What’s a Net Promoter® Score?

A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a simple metric based on a question that asks how likely a person is to recommend a company to a friend or colleague using a numeric scale of 0-10, ten being extremely likely and zero being not at all likely.


Responses to this question are divided into three categories:

  • Promoters (give a rating of 9-10)
  • Passives (give a rating of 7-8), and
  • Detractors (give a rating of 0-6)

The NPS is then calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.

What NPS Categories Mean

  • Promoters Respondents who answer a 9 or 10 are highly satisfied and loyal. They represent your firm’s strongest allies and are most likely actively promoting your firm to others.
  • Passives Respondents who answer a 7 or 8 are mostly likely satisfied, but somewhat indifferent and do not feel loyal to your firm.
  • Detractors Respondents who answer 0 through 6 are at high risk of leaving to work with a competitor. Even worse, not only are detractors not likely to refer your firm, they are most likely to spread negative reviews regarding their experience with you.

Taking NPS Further

Inavero’s Net Promoter survey also has NPS Driver questions including questions that allow for open-ended responses. The NPS Driver questions give firms the ability to diagnose potential causes of any problems. Additionally, the first open-ended question asks the reason for the numerical rating provided in response to the Net Promoter question, and the second asks what the firm could be doing differently to increase the value of their services.

The concept of the Net Promoter Survey was created by Fred Reichheld at Bain & Company and Satmetrix. The Net Promoter Score or NPS® was introduced by Fred in 2003 in his Harvard Business Review Article called “The One Number You Need to Grow”.