Net Promoter Labels Obscure Actual Recommendation Patterns
November 7, 2012 7 Comments
We recently published a benchmark of Net Promoter Scores of 180 companies across 19 industries. Within that research, we showed that promoters are more likely than detractors to repurchase. In a previous blog post, we examined how promoters and detractors actually recommend companies.
In this post, we go a step further and look at how consumers actually recommend based on the specific response to the NPS question. As you can see in the graphic below:
- Zero means no. If someone picks the lowest score on this scale, then they rarely recommend a firm.
- One to five is a neutral zone. Consumers that choose the next five higher responses have about the same frequency of recommending, between 18% and 29%.
- Everything counts from six on. Thirty-two percent of consumers who selected six on the scale actually recommended those companies; the level of actual recommendations ramps up from there for each score higher on the scale
- NPS labels hide some insight. The NPS process labels people who select “0″ to “6″ as detractors, “7″ or “8″ are called passives, and “9″ or “10″ are promoters. Theses labels may not accurately describe recommendation patterns. For instance, a detractor that selects “0″ is quite different than a detractor that selects “6.”
- Five may be a negative collector. It appears that consumers may be selecting “5″ (the midpoint of the scale) when they are relatively upset. It could be that the selection of a “5″ out of “10″ is considered a failing score for many people (just as a 50 out of 100 points on a test would be seen as failing). This phenomena could explain the drop-off in recommendations at that level. We’ll continue to study this issue since it might require companies to rethink how they examine their survey results.