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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’re going to take you through 3 main methods for calculating your NPS, using:
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:
The Excel/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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.)