Criticisms of Net Promoter Score- What does ChatGPT have to say?

GuestInsight Research Team
January 28, 2023
2 minute read
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With AI and specifically ChatGPT in the headlines these days, we thought we'd try it out to see how it would do in helping write a blog post on a subject we've talked about before.
If you are a client of ours or have followed our content for awhile, you probably are aware that we have been fairly outspoken critics of Net Promoter Score. We are not alone in that regard; in fact, folks with extensive experience in consumer market research have been vocal about it for almost 20 years.

So the challenge we put before ChatGPT was to write a blog post outlining the criticisms of NPS. We prompted it to search the Internet for research and writings about it. Here's what it came up with:

[The text below was completely generated by ChatGPT. The image for the blog was also generated by AI; ChatGPT generated the prompt that was then used in Midjourney to create the image.]

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a widely used tool for measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, despite its popularity, the NPS has faced criticism from various quarters. In this article, we will discuss the criticisms of the NPS, including its wording, calculation, and answer choices.

Criticisms of the Wording of the NPS Question
The NPS question, "How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend?" is criticized for being too vague and not specific enough to accurately gauge customer satisfaction. Critics argue that a more specific question, such as "On a scale of 0 to 10, how satisfied are you with your recent purchase?" would provide more valuable and actionable information.
Additionally, the NPS question is often criticized for having a built-in bias towards positive responses, as it asks customers to rate their likelihood of recommending a company to a friend. This can lead to a skewed representation of customer satisfaction, as customers may be more likely to give a high score due to social pressure or a desire to avoid confrontation.

Criticisms of the NPS Calculation
Critics argue that the NPS calculation, which simply subtracts the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters, is too simplistic and does not account for the complexity of customer sentiment and behavior. The NPS calculation provides a single score that is meant to be an indicator of customer satisfaction and loyalty, but it is not actionable, as it does not provide information on why customers gave a certain score or what specific aspects of the customer experience need to be improved.
Furthermore, the NPS calculation does not take into account the intensity of promoter scores. A customer who gives a score of 9 and a customer who gives a score of 10 are both considered promoters, but the former may be less likely to recommend the company to a friend. Additionally, the NPS calculation only takes into account the percentage of detractors and promoters, ignoring the feedback of customers who gave a score of 7, 8, or 9.

Criticisms of the Number of Answer Choices
Critics argue that the 0 to 10 scale used in NPS surveys is too large and provides too many options for customers to choose from, making it more difficult for them to accurately rate their experience. A smaller scale, such as a 0 to 5 scale or a 1 to 3 scale, would be more straightforward and easier for customers to use, and would provide a clearer distinction between detractors, passives, and promoters.

In conclusion
While the NPS is a widely used tool for measuring customer satisfaction, it is important to be aware of its limitations and criticisms, including those related to its wording, calculation, and number of answer choices. Companies should weigh these criticisms and decide what approach is best for their needs and audience, and may want to use additional metrics and data sources to gain a more comprehensive understanding of customer satisfaction.

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