What is an NPS survey?

An NPS survey is a simple two-part survey that consists of a rating question, and a free response follow-up. NPS, or Net Promoter Score, surveys help you quantify customer loyalty while also providing qualitative feedback to help you improve the customer experience.


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NPS survey question

The NPS question

The first part of the survey asks the Net Promoter Score question: “How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?” Respondents pick a numerical score between 0 and 10. The higher the score, the more likely they are to recommend you – the lower the score, the less likely.

The follow-up

The second part of an NPS survey is a free response follow-up question. This allows promoters, passives, or detractors to provide context for their chosen NPS scores. This is the true power of NPS surveys – hearing valuable feedback from your customers in their own words.

nps survey follow-up question

Relationship vs transactional NPS surveys

There are two types of NPS surveys: relationship and transactional surveys. Use both to benchmark your overall customer experience and pinpoint areas of improvement. A dedicated NPS tool makes it easy.

Relationship (or relational) NPS

A relationship survey measures customer loyalty to your brand based on overall experience. Because of their breadth, relationship surveys are a good metric for customer experience benchmarking to see if the various changes you’re making are turning unhappy customers into loyal customers.

Transactional NPS (tNPS)

A tNPS survey asks for feedback tied to a specific customer touchpoint – post-purchase, post-service interaction, or post-onboarding, to name a few. Transactional surveys are a good way to pinpoint what exactly you need to improve about a specific moment in the customer journey.

NPS question templates

The NPS question, though simple, is very versatile. Tweak a few words to customize it further for your specific goals. Or, set the context for your question using a short intro message before the survey. Here are some examples of NPS survey questions:

For transactional NPS (tNPS)

If you want to gather feedback on a specific interaction, add “based on your most recent interaction” to the question. Used in conjunction with your traditional NPS survey, tNPS can surface more focused, actionable insights.

For customer personalization

If you are asking people about a product or service within a professional environment, you can substitute “friend” for “colleague.” In the context of a family, you can use “family member.” You can also combine them (i.e. “friend or family member”).

For product feedback

You can also use an NPS survey for detailed customer feedback on your product or feature. Simply replace “company” with the product that was ordered or the feature that you would like more feedback on.

For employee NPS (eNPS)

To create an eNPS survey, add “as a workplace” to the NPS question. You can also ask employees the basic NPS question to find out if a negative employee experience may be leading to a negative customer experience.

When to send your NPS survey

NPS surveys are most effective when they are sent after your customers have had a complete experience with your products or services – after an order has been delivered, upon checkout of a hotel, or after a subscription period. There is no hard and fast rule to survey frequency, but you should tailor survey timing to your industry in addition to the survey type.

Relationship NPS survey timing

To measure how your customers feel about your brand over time, survey your customers regularly. Quarterly or semi-annually is a good place to start, though you can also survey a subset of your active customers on a rolling basis.

tNPS survey timing

Since tNPS surveys are tied to a customer interaction, they are more one-off surveys timed to gather feedback immediately after that interaction has taken place. For instance, upon check-out or resolution of a support issue.

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NPS survey question and follow-up question

NPS survey length

The advantage of an NPS survey over a traditional long-form survey lies in its brevity. No one likes to fill out long surveys. As a result, NPS surveys, with their 2-question format, see vastly better response rates than traditional surveys. However, if you are looking for deeper insights, you can add optional follow-up questions to our NPS survey template. More robust survey platform tools allow these questions to follow conditional logic, so that customers receive unique sets of questions based on their initial rating. This type of survey setup also makes it easier to analyze your survey data and identify key drivers for customer satisfaction. To keep the survey as efficient as possible, limit yourself to 10 additional questions.

Learn more about NPS

Because of its flexibility, NPS is one of the most effective customer satisfaction survey types you can implement. To learn more about the Net Promoter Score methodology and how it is different from other customer service survey questions, check out our Net Promoter Score guide.

If you’ve sent out a survey already, you can use our NPS calculator to calculate your NPS score.

NPS survey score formula

“Delighted is the NPS product I always hoped someone would build. When I first saw the tool, I knew instantly that it could change the way companies measure and manage customer happiness.”

Fred Reichheld, creator of NPS and Delighted advisor