Can You Predict Net Promoter Scores?

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Docia Myer takes us through the three key areas that are most commonly linked to changing Net Promoter Scores (NPS). 

Can you predict NPS scores? With my Big Three Formula for Leading Indicators, you can. Just like economists, customer experience practitioners can use the concept of Leading Indicators as a way to predict future NPS scores.

My position on NPS remains unchanged – it is an excellent way to get a KPI score for measurement purposes, but if it is not paired with usable data to improve the customer experience it is worthless. So for me – Long Live NPS!

The key for me when I work with companies on NPS is the ‘usable data’. I use a Big Three formula to look at Delivery, Quality, and Interactions. These are the three pillars on which all great customer experiences are created.

Within every company I have worked with, I have been able to find measurable KPIs in these three areas that can be linked to movement in NPS Scores, thus creating NPS Leading Indicators. Here are a few examples.


This may be the delivery of the product or service and could become overwhelming to look at all of the variables: on-time delivery, number of reschedules, meeting customer’s actual requested date, number of partial shipments and more.

The goal is to determine which metric your CUSTOMER cares about – when they think your delivery is excellent what does that mean to them? Then by tracking your performance on that metric, you begin to create your crystal ball.


This is the quality of your product or service. Although it can be viewed as subjective, it is an area rich with metrics and KPIs that can be tracked.

Many organizations follow lean techniques, which give them a wide variety of KPIs to choose from: defects per unit or million opportunities, labor productivity, total cycle time and more. If you are providing services, you may be tracking the quality of delivery or the interaction provided, scope creep or on-budget project delivery. The catch is to see which metrics impact your CUSTOMER’s view of your company – what do they view as bad or good quality. Those gems become your Leading Indicators.


I leave this for last because of the size this can become based on your type of business. You can have digital interactions, mobile interactions, retail interactions, face-to-face and on and on – you get the picture. It is a little trickier to find the Leading Indicators here, but I find it easier to look across your customer journey map at the customer touchpoints and determine at each touchpoint what satisfies your customer, then determine a way to track your performance there.

For example if one of your touchpoints is at a customer call into the call center regarding a complaint, first-call resolution might be a metric you could track that would be important in your business, to your customer. Cyara specializes in customer interactions and has a huge variety of tools to use around this area.

So, my crystal ball, honed over 20 years of experience, is to determine your Leading Indicators across the Big Three (Delivery, Quality, Interactions). Use these to ‘predict’ your NPS changes!

Published On: 5th Feb 2018 - Last modified: 27th Mar 2020
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