The Importance of a Net Promoter Score and Why It Matters to You

January 29, 2016

At Gravie, our number one priority is making our members happy. We routinely look at ourselves through their eyes to understand where we’re meeting customer expectations and what opportunities exist to improve.

One tool we rely on to gauge customer loyalty is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). Fred Riechheld developed the Net Promoter Score as a consumer happiness metric in 2004, based on research supported by Satmetrix. We explain it in more detail below, but basically NPS uses the question “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or family member?” to gauge the satisfaction of customers and growth of the business. This is the “ultimate question” to ask customers in assessing a business’ potential for future success.

To Gravie, our NPS matters a lot. In fact, we post our NPS on our site so those doing business – or thinking of doing business – with Gravie have tangible, measurable information about how our current customers view us.

The Numbers Behind the NPS: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors

Let’s take a deeper dive into the nuts and bolts of a NPS so you have a clear picture of how it can help you gather and use critical customer feedback.

The NPS is an unbiased customer loyalty tool because it’s based on one question any company can ask: “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or family member?” To gather this feedback, Gravie offers a quick survey at the end of our web shopping experience and after each phone interaction with a Gravie advisor. Customers provide answers when their interaction with Gravie is top of mind, and without a major interruption to their day.

Each answer is based on a 10-point scale, with “1” being “Not at All Likely to Recommend” and 10 being “Extremely Likely to Recommend.” Companies organize the responses to measure not only their overall NPS, but also the percentage of Promoters, Passives, and Detractors:

Promoters are those people who respond with a 9 or 10. They are loyal enthusiasts who routinely purchase a company’s product or service and encourage their friends and family to do the same.

Passives are those people who respond with a 7 or 8. They are satisfied with a company’s product or service, but are generally unenthusiastic and could buy from the competition in the future.

Detractors are those people who respond somewhere between a 0 and 6. They are significantly unhappy customers who view themselves as being in a bad company/customer relationship – and they aren’t afraid to share their experience.

To get to a score, we simply subtract the number of Detractors from the number of Promoters. The resulting percentage is the Net Promoter Score.


We then have a single metric to gauge our customers’ happiness, and use that to benchmark against our industry and aspirational companies:

Apple iPhone: 63
Netflix: 68
Uber: 37
Health Insurance Industry: 12

For Gravie, our NPS survey respondents also have the option to provide short written feedback as to why they chose a particular number on the NPS scale. Gravie uses this qualitative data in a number of ways, including department benchmarking in product development, communications, account management, and sales for ongoing improvement. In fact, improvements to the Gravie web experience and the inclusion of products like dental insurance are based in part on this direct customer feedback.

By using tools like NPS, Gravie listens and then acts. Our NPS means more than winning bragging rights. It reflects Gravie’s commitment to authentic experiences that are consistently provided by our employees who embody our core competencies. It also provides quantifiable data about how Gravie approaches our work, satisfies customers, and truly cares about individuals and employers.

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