Net Promoter Score is a standard way to measure if customers like your company or product. It lets them rate you on a 1-10 scale of how likely you would be to recommend it to a friend. 0-6 are detractors 7-8 are passives and 9-10 are promoters. Detractors count as -1, passives are 0, and promoters are +1. You add the ratings together and  then divide by the total number of ratings. You then multiply the number by 100.

This provides a simple -100 to +100 number, however there are many different ways to visualize Net Promoter Scores to understand the data. Your choice on how to visualize should depend on the specific aspects of your NPS that you want to emphasize. 

Let’s explore the most common and most effective ways to visualize NPS:

  1. Single Value

Single value charts can clearly summarize a NPS Score. You could also use these to show counts or percentages of Promoters, Passives, and Detractors within the NPS score.

Summary statistics showing NPS and its breakdown into response type components

Seeing the break down of the categories with NPS lets you focus on which group you want to target to increase your company or product’s rating.

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2. Stacked Bar

Stacked bar charts are popular because they visualize the three groups that compose NPS. The group breakdown can be shown as total or percentage. However, it can be hard to determine the NPS and differentiate between groups if they are close in size.

Stacked bars can show division of all responses into individual response type components

It often makes sense to have both the stacked bar chart and single value chart for easy understanding.

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3. Line Chart

Line charts can display NPS over time to expose trends over time. However, a line chart does not capture which groups within the NPS score are affecting the changes. So while the whole score might move it is unclear which of the promoters, passives, or detractors scores are moving the NPS score.

A line chart can be used to plot the change in NPS over time

It is common to plot NPS line charts on a -100 to +100 y-axis since that is the full range of potential values.

4. Bar + Line Chart

Bar + Line charts can combine the previous two visualizations. It shows how this data has changed over time in more depth. We can ignore the Passives since the NPS score is the difference between the Promoter % and Detractor % of total respondents. We can effectively show how the percentage of Promoters and Detractors are affecting the overall NPS score.

Bars behind a line plot can show how many promoters and detractors contributed to the final NPS

Alternatively, we can create the plot with a 100% stacked bar chart to make it clear how passives affect the NPS score as well:

Stacked bars behind the line plot show all three response types across time

5. Pie charts

Pie charts are sometimes used but not recommended. While you might tell if NPS is positive or negative by comparing the promoter slice to the detractor slice, it is harder than the stacked bar chart to tell where the final NPS is. It is not a traditional composition use case so be careful using this chart type.

A pie chart can be used to show NPS, but it can be difficult to gauge the final score

Segment NPS

Viewing the overall NPS score is a good measure for how well the company, product, or service is liked overall but it can hide important insights in the data. You should always segment your data in different ways to see if groups differ from the overall statistic.

The most common ways to segment NPS include:

  • company size
  • country
  • user persona

These can expose for which groups your product is working great for and which ones it isn’t. Without breaking down NPS by groups, you might think that everyone is having the same experience with your product. Let’s look at a quick example of segmenting by company size using single value charts.

Dividing an overall NPS of 11 by company size shows NPS for small companies at 34, medium at 8, and large at 2

Here we can see we are doing pretty well for small companies but not so well for medium to large size companies.

Importance of Visualizing NPS

Visualizing Net Promoter Score lets you see the composition of the final score. This is important because the distribution of detractors, passives, and promoters can be wildly different and produce the same score. For instance getting a NPS of 5 is very different when it’s based off of a {10-75-15} split vs. a {40-15-45} split! One has way more promoters and detractors than the other. 

Seeing this split gives you a more holistic viewpoint into your customer’s recommendation preferences and brand or product advocacy. You can look into this even deeper and look at the distribution of numbers inside the buckets. Let’s examine the two sets of splits again that both have an NPS of 5.

First let’s look at how the 10% Detractors, 75% Passives, and 15% Promoters might be  distributed across the ratings they could have given:

Responses in this case are on the high end of their types' regions (6, 8, and 10)

In this example, there are a lot of people about to become passive or promoters. Our product might be doing very well, but we just need to understand the 6s and 8s a bit more to move them up.

Now let’s look at how 40% Detractors 15% Passives and 45% Promoters might be distributed:

Responses in this case are on the low end of their types' regions (0, 7, and 9)

Here, we have people about to go the opposite direction and move into a more negative group. Promoters are barely not passives and passives are barely not detractors. In addition, our detractors really hate the product. This would mean we might need to rethink large amounts of our offering or who we are targeting.

Summary

Visualize NPS in different ways to understand the distribution of promoters, passives, and detractors. This will help you make more informed decisions on improving your company’s score. We recommend using a bar and line chart to get a detailed view how each of the categories is affecting the NPS score over time.

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