Fred Reichheld wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review in 2003 called, “The One Number You Need to Grow”. I found a pdf version of it here. The Net Promoter Score was born.

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a very simple measure of customer satisfaction, or more specifically, customer loyalty. The NPS is measured through responses to one question: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?” on a scale of 1 to 10. You subtract the detractors (those scoring 6 or less) from the promoters (those scoring 9 or 10) and get a number – your NPS. The number will range from -100 to +100.

The NPS has been adopted by a lot of companies and there is a growing standard for scoring. An NPS that is greater than +50 is considered excellent. The best companies in the world typically score +70 to +80.

How do you score? Wouldn’t it be nice to KNOW how your customers perceive you. If you have one customer that appears to be a detractor, how do you know if you don’t have more?

As an aside, the NPS question also leads naturally to another question that is great to ask, in my opinion: “Do you have anyone you could recommend Smart Dolphins to?” We don’t get responses from everyone here, but in asking the question, you are communicating the importance of referrals to your business and planting that seed with your customers. I’m positive we have received more referrals because we ask these questions.

Smart Dolphins has been asking this important NPS question for many years. We typically stop and look at this number on a quarterly basis and we’re rarely below +70. Last quarter, in fact, we score +92!

I think the NPS tool is really powerful and I hope others begin to use this after reading about it here. However, I have to admit, I mostly want to write this so I could brag about our +92.

+92!

If you have any questions about how we implemented the NPS, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll gladly share our experience.