Product leaders: It’s time to take NPS back

Product leaders: It’s time to take NPS back

Product leaders, it’s time to take back NPS. I’ve heard too many VPs of Client Success tell me they own it. I whole-heartedly do not agree with that approach.

Here’s why:

  1. You are responsible for developing a product that creates delight , a product that customers love. NPS measures the “likelihood to recommend,” which is a great indicator whether you’re on the right trajectory.
  2. You own the end-to-end experience . Customer Success does not. Customers don’t think just in terms of the in-product experience. What if Uber only focused on their app, but not the experience of riding an Uber? It would fail.
  3. You will demonstrate leadership by owning this metric and being accountable. You will help your company become a more product and design-driven company.

You should still maintain the close partnership with Customer Success to execute on an effective Net Promoter System SM — one that maintains a closed feedback loop with your customers.

Taking NPS to the next level

When building new products, optimizing a particular customer experience, or trying to decide which features to sunset, I have learned that the best data-backed recommendation comes only after investigating several data points and options, and then triangulating information. Most times, this combination of metrics presents a new lens that brings additional confidence ; a trustworthy insight that tends to be quite actionable, often driving marked improvements.

As a product team, we’ve been asking ourselves a lot of questions around NPS — about how to derive better insights and develop pattern recognition about our customers at the macro level. We’ve been curious to know how our Detractors and Promoters used the product. What were the profiles and/or patterns of Promoters? How different were they from Detractors? We knew that by marrying a few metrics, new questions would develop and additional insights would emerge.

Here are three ways we have approached NPS — both in terms of improved analytics and visualizations to make NPS more useful and actionable.

NPS by active use


The scatterplot represents the combination of both product usage and NPS. We wanted to understand our “hotspots” — Detractors with low usage, Promoters with high usage, etc. Any combination of note was highlighted. From there, we were able to drill down into each customer to better understand their behavior in the product: time on site, features and pages used, active days — all in the context of their Net Promoter Score.

Based on this visualization, we decided to run a quick campaign among customers who were in the 90th percentile of active use, but scored us a 7 or 8 NPS. What was keeping them from being a promoter? Being able to specifically target those folks for feedback focused our efforts and planning.

NPS by “Role”


The other powerful capability is to measure NPS by segment. Like most product teams, we are building for a persona. We are designing and developing solutions for their specific pain points.

When looking at NPS in the aggregate, it’s difficult to answer “is my investment driving the right improvements?” By creating segments, we can better understand how we’re performing for our target persona vis-a-vis other user roles using the product.

NPS by feature usage

We’ve also been experimenting with attributing pages and features to Promoters and Detractors. The graph allows you to quickly identify and drill into the areas of the product that are most closely associated with high and low Net Promoter Scores. This analysis makes it easier for product teams to quickly diagnose where they might want to invest or sunset particular areas of the product.


Today, Pendo has built those capabilities into our platform.  We’ve built something that we were  sorely missing ourselves, and we hope that it has tremendous value for product teams everywhere. Now that there’s a tool that lets you look at how NPS corresponds to behavioral patterns of your users, it’s so much more than a number. You can now look to NPS to help you better prioritize and plan. We think it is a big step toward helping teams create products customers love.

This post was originally made on Medium by Brian Croft.

Brian Croft is a proven product and innovation leader, experienced in creating and launching new SaaS products/services, building high performing teams, and achieving business results/growth at scale. Areas of expertise include Lean Startup, design-thinking, global expansion, and entrepreneurism within large companies. Previous leadership positions include: strategy, business development, and financial planning/analytics. 

Mike Belsito
Mike Belsito

Mike Belsito is a startup product and business developer who loves creating something from nothing. Mike is the Co-Founder of Product Collective which organizes INDUSTRY, a conference in the midwest for people that build, launch, and scale world class products. Mike also wrote the book Startup Seed Funding for the Rest of Us, which debuted on the top of Product Hunt. Mike’s products and businesses created by Mike have been featured in national media outlets like The Atlantic, Inc Magazine, CNN, PBS and the New York Times.

No Comments

Post A Comment