Here’s some juice to kickstart our conversation –
Did you know 35% of eCommerce small businesses’ revenue is generated by the top 5% of customers, i.e., loyal and repeat customers (customer acquisition enthusiasts can calm down)?
The question is, what drives repeat business? It’s obviously loyal customers.
That’s why businesses across industries are obsessed with tracking the Net Promoter Score (NPS).
It’s one of the most used CX metrics to gauge long-term customer loyalty, satisfaction, and risk of attrition in your business.
The challenge is knowing how to get started. That’s where NPS benchmarks come in handy. You can estimate a good NPS score for your industry and guide your NPS program accordingly.
These numbers are guiding averages you can use to understand how much you need to improve to have an edge over your competition.
Simply put, NPS benchmarks answer a burning question: What is a good NPS score?
Because the answer is subjective to each industry and business, let’s understand what benchmarking is and how to set it up on your end.
Factors Affecting the Net Promoter Score (NPS) for an Industry
Before discussing the benchmark figures for different industries, we must clarify one thing: What’s considered a good NPS is relative and subjective. The NPS benchmark varies for each industry because of the following factors:
- Nature of the business, i.e., B2B, B2C, automotive, finance, education, retail, etc.
- Level of customer tolerance. For example, customers may be more tolerant of a bad website experience than a bad experience in healthcare.
- The difference in the target audience and customer personas.
- How often you track the NPS.
- Whether you have an omnichannel business model, i.e., online and offline (brick and mortar stores).
- The extent of customer service required in your industry.
Your Net Promoter Score should be a metric against which you measure your progress and not focus entirely on the competitive side of things.
Read Also: A Complete Guide To Website Surveys
4 NPS Benchmarking Studies Across Various Industries (2018-2022)
Let’s get straight down to business. Here are some reports that discuss the good NPS scores for each industry:
Statista (2020): Net Promoter Score (NPS) WorldWide Benchmark
As shown in the report by Statista, the NPS score range can be as low as 27 (Healthcare) and as high as 71 (Education and Training), depending on the industry.
And so, you should only reference your industry benchmarks for your score rather than competing in a different league.
It’s also worth noting that these scores are an aggregation of the NPS from hundreds, if not thousands, of companies. It means not all businesses achieve these scores in their respective industries.
Your NPS will depend on your unique circumstances and will be unique to your business.
Statista(2021): Net Promoter Score (NPS) of Businesses in the United States
The report above from Statista is an excellent example of how diverse NPS can be across industries.
You can see that an industry such as Cable & Satellite TV service (-2) has negative NPS scores. Meaning it has more detractors than promoters.
The report also shows Department and Specialty stores have the highest NPS of 56, and the Internet service has the lowest NPS of -3.
But the question is— What results in such a vast difference?
The Department store industry offers diverse consumer durables, fosters constant customer engagement and interaction, has brands for different demographics, etc.
And so, even if customers are not happy with a few products, it won’t significantly impact the overall NPS.
On the other hand, the Internet service industry offers a single service with minimum customer engagement and interaction. And so, even minor hiccups in the customer experience can have a significant impact on your customers, leading to low NPS.
Bain & Co. (2018): NPS Benchmarks for Retail Businesses
In the 2018 report by Bain & Co., you can see the brands with the highest NPS representing their industries. It also shows the lowest NPS for that industry (with gray –).
For example, Amazon is leading with the highest NPS of 55 in the “Consumer Electronics” category, with the lowest NPS being 14.
Remember that we said the NPS is relative, and what you may consider low for your industry might be a good NPS score for the other.
Here’s an example: In the “Women’s clothing” category, the lowest NPS is 28, whereas, in the 2021 report by Statista above, 27 is considered a good score for the Healthcare insurance industry.
If you weren’t aware, Bain & Co. pioneered the Net Promoter Score metric that companies from different spheres use to measure customer satisfaction and experience.
The same report shows the different NPS benchmark figures based on products offered, i.e., home goods.
So, your NPS will vary for each category if you deal in different products and services.
For example, the NPS for Amazon is 57 in the “Home products and decor” category, but it scored only 45 in “Sports goods and apparel” in the US Retailer NPS benchmark image above.
The same Bain and Co. report also shared NPS benchmarks for industries in Canada. It’s evident how geographic factors affect the NPS across industries.
For example, the NPS score range for the automotive industry is between 77 (Toyota) to 82 (Honda), whereas, in Canada, the NPS benchmark is 84 (Lexus).
Satmetrix (2022): Net Promoter Benchmarks for US Consumers
Another report by Satmetrix on the NPS benchmark also mentions their NPS benchmark across industries.
The Department & Specialty stores again held the highest NPS benchmark of 62 like 2021 (Statista 2021 report above), followed by the Smartphone industry with 49 NPS.
The same report also highlights the industry leaders leading the NPS benchmarks for their industry.
If we compare this recent report with the one from Bain & Co., we can see some brand names reappearing. For example, USAA was leading in the “Auto Insurance” category in 2018 with an NPS of 77 and continued to do so in 2022 with an NPS of 65.
Inference: What Is a Good Net Promoter Score (NPS) for Your Business?
Now circling back to our question, “What is a good NPS score,” it’s safe to say that there is no one specific answer. But, you can still take an idea from the industry standards.
For this, we have compiled all the data from different reports and studies to guide your NPS program.
Here are the average and ‘good’ NPS score benchmarks from all the reports discussed above:
- Software & Apps: Between 18-41
- Ride-sharing & On-demand Food Delivery: Between 22-35
- eCommerce: Between 40-62
- Computer & Tablets: Between 42-60
- Airlines: Between 22-61
- Auto Insurance: Between 37-77
- Dept & Specialty Stores: Between 56-80
- Smartphones: Between 49-64
- Credit Cards: Between 42-62
- Travel: Between 22-43
- Banking: Between 34-72
- Drug Stores & Pharma: Between 27-45
- Life Insurance: Between 28-39
These are just a few benchmark examples for industries. You can use these good NPS score averages to understand where you stand currently and what you can do to achieve a good NPS in your industry.
Now, the challenge is, how do you know where you stand? That’s the question for our next topic.
4 NPS Benchmarking Methods to Tell Good NPS Score From Bad
Let’s dive straight into how you can determine whether you have a good NPS score or a bad one. Once you have the numbers, you can design strategies to improve upon it
It’s pretty much in the name. The absolute method uses unofficial industry benchmarks to determine what is a good net promoter score. For example, if you want to place your company’s NPS using the absolute method, refer to this scoring by Bain & Co.:
- Anything above 0 is good
- A score above 20 is favorable
- Any score above 50 is excellent
- 80 or above score is top-notch
It’s evident that the distinction between scores is vague and leaves much room for improvement. Not to mention, the absolute method depends on several factors that can impact your absolute NPS. For example,
- Respondents may abandon the survey if it’s too long, leading to a low response rate.
- Survey errors may creep into the campaign impacting the data quality.
- The sample size of the target audience you choose for the NPS survey.
- How regularly you measure the NPS.
- Whether or not you close the loop, i.e., follow up on detractors.
You cannot effectively measure your progress with absolute NPS since the scores are crammed together into one category.
Relative NPS compares the competitors’ scores to create industry benchmarks and gives you a rough idea of where your competition stands. Plus, you can collect additional data on your NPS surveys to gauge the areas of improvement to deliver outstanding customer experience and improve your scoring.
Unlike absolute NPS, there is no such pre-categorization of scores since every industry is different.
For example, what is a ‘good’ NPS score will be different for an online marketplace business like Amazon, where it’s relatively possible to positively impact most customers compared to a Finance business dealing in loan approval.
Create Your Own Compass For ‘What Is a Good NPS’
No two businesses are alike, even in the same industry. So entirely relying on your competitors’ scores and treating them as a milestone for your company can be a setup for a disaster.
So, what are you supposed to do? Simple: Be your own competition. Collect and compare your NPS scores periodically to determine the good NPS score for your business.
You’ll be able to see the real improvement and how much the strategies you employed after the last NPS came to fruition.
For example, if you conducted an NPS survey 8 months ago, your current NPS should be higher than that, even if it’s by a point. That will be what you can consider a good NPS score.
It signifies that you are going in the right direction to offer impeccable customer experience and gain loyal customers.
And the only way to win against your last NPS is by acting on the insights it offers.
As Fred Reichheld said, “It’s not the score that matters; it’s what you do with it to make promoters that really counts.” So, don’t treat NPS as a vanity metric but as a tool you can leverage to create a loyal customer base.
Relate Your Good NPS Score with Revenue
It is possible to have a high and good NPS score which doesn’t translate into increased revenue.
For example, you may get a 60+ NPS, which is high for your industry standards. However, you discover that one of your biggest customers gave you a low rating turning into a detractor with fewer purchases.
So, although you enjoy a high NPS, you are on the verge of losing a crucial account. That’s why it’s a good practice to collect in-context feedback in your NPS survey to identify unhappy customers in time before they jump ship.
5 Best Ways to improve your Net Promoter Score With Qualaroo
You have set the benchmark and built a foundation to know your current standings. Now, it’s time to improve the NPS score. The first thing to do is to find a comprehensive NPS tool. Using a tool like Qualaroo, you can take these steps to make your NPS program more effective.
Keep the Surveys Short & Relevant to Improve the Response Rate
The whole point of NPS surveys is to be quick and effortless.
That’s why this metric only consists of one question – “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our brand/products/services to your friends/family/colleagues?”
So, focus on collecting only the score and contextual feedback in your NPS surveys. You can use other surveys like customer satisfaction surveys, customer effort surveys, exit-intent surveys, first-impression surveys, etc., to explore customer satisfaction and experience in detail.
Put Contextual Feedback in Front Seat: Leverage Branching
There is only one purpose for collecting customer data: to gather actionable insights that lead to positive results.
The winning combination of qualitative and quantitative data can direct your actions on the right path.
For example, asking a simple follow-up question like “Please explain the reason(s) behind your score” with your NPS question will tell you the whole story of each score and what exactly needs to be done to turn the tide in your favor.
Here’s how branching logic works and how you can implement it:
CASE STUDY: BELRON
Belron’s Safelite and Autoglass are the two brands that have become closely associated with automobile windscreens.
Its services are what Stephen Payne considers ‘typically a source of negative feelings for customers’ since they offer a replacement for broken windshields.
And so, as Jamie Carter, Voice of the Customer Manager, puts it, “The only way that we can continually provide [the easiest possible] experience is by understanding and internalizing what previous customers have told us.”
That’s where Belron seeks the help of Qualaroo’s surveys to ensure a high NPS and happy customers.
Time Your NPS Surveys Well
You cannot entirely rely on your NPS if you don’t get responses from most of your customers. Organizations may often get a low NPS, not because they don’t have promoters but because of the poor timing of their NPS surveys.
If you send your NPS survey via email, chances are the email will end up in the spam folder, get ignored, or customers might forget to respond, as the email can be lost in the pile of unread emails.
Well, a better way to do this is to embed your NPS survey in your product or launch it on your website and mobile app using a feedback survey tool like Qualaroo.
You can leverage advanced targeting to target customers for your NPS survey.
Set triggers based on actions or customer behavior and show your survey at the most opportune moment to get maximum responses.
For example, you can set triggers to show your NPS surveys to those customers who have purchased from you, have successfully onboarded, and have been using your product/services for some time.
Leverage Automatic NPS Score Calculator With Advanced Reporting
Instead of managing multiple tools and manual methods to collect and manage your NPS scores across various channels, you can enjoy Qualaroo’s hassle-free, automatic NPS score calculator and visual dashboard.
It shows your score on the main dashboard and offers a detailed report of promoters, detractors, and passives. You can also see all the feedback responses from your open-text follow-up question in the same report.
This way, you can tag responses from detractors needing help and create support tickets using a tool like ProProfs Helpdesk to resolve the issues promptly.
See Beyond Your Numbers & Into Customer Emotions
To develop a holistic NPS program, you need deeper qualitative insights. For this, you need more than just collecting contextual feedback; you need the means to decipher what the feedback tells you.
That’s where Qualaroo’s IBM-Watson-powered Sentiment Analysis comes to save the day.
With this incredible feature, you can understand the overall sentiment of your promoters and detractors and uncover the factors affecting your NPS.
For example, the word cloud feature highlights key phrases and most used words in the feedback, so you know what most customers are talking about. The bigger the word, the more times it’s been used in the feedback.
This way, you can instantly identify the gaps in your customer experience and take proactive measures to improve your NPS.
Approach NPS Benchmarks With Care
We know now that NPS is not just a vanity metric but a catalyst for improving your overall customer and brand experience.
But the crux of this discussion is not just this; you should only strive to compete and compare your NPS with your previous score and no other.
Additionally, what your NPS shows might be one of many truths. You can have a low score but higher profits and vice versa.
So, it’s best to gain different perspectives, i.e., identify elements unique to your business, such as demographics, consumer behavior, habits, product offerings, customer tolerance, etc., to understand what your NPS is telling you about your customer experience.
Then, there’s another aspect to NPS benchmarking that you need to consider: don’t get swept by inflated NPS. Niche industries with little to no competition tend to have exceptionally high NSP, which can be deceiving.
But the thing is, to get reliable NPS benchmarks, you need a bullet-proof NPS strategy.
How and when you send NPS surveys can affect your score and benchmarks. For example, customers might give high scores if you collect your NPS over the phone through a representative.
We recommend experimenting with different NPS distribution channels and timings to find what works for your business.
For example, if you own both online and offline stores, you can use in-app and on-site NPS surveys for the online platform and a kiosk to collect offline NPS.
With the right approaches and reliable NPS benchmarks, you can surely make a mark in your industry and overshadow your competitors in NPS and exemplary customer experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is considered a ‘good NPS score’ depends on the industry. For example, for an industry like “Women’s clothing”, the lowest NPS can be 28, which could be considered a good score for the healthcare insurance industry.
A positive Net Promoter Score indicates that a company has a healthy relationship with its customers and has a reliable and loyal customer base.
The responses to your NPS surveys can vary depending on the countries and regions where your customers are from. This happens because of the cultural differences that affect how people perceive and rate the surveys. So, location can have an impact on NPS results.
In NPS benchmarking, you either compare and set an NPS standard based on your previous scores or you do the same using industry benchmarks from different sources.
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