The When’s and How’s of Product NPS

Measure and Use for Performance Management

One of the most common questions we get is how to use NPS in various types of surveys, and for various purposes. Here is some of our latest thinking about asking the “likelihood to recommend” question about your product specifically: It all comes down to how you measure and how you use it for performance management.


The Head and the Heart

Let’s first get grounded in how your customers view the question that informs NPS. It is important to remember that the question, “How likely are you to recommend?” evokes an overall brand perception based on your customer’s journey from purchase through retention. It also probes both the head and the heart to understand both the rational and emotional reasons why customers buy. This is the measure that will most likely link to your financial outcomes.


A customer’s response to “likelihood to recommend” after a call center experience is not only going to reflect the call center interaction, but rather their overall customer experience. That experience will encompass expectations set at different points along the entire customer journey – including sales and marketing, use of the product, billing, and other key moments of interaction. Likelihood to recommend can also be impacted by external market conditions, such as the overall negative impact that was broadly experienced during the financial crisis of 2008.


Best Practices for Product NPS

Now, let’s explore Product NPS. Most product leaders want to get NPS for the products they are responsible for. To achieve this objective, here are some best practices to consider:


  • If you measure NPS in a relationship survey and your company has multiple product lines, you may want to determine both NPS for the brand and for the product. You may also find that brand NPS and product NPS are different if you have a services-heavy model to support the use of your product. We have worked with organizations where product NPS was higher than brand NPS, which told us something was wrong in the rest of the journey and we needed to find a way to shift the brand equity back to the brand in order to better support cross selling.
  • Another good time to measure Product NPS is after a service incident. In this scenario you will want to measure the quality of the interaction first using satisfaction and/or Customer Effort Score. You could then add product NPS and/or brand NPS. The key is to use the attributes that most accurately measure the service interaction as the performance measure for your services team, so beware of how you use NPS.
  • Some consumer electronics, software products, mobile phones and other connected devices allow you to get product NPS through “in product” feedback capabilities. This is an excellent way to get direct feedback that is truly reflective of the customer’s experience.
  • Onboarding experience (or ‘out-of-box’ experience) can be another way to measure product NPS. In this scenario you are able to gain perspective into how well the product performs in early life, and if there are gaps relative to the sales/marketing experience.


To recap: When considering product NPS, the most important points to remember are:


  • When putting the recommend question in your survey, pay attention to how the respondent is interpreting the question. It’s not likely anyone will ever recommend calling your call center.
  • It is best practice to measure your teams on attributes within their control, such as “agent knowledge” vs. brand NPS. By clearly understanding the drivers of NPS you know which attributes and behaviors to encourage that will drive improvements in NPS – this way everybody wins.
  • It’s a good idea to measure NPS in transactional surveys as long as you understand that it really is a brand measure. Viewed this way, NPS will tell you how customer loyalty changes through their various points of interaction, and with further analysis into verbatim or driver analysis, you will know why.


There is much more to be said on this topic. If you’d like to learn more, think about exploring the courses in our academy.


Understand customer journey mapping basics and discuss merits of metrics.

Use customer feedback to inform decision making and link to financials.

Drive actions across the business and define strategies to activate promoters.