Skip to main content
Feb 12, 2024
4 min

Ask These Questions To Better Understand Your Subscriber Satisfaction Score

A group of happy colleagues reviewing NPS questions on a laptop

The Net Promoter Score℠ (NPS®) has become one of the most popular ways for companies to measure customer satisfaction. For service providers, subscriber retention is the lifeblood of your business. NPS is a quick way to determine if subscribers are happy—but there is a right and wrong way to ask the question.

Many companies use this exact question: “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend this company to a friend or colleague?” The problem is that it may not give you the answer you need. Various tweaks can help you formulate the right question for your business. For example, here are three ways you can introduce the NPS question:

  • Considering your recent experience with our customer support representative …

  • Now that you’ve had your internet service for a month …

  • Based on your experience with our technician …


These questions give the general NPS question specificity. And you should go deeper. Subscribers will be okay with a short two- or three-question survey. We also recommend that our clients follow up the NPS question with an open-ended inquiry to help understand the “why” behind the score.

Different survey software programs will allow you to change the follow-up question based on the subscriber’s answer. For example, if you receive a 10, you know you have a happy subscriber. An obvious question is to ask why, which helps you understand the score—but you may want to consider a question specific to the score. So, if your subscriber gives you a 10, ask, “Is there one thing you can think of that could make it even better?” I refer to this as the “One Thing Question.” If several of your happy subscribers are recommending the same “one thing,” it may be an opportunity to improve on greatness.

What if the subscriber scores you less than a 10? Maybe they gave you a seven. A great follow-up question is, “What could we have done for you to give us an 8?” The point is to consider different questions to get better information and feedback based on the subscriber’s score.

And you don’t have to ask everyone the same question. You can split your follow-up questions, asking some, “Why did you give us that rating?” while asking others, “What could we have done for you to give us one number higher?”


Following Up Based on NPS

Something else to consider is your follow-up to the survey. It is this expert’s opinion that everyone who completes a survey should get a response. Happy subscribers can be acknowledged with a simple thank you. However, anyone who rates you less than a nine or 10 in an NPS survey deserves more.

If a subscriber is unhappy, giving you a score of less than seven (known as a detractor in the NPS world), it’s worth a personal follow-up to understand what it will take to ensure they stay with you. It may be as simple as an apology for something that happened. It could be more. You should find out.

What about subscribers who give you a seven or eight? In NPS lingo, this is a passive score, and subscribers aren’t inclined to recommend you. While they may not say bad things about you, it doesn’t mean you’re good enough to keep their business.

You need to know which way they are leaning. Are they new subscribers who are deciding if they love you? Or did something happen, and they haven’t yet decided if they want to leave? You won’t know if you don’t ask. The satisfied subscriber—and, in this case, the “passive” subscriber—doesn’t complain. But once they find a better option or price, many disappear. By proactively following up based on NPS, you can uncover ways to turn detractors or passive subscribers into promoters.

Keep in mind that NPS, or any other survey that measures your subscribers’ happiness and satisfaction, is just a number. Acting on the number is important. With the right feedback from your open-ended follow-up question, you can save a subscriber from leaving—and you might also get information to help you improve and create an even better subscriber experience!

Shep Hyken is a customer service and CX expert, an award-winning keynote speaker, and a New York Times bestselling author. Learn more at


© MMXXIV Shep Hyken – Used with permission.

Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company Inc., Satmetrix Systems Inc. and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company Inc., Satmetrix Systems Inc. and Fred Reichheld.

Related articles


Feb 09, 2024 | 3 min
Feb 08, 2024 | 3 min
Feb 05, 2024 | 3 min