You have probably encountered the basic NPS question (“how likely are you to recommend us on a scale from 0 to 10?”) as a customer yourself—but when you’re the one doing the asking, you need to get maximum value out of the survey.
Below you’ll find a list of NPS question examples plus ideas for tailored follow-up questions: you can use them all as a template to run your own NPS surveys and find out how many happy customers you really have, and how to create more. We’ve also added a quick write-up at the end about where and when you should ask the NPS question.
The standard NPS question is “how likely are you to recommend us on a scale from 0 to 10,” but you don’t need to limit yourself to asking it verbatim. For the open-ended question that follow, there are also different ways to get feedback from your customers.
You can use your own ideas and optimize the NPS questions depending on when in the user journey you’re sending the survey, ask it more than once, and pose follow-up questions to gain more insight into why customers feel the way they do.
We’ve split these sample survey questions into two groups: quantitative and qualitative. Use them as a template to write customized NPS questions that match better with your business.
Take a look at this NPS survey template example that uses the standard NPS question and two follow-up qualitative open-ended questions. We built it in Hotjar so you can see how it works… and if you add a score, we’ll see it ;)
The standard NPS question is quantitative, meaning it has a numerical response.
There’s not much wiggle room with this question, but you can make a few small tweaks to tailor it to your audience and the type of data you want to collect.
This simple re-wording of the standard question allows you to pose it earlier in the customer journey. For example, you can ask for customer feedback when an order is placed, and again when it has been fulfilled.
Asking about the complete experience will help customers rate you based on all aspects of your service. For example, for an e-commerce business that might include website usability, product range, the delivery process, and the actual product.
Sometimes, asking about a recommendation to ‘family or friends’ or a ‘friend or colleague’ is not relevant, for instance, if the product or service does not have mass-market appeal… and family and friends would never be interested in it in the first place!
One of our favorite examples of an alternative solution is from MasterClass, an e-learning platform, which occasionally asks for the likelihood of recommending a class to ‘someone like you’.
NPS is a numerical benchmark—a great snapshot of your current success, but less useful when it comes to knowing what changes to implement. This is where follow-up qualitative questions come in handy to help you find out the why behind your customers’ numerical rating.
You can ask follow-up questions based on answers to the standard NPS question: if a customer scored you 8 or below, you need more context to learn what you can do to improve the score; if they scored 9 or 10, you’ll want to understand what you need to do more of.
This open-ended question allows customers to justify their numerical grade with more contextual information so you can find out the specific actions that led to their happy or unhappy response.
Multiple-choice questions like these examples from MasterClass can make it easier (and quicker) for respondents to give you feedback. Warning: they may also lead to false results if your options don’t cover everything—which is why, if we were to tweak this form, we’d add an ‘other’ field that people could fill in with their own thoughts.
You can ask for improvement suggestions from all customers, or just those that gave a score of 8 or below (your NPS detractors and passives). As in the previous example, if you go with a multiple-choice format, bear in mind that you might get an incomplete picture because you’re forcing people to choose from a limited range.
You can ask what would WOW or impress your users the next time around. It’s still asking for improvements, but the change in wording makes the question about the customer, not your business.
Not every customer you ask will fill in your NPS survey. Not exactly a shocking fact—how many survey requests have you ignored over the years?—but here are a few pointers to help improve the response rate and get more customers sending you that all-important feedback.
If you’re sending an NPS survey by email, segment your audience and tailor different questions to each group. By triggering surveys at certain key stages of the customer journey (e.g., after placing an order, one week after product delivery, after abandoning a shopping cart), you’ll gain a better understanding of why they are making their scoring choice.
Ask questions using a single sentence and use simple, everyday wording. You want to make answering your questions a pleasure, not a chore.
Less is more: keep questions short and the number of questions down to a minimum. You’ll get valuable insight from just three questions and your response rate will go up if everyone on the survey sees it through to the end.
You may have heard about using incentives (like a 10% off coupon, prize draw or freebie) to increase survey response rates. In most cases, this is going to introduce bias into your NPS responses, due to the nature of the incentive or customer motivation. If you value the integrity of your NPS data, stay away from incentives unless absolutely necessary.
You can ask NPS questions online in two ways: by emailing a survey to your customers, or presenting them with a survey while they’re on your website (more on this below).
As per when you should ask customers the NPS question(s), there’s no right or wrong answer, but there are some guidelines to look at depending on your business type—for instance, if you are a marketplace (think Booking.com) that owns the buying process but not the end product (the hotel), you can ask customers an NPS question straight after a transaction has taken place. If you manage an e-commerce website and also own the product/service people purchase, you can wait a bit longer and ask the NPS question after it has been delivered.
On-page surveys are a great way to get customer feedback in real-time, right when people are interacting with your website.
If you’re managing a SaaS product, you can use in-app surveys to present the NPS question while people are using the product and the experience is fresh in their mind; if you own or manage an e-commerce website, blog, or magazine instead, you can trigger NPS surveys on specific website pages (such as a landing page or article) or at certain times, for example, as an exit survey before users leave the site.
You can also send an NPS survey to your customers via email. Be warned: this method requires customers to put in more effort upfront (they first have to open the email, read it, and click through to the survey), which could lead to a lower response rate.
On the plus side, email surveys sent after a specific timeframe allow users to spend longer using your product or service and reflect on the customer experience as a whole, so what you might lose in response rate, you can gain back in detailed answers.
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.