A computer monitor displaying a positive growth graph

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a key performance indicator (KPI) used by businesses in the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. This metric, which ranges from -100 to 100, is calculated based on responses to a single question: “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?”

The NPS is a powerful tool for SaaS companies because it provides a simple, straightforward measure of customer sentiment. By tracking this KPI over time, businesses can gain insights into how their products, services, and overall customer experience are perceived, and make data-driven decisions to improve.

Understanding the Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score is based on the premise that every customer can be classified into one of three categories: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth. Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings. Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who are Detractors from the percentage of customers who are Promoters. Passives count towards the total number of respondents, which decreases the percentage of detractors and promoters and pushes the net score towards 0.

Importance of NPS in SaaS

In the SaaS industry, where customer retention is crucial for sustainable growth, the NPS serves as a valuable tool for measuring customer loyalty. A high NPS indicates that customers are happy with your product and service, and are likely to continue using your software in the future. Conversely, a low NPS could signal potential issues with customer satisfaction that need to be addressed.

Moreover, the NPS can also serve as a predictor of business growth. Research has shown that companies with high NPS scores tend to have higher customer retention rates, and are more likely to achieve positive word-of-mouth referrals, which can lead to new customer acquisition.

Limitations of NPS

While the NPS is a useful KPI, it is not without its limitations. One of the main criticisms of the NPS is that it oversimplifies customer sentiment by reducing it to a single number. It does not take into account the reasons behind a customer’s score, nor does it consider other factors that might influence their likelihood to recommend, such as personal preferences or external influences.

Furthermore, the NPS does not provide any insights into how a business can improve its score. Without additional qualitative data, it can be difficult for a business to understand why customers are detractors, passives, or promoters, and what actions they can take to improve their NPS.

Using NPS in SaaS Metrics

The NPS can be used in conjunction with other SaaS KPIs to provide a more comprehensive view of a business’s performance. For example, it can be paired with metrics like Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV), and Churn Rate to gain deeper insights into customer behavior and business profitability.

By analyzing these metrics together, businesses can identify trends and patterns that might not be apparent when looking at each metric in isolation. For instance, a high NPS coupled with a high churn rate could indicate that while customers are generally satisfied with a product, there may be specific issues leading to customer attrition that need to be addressed.

Improving NPS

Improving NPS requires a deep understanding of customer needs and expectations, as well as a commitment to continuous improvement. This can involve various strategies, such as improving product quality, enhancing customer service, and implementing customer feedback.

Regularly surveying customers and asking for feedback can also help businesses identify areas for improvement and track changes in customer sentiment over time. By acting on this feedback and making necessary improvements, businesses can increase their NPS, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive growth.

Interpreting NPS

Interpreting NPS scores can be challenging, as they can vary greatly depending on the industry, market, and specific customer base. Generally, a positive NPS (i.e., greater than zero) is considered good, as it indicates that a company has more promoters than detractors. However, the ultimate goal should be to continually improve the NPS, regardless of where it currently stands.

It’s also important to consider the context in which the NPS is used. For instance, if a company’s NPS is significantly lower than the industry average, this could indicate a competitive disadvantage that needs to be addressed. On the other hand, a high NPS relative to competitors can be a strong selling point and a testament to a company’s customer-centric approach.


In conclusion, the Net Promoter Score is a valuable KPI for SaaS companies, providing a simple and effective way to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction. While it has its limitations, when used in conjunction with other metrics and qualitative feedback, it can provide valuable insights that can help drive business growth and success.

By understanding and effectively utilizing the NPS, businesses can not only measure their performance but also identify opportunities for improvement, enhance customer satisfaction, and ultimately achieve sustainable growth in the competitive SaaS industry.

Leave A Comment

Subscribe to the Tenbound Blog for the latest research releases, Sales Development thought leadership and best practices.

Related Articles