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What are Net Promoter Scores? Who are Promoters, Passives, and Detractors? And how will the answers to each of these questions help you transform your customer satisfaction scores? This definitive guide explains it all.

Customer satisfaction is a linchpin to the success of your company. That’s why owners, executives, managers, and anyone else with a stake in business performance are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve satisfaction among people or businesses using their products or services. 

A simple way for ensuring satisfaction in post-acute care is to understand, identify, and leverage your Net Promoter Score (NPS). To help you, we’ve created this definitive guide that will answer the following questions:  

  • What is a Net Promoter Score (NPS) and how do you calculate it?
  • Why should you track your NPS?
  • Why is acting on your NPS important?
  • How do you find and review your score?
  • How do you leverage your NPS results?
  • How do you implement HCP’s “Taking Action on Satisfaction” tool?

What is a Net Promoter Score (NPS)? 

Your Net Promoter Score is a measure of customer loyalty, satisfaction, and enthusiasm that’s determined by asking customers one simple question: “On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend your current agency to others?” Those customers are then organized into three categories based on their responses: 

  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep using your services and refer others. 
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings. 
  • Detractors (score 1-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth. 

How to Calculate Your Net Promoter Score 

To calculate your NPS, take the percentage of customers who are promoters and subtract the percentage who are detractors. Dividing the result by 10 will give you your Net Promoter Score on a scale of 1-10. 

Why is it Important to Know Your NPS? 

Knowing and acting on your NPS provides a slew of benefits to help post-acute care providers send success metrics skyward. 

NPS Benefits: 

  • Quantify and track your customers’ satisfaction to improve their experience  
  • Know what your customers really think about your company 
  • Better understand your target audience
  • Discover important patterns and trends 
  • Uncover unique customer perspectives to help generate solutions you may not have considered  
  • Identify where to allocate your resources 
  • Pinpoint business practices that should be scrapped 
  • Demonstrate to your customers that their voice matters 
  • Showcase your commitment to high quality 

Knowing your Promoters, Passives, and Detractors helps you unearth opportunities and uncover causes for concern. As you continue reading, we’ll walk you through the process of doing both with each category of customer.  

Net Promoter Score (NPS) toolkit


Supercharge the Power of Your Net Promoter Score

Find your blind spots. Improve the quality of care. Grow your business.

Understanding NPS Categories: Who are Promoters? 

Promoters represent your most enthusiastic and loyal customers. They are happy with your services and often refer others. Prioritizing this group as a marketing resource can put you on the fast track to future success. But how to do you do it? 

How to Leverage Your Promoters 

High ratings and positive reviews are foundational to your success as a business and employer. Here are a few ways to leverage them: 

Gather Promoter reviews to market your company.  

This can be done via customer satisfaction surveys, one-to-one emails, a phone call, an in-person discussion, or with an invite to leave a review on a public review platform. Want to amplify the emotional value of reviews and testimonials? Use video! It adds a personal element that can’t be replicated in writing or with a star rating.  

Once you have it, share it. Post reviews and testimonials on your website, in promotional literature, and on social media. 

Reward Promoters for their loyalty, reviews, and referrals.  

Ever hear of the acronym WIFM? It stands for “What’s in it for me?” and it’s what drives many people to take action. Some of your Promoters will be happy to sing your praises publicly. Others need a little incentive. Setting up a rewards system for customer referrals, reviews, and loyalty generates action among otherwise quietly satisfied customers. 

Find opportunities for further improvement in Promoter feedback.  

Even the most glowing endorsement of your exceptional service can unearth an opportunity to take it to the next level. Promoters often have great buts. “The care was great, but I wish they would have offered x, y, or z.” Examine their “buts” to turn great into exceptional. An important thing to keep in mind is that certain customers are more particular than others. So, look for consistencies in comments that reveal opportunities you can capitalize on at scale. 

Recreate positive Promoter experiences for Passives and Detractors.  

This is an easy and quick win. Look at what’s satisfying your Promoters and make sure your Passives and Detractors get the same treatment.  

Stimulate employee engagement to keep moving the needle.  

In addition to telling you what’s working well, Promoter feedback often tells you who’s working well. Commentary from this customer community often includes praise for staff members contributing to their positive experiences. Publicly recognizing these employees keeps them engaged while motivating others to follow suit. The more engaged your staff, the happier your customers will be. 

3 Ways to Keep Your Promoters Promoting 

Your Promoters are like prize flowers. You don’t nurture them to an elite level only to ignore them and expect them to sustain themselves—they’ll wilt. To keep your Promoters thriving, nourish them with this three-step process: 

  1. Ask more questions – Follow up and have Promoters elaborate on what they liked. You’ll usually find there’s more gold in them there hills if you keep digging.  
  2. Establish a referral program – Track and reward referrals (remember WIFM?), and personally thank Promoters for them. 
  3. Act on their feedback – Once you’ve incorporated their suggestions, thank Promoters for their feedback and share the updates you’ve made. Showing them that their opinions matter and make a difference encourages them to continue sharing. 

Understanding NPS Categories: Who are Passives? 

Passives are precariously balanced on a tightrope from which they could plummet into the Detractor range or successfully progress into Promoter status. The end result is in your hands. 

Passives provide you with the most neutral feedback out of all three groups, but they might be closer to Detractors than you think. A Passive might feel there is nothing unique about your company and they are therefore the most vulnerable to competitive offerings. Keeping your current customers is almost always more cost-effective than obtaining new ones, so you can’t afford to overlook this group. 

Passives typically make up about 23% of an agency’s NPS results. By engaging with them and understanding their experiences (good and bad), you uncover valuable insights and identify opportunities to convert them into satisfied customers, and convert those satisfied customers into loyal Promoters. 

One of the most important things to remember with this group is that silence doesn’t mean satisfied. Research shows that only 1 in 26 unhappy customers complain. The other 25 quietly churn.

Abracadabra! Turning Passives into Promoters. 

Here are a few ways to ensure your Passives transform into Promoters rather than Detractors.: 

Ask Passives more questions

While a passive score can be discouraging, it’s also a golden opportunity to identify gaps by asking follow-up questions as part of the survey. So, ask more questions and use the answers to fine-tune your customer experience.  

Listen to what Passives aren’t saying

What goes unsaid can be more revealing than direct feedback. So, study their feedback, look for comments you’d expect to find but are absent, and take all that information back to the customer and ask them about it. Doing this can bring about solutions you may not have considered.  

Use Promoter and Detractor clues to solve the Passive riddle

Once you’ve uncovered what’s working for Promoters and what’s not working for Detractors, apply that information to your Passives to get them over the hump. Ensure they aren’t experiencing the same problems as Detractors, while providing them all the benefits that keep Promoters satisfied.

Make it easier for staff to excel with Passives

Ensure your staff has intel to help them improve problem areas, repeat positive actions, and go the extra mile to bring Passive scores into the Promoter range. Doing this requires sharing customer feedback and analysis of that feedback in a weekly stand-up, a monthly call, or your preferred cadence of meeting with care teams. 

Understanding NPS Categories: Who are Detractors? 

Detractors are unhappy customers who are dissatisfied and at a high risk of leaving. Even if your Detractor count is low, much attention needs to be given to this audience due to their damaging potential. Negative Detractor sentiment is highly contagious and can quickly spread to your Passives and Promoters.  Therefore, acting on their feedback and improving their satisfaction should be a top priority. 

Finding the Positive in the Negative 

When you detach yourself emotionally, Detractor comments can prove just as valuable, if not more valuable, than positive feedback from your Promoters. Similar to the way a writer uses constructive feedback to hone their craft, post-acute care providers should view Detractor responses as critiques, rather than criticism, to help you shape and polish your final product.  

Know Your Limits: 3 Caveats when Trying to Convert Detractors 

While you want to reduce the number of Detractors you have by resolving their issues, it’s important to understand that there are limits to what damage you can repair. 

Here are three important things to keep in mind with Detractors:  

  1. Some are outliers. Take every Detractor score seriously but with a grain of salt. 
  2. Some Detractors may have had an unsatisfactory experience outside of your control. 
  3. Know and be comfortable with the fact that you can’t turn all Detractors into Promoters. 

How to Turn Detractors into Promoters 

Winning over dissatisfied customers can yield long-term loyalty due to the fact that the customer sees you’ve taken their feedback to heart and made efforts to improve their experience. However, moving Detractors upward into Promoter territory takes time, perseverance, and care. The following four steps will assist you in this task. 

Investigate. Often, you will know who your Detractors are before you get the survey back. Review survey feedback to see if they provided new insights into their issues. Establish internal processes for reviewing feedback and prioritizing issues based on relevance and urgency.  

Empathize. Approach your Detractor’s situation with care and empathy. If a Detractor knows you genuinely understand and respect their feelings, it can help ease their frustrations.  

Close. Follow up and close the loop with Detractors in a timely manner. Feedback received from this group can fall into two categories: things you can change and things you can’t. Regardless of whether their issues fall into the former or latter, communicate the actions you have taken in response to their concerns.  

Learn. Detractors are your biggest source of knowledge. Learn from mistakes that contributed to them falling into this category and build a corrective strategy.  

Taking Action on Customer Satisfaction – Using HCP’s NPS Tool 

As the saying goes, if you track it, you can change it. HCP’s Taking Action on Satisfaction tool helps you do both. Download the tool below to start today!

Get your free tool here. 

Getting the Most Out of the Tool 

Following these four steps will help you quickly implement and make the most of your tool: 

  1. Establish who will take the lead 
  2. Conduct a retrospective meeting to analyze NPS data 
  3. Bring issues to your regular meetings  
  4. Make a list of action items to improve customer satisfaction 

Take all the tips we’ve shared with you in this guide to go. Download our free guide on supercharging your NPS score below. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS) toolkit


Supercharge the Power of Your Net Promoter Score

Find your blind spots. Improve the quality of care. Grow your business.

HCP’s Care Intelligence Platform offers RN-developed training, satisfaction surveys, and reputation management tools to help you become the best employer and provider in your area—and make sure everyone knows about it.

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