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The Net Promoter Score – The Perfect Member Happiness Survey

* The Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from -100 to +100 that measures the willingness of members to recommend a company’s products or services to others. It is used as a proxy for gauging the member’s overall satisfaction with an association’s product or service and the member’s loyalty to the brand

It’s not founded on principles of revenue, bounce rate or any other traditionally mathematical ideas.

Member Happiness is based on emotions, not data. And while these emotions can be formulated as data, one of the first steps is to work out how.

In this book we’ve already covered the definition of member success, why member success is important and churn for associations…

Have you ever received this email?

Chances are, you’ve got an email at some point that reads like this:

“We value your opinion!  How likely are you to recommend us to your colleagues?

Highly Likely – Somewhat Likely – Neutral – Somewhat Unlikely – Highly Unlikely


The outcome of this question is used to formulate your Net Promoter Score (NPS), one of the metrics that measures the health of your association and the effectiveness of your Member Success strategy. Some associations will ask for your response on a scale of 1-10, some in a series of phrases like the Microsoft example above. I’ve even seen 😊 and ☹ as options. How do these responses translate to a solid representation of member happiness?

Calculate NPS to determine member happiness

Whatever the form of the survey, you can be sure it will be converted into a number between 1-10, and then you will be separated into 1 of 3 groups.

  • Scores between 1 and 6 are Detractors. These are the members unlikely to buy more, refer and promote the business to those around them. If the member base is filled with detractors, the association is in trouble.
  • Scores between 7-8 are Passives. These are the kinds of members who are just fine. They’re getting what they paid for, and think the association offers a passable service. They have enough gripes with it not to scream your praises from the rooftops but aren’t too dangerous. Associations with lots of Passives aren’t in the best position, but it’s better than having lots of Detractors.
  • Scores between 9-10 are Promoters. These are the sorts you see retweeting product updates, commenting on every blog post and publicly enthusing about their favorite companies. An association full of Promoters is like a great viral marketing campaign all by itself.

As hinted in the image above, your final NPS score is the net percent of your Promoters, minus your Detractors.

Since NPS scores fall inside a range of -100 to +100, you need to work out category scores as percentages.

For example:

  • You have 493 members. 286 Passives (58%), 173 Promoters (35%) and 34 (7%) Detractors.


  • Discount the Passives, as they are effectively zeros (0), and subtract the % of Detractors from the % of Promoters. This leaves us with 28% (or +28).


  • To give you an idea as to what this means, any positive score is a triumph. Companies with a score of +50 or greater are doing amazingly well.

How to survey NPS data from your members

The quick way is to send a survey. You can use something as simple as SurveyMonkey or even Google Forms to gather responses in a spreadsheet and work out your NPS.

*the excel worksheet which goes with this illustration is available.

The long way involves optimizing this process. It has quite a lot to it, so I’ll go through it bit-by-bit.

In-email surveys

To reduce the friction and make it more likely you’ll get a response, embed the survey directly into an email. This means that when the recipient clicks their response, it’s directly logged, and they don’t have to jump through hoops for you.

You can set this up in email marketing programs, including CampaignMonitor, use Google Forms to embed a survey into your email directly or use trusty MailChimp, which lets you set up polls and gather the data in an easily-digestible way.

In-app surveys

This doesn’t have to be an alternative to an email survey, you could do it as well to maximize the amount of responses. There are a few solid options for in-app surveys, which are best for associations and mobile apps.

I like SurveyMonkey – clean, simple, affordable.

Time it right

Make sure to send your NPS survey at a time where your product is fresh in your member’s minds. This could mean setting up an automated email which triggers when a support request is completed, an account is upgraded, or, ‘soon after the service or transactional interaction’.

Finding the best time for your members which gets the highest response rate is something specific to each association. You’ll have to test and find out what works for you. The average response rate for a well-timed NPS survey over email should be 20-30%.

What’re you going to do with all that data?

Provided you have a way to collate the responses, it should be easy enough to calculate your NPS score. Just follow the formula or use the spreadsheet I gave you earlier.

Your final NPS score is the net percent of your Promoters (scored 9-10), minus your Detractors (scored 1-6). Discount any other data.

Since NPS scores fall inside a range of -100 to +100, you need to work out category scores as percentages.

Subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters to get your NPS score.

Remember, any positive result is a good NPS score. Any NPS over 30 is considered good, over 50 is great, and over 70 is excellent.

Act to make improvements

Ahead we’ll see how to optimize your member success strategy with Concierge Onboarding, by improving member experience and by getting a support team running round the clock (figuratively, within normal working hours each week -😉 ) to solve your members problems and build relationships.

Once you know your NPS score, you know how urgent this will be. To know where you’re going, you need to know where you are right now.

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