Ask Your Clients This Single Question and Watch Your Business Take Off


Net Promoter Score for Soloists

by Julio Vasconcellos


Harness the Power of Your Most Satisfied Clients and Turn Them into Your Best Promoters

Independent professionals can benefit from the same tools and data that drive the success of Fortune 1000 companies. Learn how you can understand and maximize your Net Promoter Score to:

  • Drive positive word of mouth
  • Increase your client base
  • Maximize your pricing structure
  • Predict and drive revenue growth
  • Keep the clients you have, and turn them into enthusiastic promoters

What is a Net Promoter Score?

Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is calculated from clients’ responses to a single question: “How likely is it (on a scale of 1 to 10) that you would recommend my service to a friend or colleague?” NPS is used by 2/3 of the largest companies in America to predict and drive revenue growth.

How is NPS Measured?

First, sort responses into these three categories:

  • Detractors Give a score of 0–6 and can potentially harm your word of mouth with their negative reviews of your business.
  • Passives Give a score of 7–8, but probably wouldn’t hesitate to work with another provider if the chance arose.
  • Promoters Give a score of 9–10. They are the clients who love you, talk to their friends about you, recommend you without qualifications (no “I recommend him but..”), and who would stick with you even if they were introduced to a competitive provider. These clients are key, because they can help drive a huge amount of your business.

The Score is calculated by taking the percentage of clients that are Promotersand subtracting the percentage of clients that are DetractorsPassives are not included in NPS. Scores above a 0 are considered “good,” with anything above 50 being considered “excellent.” Scores of 70 or above, which include companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Apple, are considered “world class.”

Making Net Promoter Score Work for You

Photo by  Jonathan Simcoe  on  Unsplash

How can you unlock the power of this management practice in the same way as the most successful companies in the world? We put together a 5-step action plan to getting up-and-running quickly and effectively:

  1. Incorporate asking for a Net Promoter Score into your workflow. 83% of consumers are ready to refer after a positive experience, but only 29% actually do. If you can identify Promoters and capture their referrals and testimonials at the right time, it turbo-charges your ability to get new clients via those referrals. It is important to ask clients the question once your service has been completed and the experience is fresh in their minds.
  2. Ask all your clients (even those who were unsatisfied). If you are doing this for the first time, avoid biasing your results by only asking current clients (those that have stuck with you). You need to think about asking all of your past clients — especially those that stopped working with you (they may have the most enlightening feedback!). It takes 10 seconds for a client to answer and they can do it via e-mail or even text message.
  3. Follow-up the NPS question with an open-ended “Why?” The answers to “why” will help you turn feedback from Promoters into testimonials, and will provide the context you’ll need from Detractors to contact them promptly and remedy their problem. Remember Detractors can harm your word of mouth, so it is important to address their concerns whenever possible. Following up is critical to getting an accurate score, and doing so can help raise your score by converting Detractors to Passives or even Promoters!
  4. Ask how you can improve. If you have room for one more follow-up, Shep Hyken writes in Forbes that he likes to ask “What would it take to raise my score just by one point?” This specific probe will often identify quick-and-easy wins that you may not have thought of but that can have a dramatic impact on your NPS and by extension, growth of your business and income.
  5. Decide how you are going to ask for feedback. Now that you know when to ask, who to ask, and what to ask, it’s time to decide how to ask. You can do this manually via e-mail or text message, or you look for online tools to help automate the feedback process.

Learn More:

The One Number You Need to Grow

Introducing the Net Promoter System

Net Promoter Score

Work Independently, Not Alone.