Myths around Net Promoter Score (NPS)

After a long time planning, we recently started doing NPS surveys of CutShort users recently. It has been 4 weeks and we have only one regret — why didn’t we start them earlier!


If you don’t know about NPS — read about it here.

If you have heard of NPS but are not doing them yet, I know what you’re thinking. I had some hesitations as well and here is my take on them now:

Myth 1: NPS is only for the big companies

Nothing can be farther from the truth. Here is why:

  • Startups need brand advocates more than big companies do. NPS surveys help starftups identify the brand advocates & create more like them better.
  • 95% startups fail not because of competition, but because of building the wrong product. NPS responses can alert you if you are heading in the wrong direction.
  • Fixing and nailing your NPS is 100x easier at a lower scale, simply because there are fewer variables. For instance, if Coca Cola’s NPS starts going down, it will be difficult to explain it — is it because of changing consumer tastes, bad marketing campaign, bad retailer support or something else? At a startup, it’s easy to know what went wrong!

Myth 2: NPS is growth metric, not a product improvement tool

This one really depends on how you conduct NPS. If you’re collecting only the score — then yes — it’s just a growth metric.

But if you are actually identifying each respondent who rates you too low (or too high), you can use the intel to drive your product roadmap. At our end, this is how we added a few simple fixes (e.g. ability to search jobs at a specific company) that were badly hurting our score.

Myth 3: NPS is too harsh

Yes it is harsh, since only the 9s and 10’s increase your score while anything less than 7 reduces it.

But here is the thing it is Net Promoter Score, after all. It measures how many users will boast about your brand to their friends. And since you will be comparing this number with the industry, this harshness doesn’t really matter anyway. Technically, any score about 0 is not bad.

Myth 4: NPS is blasting an email survey

The simplicity of NPS is deceptive. It looks as if you just need to broadcast an an email survey to all your users and you’re done.

I wish it were so simple.

You can surely do it that way but the results won’t be impactful. First off, email response rates are much lower. Second, you will most likely be collecting just the score without doing analysis on the actual respondents. Third, conducting survey again in a scientific manner to target those who responded in a special way earlier would be difficult.

It isn’t too hard, of course, but the development work involved is not exactly trivial. That’s why I’d suggest going with solutions built for NPS surveys. We chose Wootric. We did have some initial setup hiccups, but it has been working nonstop since then.

Our current NPS score

One nice thing about Wootric is the kind if integrations they have (we use their integration with Intercom & custom webhooks), Plus they have a good free tier.

NPS is a useful tool. Give it a shot. I’m sure it will help you focus and grow your startup!

Questions/Caveats? Feel free to shoot!