart with a line showing Net Promoter Score Trends

Putting the Score in Context

Your absolute score and the trends over time are useful, but it also helps to understand how your score compares to others in your industry.  Ideally, you would compare your score to your competitors, but often that data is not readily available. Industry averages are usually available and provide a good benchmark.

This horizontal bar chart shows the average Net Promoter Score for various products and industries. Notice how much variability there is between the best performers (department stores) and the worst (internet providers). The data for this chart came from the Satmetrix NICE 2018 average NPS by industry report.

Horizontal Bar Chart of Average Net Promoter Scores by Industry


To learn more, visit the Bain Net Promoter System resource page.