NPS Best Practices: Analyzing your Net Promoter Score℠ results and taking action (Professional Add-on and Enterprise Add-on) Follow

professional and enterprise add-ons

The power of NPS® is not in the feature itself but in how you use it. We’ve created a three-part series to walk you through best practices on how to best utilize NPS:

  1. What is NPS and how does it help me?
  2. The most effective way to send an NPS survey
  3. Analyze your NPS results and take action (this article)

This third and final article in the series walks you through probably the most important aspect of your NPS surveys—understanding the meaning of the results and creating an action plan to improve. NPS is available as a Professional Add-on and Enterprise Add-on.

What do your NPS results mean?

As discussed previously, NPS is a measure of your customer’s overall loyalty to your company. The score is calculated by taking the percentage of respondents who are promoters and subtracting the percentage of respondents that are detractors. This will generate a score ranging from -100 to 100, which is your Net Promoter Score℠. But how do you know whether your NPS is good or not?

After you send out your first NPS survey campaign, you’ll want to treat your first set of NPS results as a baseline for improvement. Just because you have a negative or 0 score does not mean you’re doing poorly. In some industries, a score of 0 could be much higher than your competitors!

Instead, focus on your customer’s feedback and improving your NPS over time.

Creating custom reports to analyze your NPS results

The NPS dashboard automatically calculates and graphs your NPS responses for each NPS survey you’ve sent—providing you with a quick snapshot of your NPS results.

However, you can dive deeper into your results and perform more meaningful analysis with Insights. You can also build your own custom reports that slice and dice your NPS results against any data point you track in Zendesk Support.

Here are few sample reports to inspire the data geek living inside you.

NPS responses by rating

Here's an example of a custom report you can build in Insights to showcase your NPS responses by rating so you can visualize the spread of customer responses.

If you want to drill in on an specific score, you can export all your NPS responses into a CSV file, then filter for the specific responses you’re looking for. For example, you might want to perform further analysis on customers who gave you a score of 8 and learn what you can do to boost their score to a 9.

With your exported CSV file, you can either read through all the customer comments or use a text analysis tool to sort through their feedback. At Zendesk, we use Clarabridge for text analysis, but we also share the CSV file with the whole company and read through every line of feedback.

NPS trends over customer tenure

You could create another custom report in Insights to understand how your NPS trends change over a customer’s tenure.

A healthy trend would be to see more promoters among your customers who are more tenured. If you’re not seeing that, then perhaps some of your long-term customers may be at risk of churning—calling for you to look into what’s going wrong in their customer experience.

Understand how different types of customers feel about your company

Insights captures any custom user or organization data you create as an attribute that you can report on. In these fields, you can capture relevant customer information, such as type of customer (e.g. prospect, partner, freemium customer, paying customer).

You can then create a custom report that analyzes NPS ratings by customer type so you can better understand different types of customer sentiment and improve the experience based on the type of customer.

To build this report, select the following:
  • What: # NPS Promoter Ratings, # NPS Passive Ratings, # NPS Detractor Ratings

  • How: Select your custom user/org field (e.g. customer type) as the attribute

  • Filter: Optional filter for customer type or time dimension

Measure the impact of great customer service on overall customer loyalty (NPS vs. CSAT)

We all know anecdotally that great customer service can impact your business’ bottom line. But how do you measure the value of customer satisfaction?

With Insights, you can measure how and if higher customer satisfaction influences your Net Promoter Score. As you drive higher and higher customer satisfaction ratings, you may see a simultaneous increase in your NPS results which is great news for your support team.

To build this report, select the following:
  • What: % Satisfaction Score, NPS Score

  • How: Select an event time dimension (e.g. Month/Year (Event))

  • Filter: Define your event time dimension (e.g. Month/Year (Event) is last 6 months)

  • Chart customization: Plot your Satisfaction Score on the primary y-axis and your NPS Score on the secondary y-axis

Retain your high-value customers (NPS vs. total spend/MRR)

Another valuable way to look at your NPS results is based on the various product offerings your customers purchase from you, as well as how much they’re spending. If your high-value customers are not submitting NPS ratings of 9 or 10, perhaps you might want to perform deeper analysis on why.

To create this report, you’ll need to start by creating two custom user or organization fields:
  • Dropdown field for product line

  • Decimal field for total spend or MRR (if you’re a subscription business)

Your drop-down field will be brought into Insights as an attribute that you can insert in the “HOW” section of your report. However, keep in mind that numeric fields are brought into Insights as a fact, or number. Custom facts like this one will not automatically be generated into an out-of-the-box metric, so you’ll need to aggregate this fact first:

  1. From your Insights dashboard, click through to the GoodData portal.
  2. Go to Manage in the top navigation.
  3. Click Facts.
  4. Find your custom field (e.g. Total Spend or MRR) and select it.
  5. Under Fact Aggregations, click the “Create” button next to SUM. This will turn your custom field into a metric that you can use in your report. Your new metric should look something like SUM(MRR).
Next, you’ll want to build some custom metrics to group your detractors, passives, and promoters:
  1. From your Insights dashboard, click through to the GoodData portal.
  2. Go to Manage in the top navigation.
  3. Click Metrics.
  4. Select Create Metric.
  5. In the pop-up window, select Custom Metric.
  6. Name your metric: Detractors
  7. Use the following MAQL to build your metric:


  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for your Passives and Promoters. Below are the respective MAQLs:
Now with your metrics built, it’s time to create your report by selecting the following:
  • What: Detractors, Passives, Promoters

  • How: Product Line

  • Chart customization: Choose a bar chart

How can you improve your NPS?

No matter how great your NPS reports are, the customer experience does not improve with knowledge alone. Armed with meaningful reports and relevant insights, it’s time to take action and improve the customer experience (and your Net Promoter Score).

Dare to share your NPS results

Sharing honest customer feedback can be a scary step. But it’s the first step towards improvement.

Export your NPS results into a CSV file and share it with your entire company. Chances are the gripes your customers have with your business stem from every department within your organization. Sharing this feedback enables your whole organization to develop more customer empathy and reflect on how they can individually improve the customer experience.

Form a cross-departmental task force

Improving the customer experience is a team effort—from product to support to sales to marketing. After you’ve shared customer feedback from your NPS surveys with your entire organization, you might want to set up a cross-departmental task force to create an action plan to resolve current customer pain points.

This is something Zendesk’s own team has been doing over the last year. Our customer service team does not own the customer experience alone; the overall customer experience is influenced by how we build our product, the conversations our sales team has, and how we communicate on our website.

Create an action plan

Based on the analysis you’ve done on your NPS results, you should have a better understanding on why your detractors are churn risks, what’s keeping your passives from recommending you, and why your promoters love your business.

Find the common denominators among your passives and begin to work towards resolving those pain points, so you can turn the passives to promoters. As for your detractors, focus on your “high” detractors (e.g. rating 4-6) and work on moving them up at least to the passive group. With your cross-departmental task force, you can work to improve your product, uplevel the customer care, or whatever issues that impede the customer experience.

Lastly, do not forget about your promoters. Understand why they love your business and make sure they, and others, continue to receive that same experience.

Perform preventative maintenance

Sometimes it might be impossible to turn a customer who rates you a 0 into a promoter. Instead of losing hope and giving up on these customers, you can perform what we call preventative maintenance. While there might not be anything you can do to turn a 0 rating around, you can prevent other customers from becoming a 0 from the start.

You definitely want to understand why your detractors give you a poor rating and prevent future occurrences and raise your Net Promoter Score over time.

Keep at it!

Investing in the measurement of NPS is a long-term investment. Improvements do not happen overnight. But if you and your team keep surveying customers on a regular basis, do your due diligence in analyzing their feedback, bring it back to your organization, and actively work as a team to improve, your business will reap the benefits of long-term customer retention and loyalty.

This wraps up our 3-part NPS best practices series. For help getting started with NPS, check out this getting started guide.

**Net Promoter, NPS, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks, and Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter System are service marks, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld.

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  • 0

    Hello Jennifer,

    I'm interested in creating the "NPS trends over customer tenure" example that you have in your article. Can you please help me with the setup?

    I would hate to send out the survey before having the correct fields in place for this type of reporting.

    Thanks in advance!

  • 0

    Hey Jon,

    Did you run into a hangup when trying to follow the guide? I would be glad to help with that. While the guide lays out 

    I took a look into your account and didn't see a setup for the tutorial. Try out the guide, so we have something to reference, and we can help you out with any hangup!

    Check out these guides to get started on insights to use as reference points:

    1. Getting started with Good Data
    2. Other Insights Recipe's (for reference)


  • 0

    Thanks Ryan.

    This article is a great overview of what one can do with NPS reporting but I can't find a guide that shows me how to generate each of the example reports and what custom fields may be required for each report. 

    When I jump into the "Getting started with good data link" it looks like i need a separate good data account to download the samples. I tried using my zendesk credentials but that did not work.

    Your assistance is appreciated.



  • 0

    Hey Jon,

    Open your Zendesk instance, Go to Reporting > Insights > GoodData link . That will authenticate you on Gooddata with your account. Once that session has been initiated, you should be able to see everything no problem!

    Let me know if you run into any pitfalls!

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