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Driving Higher NPS Benchmarks: The Net Promoter Score Benchmark Report

Patrick Campbell May 24 2018

NPS or net promoter score is trending down across the board. But are the products we are building today really worse than they were 5 years ago? As the data suggests, with competition increasing it's getting tougher to drive a memorable experience that returns high NPS, but your brand, support, and speed to ship new features can help. 

On this episode of the ProfitWell Report, Christian Holmsen, CEO at Rezstream asks us to look at how NPS has changed over the years and what seem to be the main drivers of higher NPS. To answer Christian's question, let’s look at the NPS data from just over five thousand subscription executives and nearly twenty five thousand consumers.



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NPS Trending Down

To not bury the lede - net promoter score across different industries and ARPU levels has actually trended downward over the past five years and when cross referencing roughly a dozen factors, brand, usage, and support satisfaction seem to be the main influencers.

Overall, it’s hard to say the products we buy today are worse than the ones we bought a decade ago.

Yet, NPS data tells a different story.

When looking at NPS in both B2B and B2C aggregated across thousands of companies, note that the average Net Promoter Score five years ago was in the upper 20s and low 30s. With a scale of -100 to 100 that’s pretty good, but the average today has dropped to single digits and low teens. Why has NPS performance dropped regardless of industry?

Graph1-Average NPS is Trending Down - Mid Low High Graph (0;00;00;00)

What’s causing the change? Well, frankly consumers have become more and more ungrateful. This isn’t because you’re doing your job worse today than you were five years ago, but you’re certainly in a world where there’s more competition and creating a magical customer experience is just that much harder. But without a great customer experience, you run the risk of creating more customer churn, less customer loyalty, and driving down a good NPS score.  And, ultimately, a poor NPS score doesn't bode well for churn and retention rates (regardless of industry)


3 Key Factors to Boost Your NPS

So how do you boost your NPS? When looking at 12 different factors we found you need to focus on brand, support, and the frequency you’re shipping. 



Brand appeared to drive NPS the most. We coded respondents perception of a company’s brand before measuring their NPS. Those customers who perceived a company’s brand positively had over double the NPS as those who were neutral. Negative perception just tanked NPS as to be expected.


Graph2-Brand heavily influences NPS - Mid Low High Graph (0;00;10;29)



Support experience

Customer service and support perception showed similar results with positive perceptions of a company’s support showing 50-70% higher NPS than those customers with neutral perception.


Graph3-Support Experience Heavily influences Negative NPS - Mid Low High Graph (0;00;10;29)



Frequency of updates

Finally, the frequency at which you ship new features or products showed a positive trend, as well with customers who perceived the company as shipping new features and functionality often having 30-40% higher NPS than those who perceived the company as shipping infrequently.

Graph4-Frequency of Updates Influences NPS - Mid Low High Graph (0;00;00;15)

Of course, many of these factors compound on one another, but in isolation the story they tell is that momentum and brand is crucial to customer satisfaction. Long gone are the days where a product just needed to work in order for your customer to love you and the expectations will continue to increase as the B2B and B2C products in our world of recurring revenue become more and more magical. The important part is getting feedback from customers on your NPS survey. Without feedback and responses, you'll have no way to measure your improvements. 

Well, that's all for now. If you have a question, ship me an email or video to and let's also thank Christian from RezStream for sparking this research by clicking the link here to share on LinkedIn and give him a shoutout. We’ll see you next week.

By Patrick Campbell

Founder & CEO of ProfitWell, the software for helping subscription companies with their monetization and retention strategies, as well as providing free turnkey subscription financial metrics for over 20,000 companies. Prior to ProfitWell Patrick led Strategic Initiatives for Boston-based Gemvara and was an Economist at Google and the US Intelligence community.

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