Net Promoter Score Benchmarks | Metric of the Month
Each month, I highlight one Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for service and support. I define the KPI, provide recent benchmarking data for the metric, and discuss key correlations and cause-and-effect relationships for the metric. The purpose of the column is to familiarize you with the KPIs that really matter to your organization and to provide you with actionable insight on how to leverage these KPIs to improve your performance! This month, I focus on Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter Score Benchmarks.
Net promoter score (NPS) is based on the idea that every organization’s customers can be divided into three categories: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. By asking one question—How likely is it that you would recommend our service to a friend or colleague?—you can track these groups and get a clear measure of your support organization’s performance from the customer’s perspective. Customers respond on a 0-to-10-point rating scale, categorized as follows:
- Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will refer others to your support organization.
- Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who may choose another source of support if given the chance.
- Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your reputation through negative word-of-mouth.
To calculate your support group’s NPS, simply take the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtract the percentage who are Detractors. Your Net Promoter score can be as low as −100% (everybody is a detractor) or as high as +100% (everybody is a promoter). An NPS that is positive (i.e., higher than zero) is thought to be good, and an NPS of +50% or greater is excellent.
IT support groups that track NPS will typically follow the initial question with an open-ended request for elaboration, soliciting the reasons for a customer’s rating of their IT support. These reasons can then be provided to front-line employees and management teams for follow-up action and improvement initiatives.
Net Promoter Score Benchmarks
NPS is a relatively new metric and is currently tracked by approximately 25% of all service desks and desktop support groups. However, the majority of organizations tracking NPS are providing support to external businesses or consumers, where NPS is viewed as a leading indicator of customer loyalty and follow-on business. This would include hardware and software vendors who use NPS to gauge customer loyalty, as well as managed service providers who want to know if you are likely to recommend their services to others.
MetricNet’s benchmarking data for customer satisfaction and net promoter score is shown in the figure below for 74 IT support organizations that track both metrics.