What's a good Net Promoter Score?

So you're tracking your NPS, but what is a score to be proud of?

If you're unfamiliar with Net Promoter Score (NPS), it's an established way of analysing responses to the well-known question: "On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend us?".

The way it works is that people that score you nine or ten can be considered your fans who will go out of their way to recommend you to others. Scores of seven or eight are neutral - these people were satisfied but no more than that. And anyone scoring you six or less can be considered detractors and were left unhappy about some aspect of the course.

NPS is calculated by taking your percentage of fans and subtracting the percentage of detractors. Neutral scores are ignored. So if everyone gave you a nine or ten, your NPS would be +100 and if everyone gave you six or less, it would be -100.  As a rule of thumb, you want your NPS score to be positive, meaning you have more fans than detractors.

Although NPS is a popular way of measuring customer satisfaction, it can be difficult to know what score is a good score. So we decided to crunch the numbers on Coursecheck and see how NPS varied based on company size, subject matter and the price of the training. In total, we looked at around 40,000 survey responses, but it's worth bearing in mind that Coursecheck tends to attract training providers who are serious about quality and customer feedback and so when we talk about averages, these are likely to be higher than for the industry overall. With that caveat, here's what we learnt:

Overall NPS analysis

The average NPS across all training providers on Coursecheck over the last 12 months, was +71 but as you can see from the chart, this masks some big variations. The most commonly achieved NPS was between +65 and +75 but around half all companies were below that level. At the other end of the scale, the numbers fall more sharply with only 17% of companies managing to achieve a score of over 75.

NPS by company size

When we looked at average NPS by company size, we noticed a clear correlation, with smaller companies on average, outperforming their larger counterparts. We think this is because:

  • Smaller companies, often owner-managed, are typically extremely passionate and driven by what they do
  • Customer service in smaller companies is generally much more personalised which gives them an advantage over their larger peers.
  • Larger training companies tend to have more trainers and it's always going to be harder to ensure that every single trainer is right on top of their game.

NPS by price of training

When we looked at NPS based on the typical price of training, again we found a correlation. Here, there was relatively greater satisfaction with lower-value short training courses than there was with longer more expensive ones.  As to why this might be, we concluded that ultimately, customer satisfaction is about the extent to which customers expectations are met. Someone flying first class might be unhappy about a tiny thing not being perfect, whereas in economy, expectations are much lower. So even though the first class passenger had the superior experience, it could well result in a lower satisfaction score.


NPS by subject area

Finally we looked at NPS based on the subject matter being taught. This proved less conclusive although it was significant that the subject area getting the highest satisfaction was Health & Welfare. This includes a number of companies offering training in topics such as Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), Physical First Aid, Autism and Suicide awareness. Instructors teaching these subjects tend to be extremely passionate about their chosen field and often work in the front line. So it's perhaps not surprising that these subject areas scored so highly.



The bottom line is that if you're achieving an NPS in excess of +75, then that's good by any definition. But if you want to get a better idea of what you should be aiming for based on your company size and what you typically charge for training, then you can use the table to see the average NPS for companies like you. As you can see, if you're a small company offering low cost training, then the bar is higher at +82, than it is for a large company offering expensive courses where anything above +40 is something to be proud of.