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The Net Promoter System®

The Net Promoter System® is a management approach built on the Net Promoter Score®, which uses a steady stream of customer feedback to fuel constant learning and improvement at an organization. The Net Promoter System helps companies monitor the health of customer relationships, embed customer advocacy throughout the business and create a foundation for customer-led growth.

The Net Promoter Score, which allows companies to classify customers as promoters, passives or detractors, ties individual customer behavior to business economics in several key ways:

  • Spending behavior. Promoters typically stay longer and spend more than other customers.
  • Cost to serve. Promoters often require fewer resources to serve. They typically have fewer complaints and make fewer service calls.  
  • Customer referrals. Promoters recommend products more often and do not dissuade prospective customers.
  • Acquisition cost. Promoters typically cost less to acquire and keep.

How companies use The Net Promoter System®

  • Monitor and improve customer interactions. Much of the Net Promoter System’s feedback focuses on individual events, such as particular transactions or specific parts of the customer experience. The granularity of the system helps employees learn from recent interactions, allowing them to change their approach and observe outcomes.
  • Facilitate learning and development of customer-facing agents. The system requires managers to regularly share and discuss customer feedback with frontline employees while an interaction is still fresh in their minds. Employees can then try new approaches and report their results to coaches and fellow team members.
  • Monitor customer advocacy for the brand. Companies use the Net Promoter Score to measure customer sentiment across products, regions and channels, allowing them to gauge the effectiveness of loyalty-building efforts and identify weaknesses. Many companies also conduct competitive benchmarking, comparing their Net Promoter Scores against those of potential competitors. 
  • Integrate the voice of the customer into ongoing improvement. This continuous learning process starts when a company shares a customer’s feedback with a frontline employee and ends when the employee closes the loop with the original customer in response. The process elevates customer feedback as a guide to larger structural improvements and empowers employees to provide better service. 

Key considerations with The Net Promoter System®

Organizations should consider a number of key requirements when adopting a Net Promoter System:

  • Sustain leadership commitment. Companies that create more promoters and fewer detractors have leaders who embed customer centricity at every level of the organization.
  • Create a reliable, trusted metric.Companies must develop, test and fine-tune their sampling and survey techniques so that leaders and employees can have confidence in the data and customer classifications.  
  • Focus on feedback, learning and improvement. The system has three mechanisms that turn feedback into action: the inner loop, which provides frontline employees with real-time customer feedback; huddles, short team meetings that provide a forum for support and knowledge sharing; and the outer loop, which helps senior leaders prioritize and support customer-friendly changes that employees cannot make on their own.
  • Foster an employee environment focused on loyalty. Employees need to see the fundamental connection between the work they do and its impact on customers. This requires thoughtful hiring, the right tools and environment, formal training and ongoing coaching, and a system of rewards and recognition.
  • Develop a robust operational and analytic infrastructure. Implementing a short-cycle closed-loop feedback system requires support from an infrastructure that can trigger feedback requests, capture the responses, send them to the right employees (in real time), track follow-up action, and support data mining and analysis.
  • High-velocity closed-loop feedback
  • Employee experience
  • Customer loyalty
  • Voice of the customer

Net Promoter®, Net Promoter System®, Net Promoter Score® and NPS® are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.


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