The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a key metric used to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. It classifies customers into three categories: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors.

NPS Detractors are customers who rate their likelihood of recommending your product or service as 0-6 on a scale of 0-10. These customers are dissatisfied and can potentially harm your brand’s reputation through negative word-of-mouth.

Passives are moderately satisfied but not enthusiastic, and Promoters are loyal enthusiasts who can drive growth. While nurturing Passives and Promoters is important, focusing on converting Detractors can significantly enhance your overall NPS and customer experience.

What is an NPS Metric?

For a more in-depth understanding, check out our Ultimate Guide on NPS.

The Net Promoter Score measures the percentage of customers willing to recommend your brand to others. To calculate this, you send out NPS surveys at two critical moments in the customer journey: pre- and post-delivery. These surveys ask customers to rate their experience with your brand on a scale of 0 to 10, with zero being the lowest score and ten the highest.

Suppose your goal is to gather as many customer insights as possible. In that case, you will need to go further than just the fundamental scoring question. Each score should be followed by an open-ended question, allowing customers to verbalize their issues and expand on their scoring.

These scores then segment your customers into Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. 

Promoters, Passives, and Detractors represent customers who provide NPS feedback based on their experience with your company.

Example Survey Questions:

  • For Promoters (Scores 9-10):
    • What did you enjoy most about your experience with our brand?
    • How can we continue to exceed your expectations?
  • For Passives (Scores 7-8):
    • What can we do to improve your experience?
    • What aspects of our product/service could be better?
  • For Detractors (Scores 0-6):
    • What disappointed you most about your experience?
    • How can we address the issues you faced?

Using survey tools to collect NPS feedback regularly allows you to identify unhappy customers who are having issues with your brand and empowers you to address these issues before they churn.

NPS Detractors

Detractors gave you scores ranging between 0 and 6 in their satisfaction surveys, affecting your retention rates.

This means they faced a negative experience – in the shopping stage, the delivery process, or even the quality of your products. It’s also improbable that these people will return and buy from you again.

NPS Detractors are a dangerous segment and need to be approached cautiously. Not only will they churn, but they can also bad-mouth you, leave you poor reviews, and cause a loss of business.

Key characteristics:

  • High likelihood of customer churn.
  • Negative word-of-mouth and online reviews.
  • Frequent complaints and returns.
  • Little to no brand loyalty.

NPS Promoters

Your Promoters are customers who scored 9-10 in their satisfaction surveys. These customers are your bread and butter since they can become loyal customers with plenty of repeat purchases and even brand ambassadors.

It’s in your interest to keep these customers happy and engaged since they can bring in new customers and drive your business further in the future. With Promoters, you can ask further questions to identify the actual value of your business and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly.

Key characteristics:

  • High likelihood of repeat purchases.
  • Strong word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Willingness to participate in testimonials and case studies.

NPS Passives 

Passives are customers who gave you 7-8 scores. They had a “not great, not terrible experience” with your brand. They didn’t hate buying from you but weren’t exactly blown away – neither by the shopping experience nor by the quality of your products.

There isn’t a lot of emphasis on Passives out there. However, you should take care of this segment. Left unchecked, Passives can either abandon your brand or drop to the Detractors category.

The safest bet with Passives is asking a further question to identify what’s missing from experience. Figuring out what you lack can help you provide better experiences for this segment in the future.

Key characteristics:

  • Moderate satisfaction with your product or service.
  • Lack of strong emotional connection to your brand.
  • Potential to switch to competitors if offered a better deal.
  • Minimal engagement in promoting your brand.
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How to deal with a Detractor?  

Detractors are dangerous customers. People are more inclined to complain than they are to praise in the first place. Feel this natural need with actual bad experiences, and you can face a potential disaster with your reputation.

Usually, you will need two Promoters to cancel out a Detractor. So you must be on your feet with damage control to avoid losing sales AND potential sales because of Detractors.


  • Address their issues as quickly as possible to show that you value their feedback and are committed to resolving their problems.
  • Offer personalized solutions to their problems, such as replacements, refunds, or special assistance.
  • Provide compensation where appropriate, such as discounts on future purchases or complimentary services.
  • Use their feedback to improve your products or services and prevent similar issues in the future.
  • Assign a dedicated customer support representative to handle their concerns and ensure they feel heard and valued.
  • After resolving their issue, follow up to ensure they are satisfied with the solution and see if there is anything more you can do.

You can also look at the scores to really understand the urgency. 

  • Scores 0-2: These customers are usually furious and on the verge of leaving. Address their issues immediately to prevent churn.
  • Scores 3-4: These customers are very dissatisfied but may not be as vocal. Respond promptly and provide solutions to improve their experience.
  • Scores 5-6: These customers are less upset but still dissatisfied. You have some wiggle room, but it’s crucial to address their concerns quickly to prevent further dissatisfaction.

How to deal with a Promoter?  

The crucial advice here – you shouldn’t get too comfortable with your promoters.

Yes, they are more easygoing and will definitely be more forgiving of eventual hiccups in your relationship. However, 86% of customers will churn (even if they love your brand) after only two disappointing customer experiences. In other words – even if they love you today, tomorrow they might leave you – with no remorse. 

So your primary concern with Promoters is keeping the standards high and the experiences consistent. 


  • Send personalized thank-you notes, exclusive offers, and early access to new products or services.
  • Encourage them to refer friends and family by offering referral bonuses, discounts, or special rewards.
  • Regularly engage with them through surveys, social media, and events to make them feel valued and heard.
  • Offer them VIP access to events, product launches, or special promotions.

Identify the right things you have done and keep doing them so Promoters stay happy.

How to deal with a Passive?  

Passives are trickier since they don’t give you a straightforward answer. They don’t love your brand; they don’t hate your brand. Instead, they are “meh” about it.

The crucial step here is to identify what is lacking from Passives’ experiences. 


  • Use follow-up surveys and open-ended questions to identify what is missing in their experience.
  • Implement changes based on feedback to improve their overall experience.
  • Reach out proactively with solutions to any identified issues.
  • Introduce loyalty programs that offer benefits for repeat purchases to encourage continued patronage.
  • Provide content that helps them get the most out of your products or services.

Engage passives with meaningful interactions and prove that you are more than the product they bought. You are a whole experience, and they should enjoy it. 

How Do You Turn an NPS Detractor into a Promoter?

Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom – not even with Detractors. They have more in common with Promoters than you’d think, so turning NPS Detractors into Promoters might not be a complicated endeavor.  

If increasing customer loyalty is your end goal, turning Detractors into Promoters is one way of doing it. As with Passives, the human touch will do wonders here and open the path to reconciliation.

Key Strategies:

  • Personal Interaction: Avoid using chatbots with Detractors. Detractors are already frustrated, and talking to a bot can worsen their experience. Instead, opt for personal interaction where they feel heard and valued.
  • Timely Response: React quickly to negative feedback. While you may not solve all problems overnight, prompt acknowledgment shows that you care and are committed to resolving their issues.
  • Empathize and Prioritize: Recognize their concerns, empathize with their situation, and prioritize solving their problems. The quicker and more effectively you address their issues, the better the chances of converting them.
  • Use Feedback Constructively: Listening to Detractors’ complaints provides valuable insights into pain points and areas needing improvement. This feedback is crucial for making meaningful changes to your business.
  • Set Realistic Expectations: Be careful not to overpromise. If you’ve disappointed them once, don’t risk doing it again. If a perfect solution isn’t feasible, be honest and propose the next best option, even if it means offering a complete refund.
  • Continuous Improvement: Use the insights gained from Detractors to enhance customer experience and satisfaction. This goes beyond improving the NPS metric; it’s about building trust and showing that you have their best interests at heart.

Our advice is to be sincere and open with customer feedback and do your best to solve issues. To be honest, a customer annoyed with you can become your biggest fan if you address their concerns correctly and quickly. Learn and fix from your mistakes, keep your promises, empathize, and be honest, and you can’t go wrong. 

How Do You Turn a Passive into a Promoter?

You don’t need to be an influencer to influence other people. Your friends, family, co-workers, and whole communities can listen to your recommendations and buy something just because you did. 

Following this logic, it’s only natural that you’d want to turn your Passives into Promoters and drive more revenue from this segment, not necessarily by increasing their AOV (average order value) but by acquiring new customers through customer recommendations. 

The trick here is to get them talking. Passives are not as passionate as Detractors, and they might not even care so much about your products. They might buy from you out of necessity, to test the waters, or even as an alternative before something better comes. 

Your safest way is to reach out with a sincere message, with direct questions, leaving no space for neutrality. Ask Passives what they need to become loyal customers. Some questions examples for Passives are:

  • What can we do to improve your experience?
  • What disappointed you with our products?
  • What are your needs, and how can we meet them?

More often than not, all it takes is a human touch to start the process of converting Passives into Promoters. Evidently, after you understand where you failed, you must adapt your customer journey, so you don’t repeat your mistakes. 

Since customers have diverse needs and desires, you can’t find a universal solution for turning Passives into Promoters. Nevertheless, you can’t go wrong with asking for feedback, identifying problems, and focusing on improving your brand. 


NPS is an excellent measure of whether you care about customer satisfaction and your business. It can show your business’s health from the POV of your most important stakeholders: the customers.

However, simply measuring NPS is never enough – your job is to act on the feedback you’re getting and continuously improve your business. While to err it’s human, not learning from your mistakes isn’t. 

Understanding the particularities of each NPS segment and the different attitudes these groups require is the first step in getting more Promoters and keeping them happy. Feel free to adapt your strategies according to the reality of your business – and be as empathetic as possible when dealing with unsatisfied customers.