NPS Best Practices

7 NPS survey best practices to improve engagement

AskNicely Team

Your business is doing well and you’re ready to take it to the next level. But how do you know exactly what is holding you back from reaching it? Good customer feedback is an essential tool to understand your specific customers, what they love about you and what they think you need to improve.  To get this crucial information from them, a Net Promoter Score (NPS®) customer feedback system can provide the insights you need. The first step is to make sure your systems are set up to get the best feedback possible.

What is NPS and how can you calculate it?

A Net Promoter Score is a metric which summarizes how your customers feel about your business. It is designed to be simple to allow gathering feedback from as many customers as possible, but it can be tailored to allow you to gain in-depth insights, track your score over time and compare it to others in your industry. 

The NPS is calculated by asking customers to rank your business and these responses are collected into a simple equation which generates your overall NPS. This result will be anywhere between -100 and +100, but most businesses fall in the middle of this range. If you have your NPS responses, you can calculate your NPS  score here

NPS survey best practices 

To ensure you are getting the most out of your NPS surveys, you need to apply some best practices. Rather than initiating a customer feedback process in an ad-hoc manner, spending a little time to think strategically will ensure you’re gathering useful data. This includes thinking about how, where, when and what information you’ll be collecting from your customers. Beginning your collection of information well will also mean that you can effectively track your NPS over time.

1. Send the NPS survey at the optimal time

The best time to check in with your customers will depend on the type of feedback you’re looking to gather. You can broadly break this down into transactional or relational feedback. Are you looking for feedback on a specific interaction they just had with your business? This could be after a support ticket is resolved, they made a phone call to you or a purchase is completed. If it’s after a purchase, remember to give them enough time to experience the product or service. 

For relational feedback, you’re more interested in the customer’s relationship with your organization over time. You can set up NPS surveys on a regular schedule, such as annually or quarterly, to go out to all your customers to review how they generally view your business.

2. Send the NPS survey to the right number of customers

It is important to get responses from the right number of customers. There are a couple of factors to work this out. Firstly, not everyone is going to respond to your request so you will need to send it out to a larger group. You also need to ensure that the sample you get back covers various segments of your customer base. This might include gender, location, offline/online, age or other characteristics specific to your customers. Make sure your sample is large enough to encompass all segments of your customer base. 

You also need to give yourself enough time to respond to customers that give you feedback. If a customer tells you that they’ve had a terrible experience, you will need to follow up with them and see what you can do to rectify the situation. Sending your survey in batches allows time in-between to follow up with your respondents.

3. Use the best methods for sending NPS surveys

One of the simplest ways to set up an NPS survey is to create automated emails. This works well for both transactional and relational feedback. They can be set up to be automated by either a transactional trigger, such as a purchase or phone call, or on a regularly scheduled basis. This ensures NPS data is being gathered consistently.

To increase your response rate let people know upfront how long it will take to complete. Or, for even better results, including the survey question in the email allows your customers to see that you only need a moment of their time. They’ll see how easy it is for them to provide the feedback making it more likely they’ll help you out.

4. Test your NPS survey

No matter how much planning you put into your survey, there’s nothing like real-world data. When you’re sending out your survey, using a couple of different questions, subject lines or topics can help you see what gives you the best NPS response rate. Using A/B testing in this way will allow you to tweak and improve your surveys and emails over time so that you include the best NPS questions. This will lead to better response rates and more feedback that you can use to improve your customers’ experiences. 

5. Make your NPS surveys personalized

The customers you’re reaching out to are people and treating them as such will help increase your response rate. Ideally, you’ll already know a little about who you’re contacting with your NPS survey request, so use this information to add personalization. Including the customer’s first name in the subject line will help grab their attention and make it more likely they will open the email. Research shows that this can increase open rates by 26%.

Within the email, include relevant details such as specifics of the product or service they purchased. For example, “Hi John, we’d love to know what you think about the television you recently purchased from us.” Writing a great email will help increase your response rate so make sure you take the time to carefully personalize your request.

6. Offer incentives when sending the NPS surveys

How do you encourage your customers to provide you with feedback? One simple way is to incentivize them. If you choose to do this, the first step is to calculate a reward that is roughly equivalent to the time and effort they are putting into the feedback. For in-person interviews that require travel or long surveys that require a lengthy time investment, this may need to be of a high dollar value.

The benefit of NPS surveys is that they are short and do not require a large time or effort investment from your customers. This means that you generally don’t need to provide a costly incentive to elicit responses. You can compare incentives strategies for different feedback mechanisms here

7. Share the NPS feedback from the survey to your entire team

Once you have all your data back, ensuring that you use it to improve the experience of your customers is essential. AskNicely's online customer feedback system publishes this information directly to a mobile app, TV dashboards, Powerpoint and Slack and 40+ CRM platforms including Salesforce. 

Being able to give instantaneous feedback on a given touchpoint means that the experience is still fresh in the minds of your team. They’ll be able to receive the recognition they deserve and also see where they can improve. This means your team can focus on continuous improvement backed up by real data.


Once you’ve decided to invest in an NPS survey, you’ll want to design it for success. This includes how the survey is set up and delivered, and how you use the data to improve your customers’ experience. AskNicely’s Customer Feedback software can help you set up the process from end-to-end so that you can connect your team to real-time customer feedback. Your customers will feel listened to and be able to tell you everything you’re doing right, as well as letting you know how you can take your business to the next level.

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

Ready to take action on customer experience?

Book a Demo >