What is a Net Promoter Score® and Why You Should Be Measuring It


“Loyalty is when people are willing to turn down a better product or price to keep doing business with you.” – Simon Sinek

Customer loyalty is something every brand seeks because attracting a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one. And yet, in the age of digital lead generation and conversion, it’s easy to lose sight of this simple truth and get wrapped up in acquiring the next new customer.

At Ethos, we like to remind our clients that, on average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase. Measuring customer satisfaction is a leading indicator of repurchase intent and loyalty.  Measuring loyalty helps determine which customers will become ambassadors for your company or product, and which will resist pressure from a competitor to switch.

What is the Net Promoter Score?

So how do you tell if your customers are satisfied and loyal?  The Net Promoter Score is a metric to measure both.  In short, it expresses how much people love your company or brand. It was first introduced in a Harvard Business School article and the score is based on the answer to one question:

How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?

The scoring is usually on a 0 to 10 scale, with people who rank your company, product or service as a 9 or higher labeled “promoters,” and those who rank it 6 or below labeled “detractors.” Scores of 7 and 8 are considered neutral. The Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who are detractors from the percentage of customers who are promoters.

Averages for Net Promoter Scores vary widely by industry, and one of the most frequent questions we hear from our clients is “what’s a good score?” Based on NPS global standards, any score above 0 is considered “good,” with 50 and above classified as “excellent,” and 70 or higher as “world class.”

Why Measure Net Promoter Score?

As part of a 2017 Strategic Initiative, Ethos conducted a customer satisfaction survey with all of our clients. We netted a 51.5% response rate and earned a Net Promoter Score of 67.7.  (Not too shabby.)  But we didn’t rest on our laurels and dug beneath the numbers to find out the answer to the big question. Why?  We asked our clients one simple question. What can we do better? And what we learned is, clients find us to be responsive, strategic, thoughtful, and collaborative. Sometimes, however, we fall down on timeliness.

We took to heart what Bain & Company, the creators of the Net Promoter Score, advise. We evaluated the score against the lens of the detractors by asking them an open-ended question to ascertain qualitative information about what our business and brand can do to convert them to a promoter.

“We don’t take clients for granted; earning client business and trust is difficult,” says Ted Darling, CFO and Director of Account Services. “So, client retention and satisfaction are absolutely critical to our ongoing success. With the results of the NPS survey, we will continue to do the things we do well – help clients communicate their brand effectively across multiple platforms – but also focus on improving the consistency of our on-time delivery rate.”

We also believe in seizing the moment with our promoters just like Fred Reichheld, a Bain & Company Fellow, encourages. “It’s not the score that matters; it’s what you do with it to make promoters that really counts.” During this process, take the opportunity to ask your promoters for a testimonial and prompt them to refer a friend or colleague, or even upsell them on an additional service or product.

The bottom line is – in the dogged pursuit of acquiring new customers, don’t neglect the customers you already have!  Delight them and you will reduce the customer churn, increase the lifetime value of your customers and improve your word-of-mouth referrals.

About Ethos

Ethos is a multiplatform branding agency that develops and executes integrated marketing campaigns across multiple channels for companies throughout the Northeast and beyond.

At Ethos, we believe that the most effective way to set a company’s marketing course is by finding its core truth – it’s ethos. We know that once we discover and communicate that core truth, we can truly make a difference to each client’s unique marketing and business objectives.

With Ethos, you get more than a Maine branding agency. You get a long-term partner whose goals are your goals.

Learn more about the Ethos approach and the work we’ve done for our clients. Want to have a conversation about your brand’s core truth? Contact us!

Written By

The ETHOS Team