Last updated Feb 27 2020
How to calculate your Net Promoter Score®: formulas, methods & excel template
Net Promoter Score (NPS®) is incredibly straightforward, but don’t let that simplicity fool you: NPS is often used as a predictor of business growth (or decline), so calculating it fast is less important than calculating it right.
In this chapter, we break down different ways to collect, measure, and calculate NPS, which will put your business in a prime position to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
What is the NPS formula?
To calculate NPS, ask the standard NPS question “How likely are you to recommend us on a scale from 0 to 10?” then subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.
The formula only makes sense if you know what the promoter and detractor labels truly mean—and how they get assigned in the first place.
What is a promoter in NPS?
A promoter in NPS is anybody who answered the ‘how likely are you to recommend this product/company to a friend or colleague?’ question with a score of 9 or 10.
As your most enthusiastic customers, promoters are likely to stick with you and act as your brand ambassadors, which in turn helps fuel growth.
What is a detractor in NPS?
A detractor in NPS is anybody who answered the ‘how likely are you to recommend this product/company to a friend or colleague?’ question with a score between 0 and 6 (included).
They’re obviously not your biggest fans. But it’s worse than that: not only are they not likely to recommend you to others—they are the first candidates for leaving you and might even actively discourage other people away from your product. One of your main goals is making sure you have fewer detractors.
What about passives?
Sat in the middle of detractors and promoters are the passives, who answered the NPS question with a score of 7 or 8. Technically, you should look at them as people who are ‘passively satisfied’ with your product or service but are not supremely loyal to it, which means they can be snatched away by the competition.
Passives are not directly included in the NPS calculation but do not underestimate their importance. They are so close to being promoters, especially when they give you a score of 8, that any time spent investigating what you could do better/differently to win them over is time well spent.
3 NPS calculation methods
We’re going to take you through 3 main methods for calculating your NPS, using:
- A spreadsheet/Excel, or
- An online calculator, or
- A survey tool with NPS feature
We’re also adding a bonus method by showing you the math behind NPS and how you can calculate it with pen and paper… should you ever want to!
We are going to use a real dataset from the last 30 days of our own NPS survey that got 563 responses:
1. How to calculate your NPS in Excel/Google Sheets
The Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet method is best when your raw NPS data is just rows of numbers between 0 and 10 that need to be categorized as promoters, detractors, and passives:
How to calculate NPS in Excel:
- Add up the promoters - those who scored 9 and 10
- Add up the detractors - those with responses 0 to 6 (included)
- To calculate the percentage, divide the number of promoters by the total number of responses
- Repeat this process for detractors
- Apply the NPS formula: percentage of promoters minus percentage of detractors
Here is how to use our NPS spreadsheet template:
1) Make a copy of the spreadsheet template or download it as an .XLS file
2) Export the data from your NPS survey into a .CSV or .XLS file
3) Copy the data from your file and paste it into the sheet ‘NPS calculation’ of the template, in the cell marked with <Copy/Paste your scores here>:
After you paste your scores, the formula in the spreadsheet will automatically:
- Display the count for each score from 10 to 0
- Count your total number of promoters, detractors, and passives
- Display your NPS
We added a sheet called ‘NPS calculation - example dataset’ into the template so you can see how it works. Try to change a few numbers here and there and see how that affects the NPS.
2. How to calculate your NPS with an online calculator
If you have already added up the number of responses received by each 0-10 score, you can let an online NPS calculator like the one below do the math for you:
Here is how to do it:
- Go to Hotjar's NPS calculator
- Take your NPS survey results and input the number of responses into the calculator
- Voilà: your NPS is displayed directly on the page!
3. How to calculate your NPS with a survey tool
If you collect your NPS data through a survey tool, it might already have an auto-calculate function built in that lets you get your NPS in one click—for example, Hotjar features NPS software 😉
This is what the NPS question looks like in Hotjar:
And this is the result displayed in a dashboard:
Two main benefits of using this method:
- You don’t have to do any data exporting or copy-pasting, which saves you a little time and removes the potential for errors
- Both the spreadsheet and the calculator give you a snapshot of the current situation; an NPS tool also helps you track changes, trace daily NPS fluctuations for the previous 30 days, and weekly/monthly fluctuations for the past 12 months.
4. bonus method: the math behind NPS calculation
If you are interested in how NPS works—or if you ever find yourself wanting to calculate it with just pen and paper—here is the math behind the calculation.
- The promoters are counted by adding up the number of 9 and 10 responses
(using the same dataset as the examples above, we have 238 + 80 = 318 promoters)
- The same process is repeated for detractors, by adding up the number of responses from and including 0 to 6
(in our case, that’s 9 + 2 + 3 + 3 +7 +23 + 25 = 72 detractors)
- The percentage of promoters is then calculated by dividing the number of promoters by the total number of responses
(our dataset brings us to 318/563 = 0.56, or 56% when expressed as a percentage)
- The same process is repeated for detractors, dividing the number of detractors by the total number of responses
(for us, that’s 72/563 = 0.12 or 12%)
Finally, the NPS formula is applied: percentage of promoters minus percentage of detractors (in our case: 56-12 = 44. And that is how you calculate your NPS manually.)
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.
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