Net Promoter Scores


Photo by Florian Klauer via

Recently one of my colleagues started a thread on the Visitor Studies listserv about Net Promoter Scores.  I’ve often included questions about people’s likelihood to recommend a program or organization to others (i.e., the basic type of question used to generate data that enables calculation of a Net Promoter Score), but I was previously unaware of a standardized coding metric that allow cross-program/cross-institutional comparisons.  On the off chance that others are looking for possible ways to make site to site or program to program comparisons, here’s the Net Promoter scoop!

A Net Promoter Score is generated based on responses to a question that asks guests/customers/participants to indicate how likely they would be to recommend a museum/product/program to their friends and family. An eleven-point response scale (0-10) is preferable, but a NPS score can still be generated from a five-point (1-5) response scale.

Responses are broken down into three categories:

1) Promoters (i.e., those with responses of 9 or 10 on a 0-10 scale, or 5 on a five-point scale) – these folks are your super fans who are most likely to tell others about you.

2) Passives (i.e., those with responses of 7-8 on a 0-10 scale, or 4 on a five-point scale) – these are people who aren’t negative, but aren’t as likely to evangelize on your behalf.

3) Detractors (i.e., those with responses of 0-6 on a 0-10 scale or 1-3 on a five-point scale) – are people whose responses suggest that they didn’t have the most optimal experience possible and are more likely to share a negative opinion than a positive opinion about their experience.

Once you have all the data, subtract the percentage of respondents who are classified as detractors from the percentage of respondents who are classified as promoters.

The institutional scores that were shared on the VSA listserv ranged from 73-78. In other-words, in each of these sites about three quarters of the respondents (give or take a few) who were questioned about their likelihood to tell a friend or colleague about that museum, zoo, or aquarium indicated that they would do so. Another way to look at it is that their promoters outnumbered their detractors 3 to 1.


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