NPS Best Practices

5 reasons why your NPS score could be low

AskNicely Team

You’ve devised your strategy, you’ve started measuring customer experiences and you’ve calculated your NPS score. Congratulations! You’ve made some great progress on your customer feedback journey. But what happens when your NPS score is lower than you’d like? Or perhaps you’ve been tracking yours for a while and it’s started dropping. It’s time to investigate why you could get a low NPS score.

Remember, it’s important to compare your NPS to others in your industry or your own score over time. Comparing apples with oranges, or a SaaS with a shoe store isn’t an even comparison. People may rate apples, or shoe stores, much higher in general. But if it is a fair comparison, let’s dive in to some of the reasons why your NPS score could be low.

How can a good NPS score benefits business

A good NPS score means that you’ve checked in with real customers, and they have confirmed that they think your business is good enough for them to recommend to their friends and family. That means, chances are, they’re going to be doing just that.

Ensuring that you’re not just meeting your customers’ expectations, but that you’re good enough to recommend is a high bar. People are generally careful about the products and services they recommend. They don’t want to suggest something that is going to disappoint their friends and family. That’s why a high NPS score is so meaningful.

Checking your NPS score compared to others in your niche allows your business to be competitive. If you need to increase your score, look at the specific feedback and see if there are steps along your customers’ journey that you can improve (and boost your NPS in the process). 

Here are 5 reasons why businesses could have a low NPS score

1. Poor customer experience can impact NPS

When you’re asking your customers for their feedback, they’re not just going to be thinking about the actual product or service you’re selling. That might work just fine. They’ll also be thinking about their overall experience as a customer. How they were treated, how the check-out process worked, how quickly their call was answered, were they remembered when they came back in. All of these puzzle pieces make up a customer experience NPS. 

This shows the importance of not just investing in your product or service, but also your people and the overall experience of your customers. If your NPS respondents are mentioning customer service in their surveys, following up to understand more about where in their journey you need to improve can increase your overall NPS score.

2. Product performance doesn’t meet consumer expectations

No matter how great you think your product or service is, there will always be some customers that think it could be improved. Rather than seeing this as a negative, you can mine these valuable insights for ideas on how you can improve your offering for real-world application.

If your customers are using your product in a way you didn’t anticipate, there’s a high chance they’ll be disappointed. But finding this out allows you to adapt, upgrade and improve for the next iteration. You can also educate them on how to get the best product performance. Whatever feedback you get, don’t take it personally. Just use it to make your business even more customer focused.

3. Website Performance is Poor

A recent study showed people aren’t willing to wait even three seconds for a site to load. If your website isn’t loading quickly as your customers are searching, shopping or moving through the check-out process you’re likely to lose them. There can be multiple reasons for a slow loading website, such as large images, which can be quickly remedied.

If you’re receiving this feedback in your NPS surveys there’s a good chance that you’ve missed out on a lot of people who never became customers because your website performance was poor. Make sure resolving this is a priority so that you’re not missing out on any more potential customers.

4. Security issues can put off customers

Your NPS score is reflective of not just your product or service, but often the process of purchasing as well. Security issues can be a factor here. For example, you may not have the right levels of security on your site for when your customers are making a payment. Having good site security also applies for when they are providing personal information such as names and addresses.

Ensuring that you have the right HTTPS protocols in place on your website means that your customers will feel secure in entering their credit card details and completing the transaction. You can set this up easily using trusted payment systems like PayPal or Stripe.

5. Reputation of the company is a crucial factor

When your customers are completing your NPS survey, they won’t just be thinking about the interaction they had with you. They’ll also be influenced by what else they know about your business, what they’ve heard from other people and most importantly, your overall reputation.

If customers interact with your business, expecting it to go poorly due to the reputation of the company, it’s more likely that it will actually be a bad interaction. They’ll be looking for mistakes, ready to argue or expecting the worst. That’s why it’s so important to understand and improve your overall reputation by understanding how your customers view your business.


Getting a low NPS score is a disappointment for any business. But it isn’t always a sign that your product or service is poor. There are other factors that go into a customers’ experience. It could be the check-out process, the chat functionality or the after-sales service.

It’s also an opportunity for growth. The first step is to understand why your score is low so you know where to focus your efforts of improvement. If you have a low NPS score dive into where in the customer lifecycle, their detailed feedback or follow-up with more questions to solve the issues and begin turning your score around.

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

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