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NPS®: Get started with NPS surveys in LibAnswers

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What is an NPS® survey and a Net Promoter Score℠?

What's the best way to learn what your patrons think about your library? Ask them! 

Example NPS survey
Share an NPS survey with your patrons to gauge their satisfaction with a service.

Never heard of NPS? You're probably more familiar with it than you realize! If you've ever answered a question with a 0-10 rating scale, you've likely filled out an NPS survey. NPS's appeal lies in its standardized simplicity. Each response includes a rating, plus any comments from an optional follow-up question.

With the NPS® Tool module, you can:  

  • Collect feedback from patrons who visit your website, attend library events, chat with staff via LibChat, and more. 
  • Understand any unhappy patrons and make targeted improvements. 
  • Review positive comments to give your fans more of what they want. 
  • Track your institution's score over time.

The Net Promoter Score℠ is a metric for tracking patron satisfaction with your institution and its services that are integrated into LibAnswers in its own add-on module. The NPS Tool elevates your LibAnswers customer service platform by allowing you to gauge user satisfaction across your institution. You'll have the tools to create unlimited customized surveys, distribute them to your patrons, and watch the responses start rolling in.

The NPS calculation

The Net Promoter Score is calculated based on how patrons respond to your survey question and breaks down respondents into three categories. Subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters yields the Net Promoter Score, which can range from a low of -100 (if every patron is a Detractor) to a high of 100 (if every patron is a Promoter). 

  • Detractors (survey scores of 0-6)
    • Dissatisfied patrons who can potentially harm your institution's reputation through negative word-of-mouth.
  • Passives (survey scores of 7-8)
    • Satisfied but unenthusiastic patrons who won't positively or negatively affect your institution's reputation.
  • Promoters (survey scores of 9-10)
    • Cheerleaders who will promote your services to others—pay attention to what they like so you can keep up the good work.
What is a good Net Promoter Score?

Measuring your Net Promoter Score is a complicated process. As is the case with every customer satisfaction metric, there are a series of factors that can impact it and NPS is no different. Focusing on achieving a specific score can limit how you might approach and improve your institution and the services you provide, and instead, you should look at the feedback you're getting from your patrons and how you may or may not be improving your score over time (or holding steady with a high score).

With that being said, a Net Promoter Score that is below 0 would be an indication that your institution has a number of issues to address.

A score between 0 and 30 is a decent range to be in, but, there is still room for improvement. If your NPS is above 30, your institution is performing well with your patrons and your interactions with your patrons generate far more happy patrons than unhappy ones.

An NPS over 70 means your patrons love you and your institution and its services are performing exceptionally well. Keep up the good work!

Keep an eye on your score

Track your score and review survey responses so you can understand your patrons and give them more of what they want! NPS reports provide up-to-date insights, cross-tab analysis to compare email campaigns, exportable graphics, and a word cloud to help you spot trends. These reporting tools help you measure how satisfied patrons are with your services over time.

Step 1. Identify the services, departments, etc. to collect feedback for

The first step towards running successful NPS surveys is to determine the elements of your institution, its services, departments, etc. that you want to gather patron feedback on, how you might want to distribute the surveys, and how you plan on assessing the score and response that you collect.

There are infinite ways to use the NPS Tool module to collect feedback. Some suggestions for where to start:

  • Gauge the experience of patrons who visit your website or ask a question over LibChat.
  • Survey patrons who have submitted tickets to your queue(s) as a part of measuring the quality of your ticket responses.
  • Follow up with patrons who attend library events or set up a one-on-one research appointment.
  • Send an email campaign to participants in your summer reading program to gather feedback that will inform next summer's programming.

Surveys are the core of the module and will be set up by you to collect scores for different library services, departments, events, branches, and resources—you can create an unlimited number of surveys—creating a separate survey for each individual area that you want to track. Before creating your first survey, take the time to identify exactly what, and where, you want to collect feedback so that when you get to step 2 (and step 3) you know the survey(s) you want to build and the collection methods that you want to employ to gather the feedback.

Step 2. Create an NPS survey

Once you have decided on the aspects of your institution that you want to assess with the NPS Tool, the next step is to create a Net Promoter Score survey.

Each survey includes a standardized 0-10 rating scale, and optional free-text follow-up question to gather additional feedback (with an additional option to tailor the follow-up question's text based on the rating given—asking a different question to detractors vs. passive vs. promoters), and options for customizing the look and feel for the survey when it is shared.

Learn more

Step 3. Share your survey

After creating a survey, the next step is to distribute the survey to your patrons so that you can begin collecting scores and feedback regarding your patrons' satisfaction with your institution and its services. Your survey can be shared with your patrons in a number of ways—putting it in front of your patrons where/when they interact with you—using email campaigns, widgets embedded on your web pages, direct URLs, follow-up surveys for your tickets, and post-chat ratings in LibChat.

Each of the collection options available for a survey offers its own advantages and opportunities to gather feedback from your patrons. Connecting your NPS survey to your LibAnswers queue's follow-up survey and chat widget ratings allows you to assess the quality of the answers your staff are providing to your patrons on the tickets and chats they've submitted. Email campaigns allow you to set up customized one-time or recurring emails to send out the survey that can be sent to recipients of your choosing or to your patrons who have interacted with the services you provide via LibAnswers and LibCal (subscription required). And the widget and direct URL options allow you to place a link to your survey on your web pages, and elsewhere, to gather feedback from patrons that you might not be interacting with directly.

Learn more

Step 4. Review the scores and responses to your survey

After you've started to send out your NPS surveys (congrats!), you can utilize the module's score and response reports to start measuring your patrons' satisfaction. The NPS Reports allow you to assess your Net Promoter Score across all of your surveys or for specific surveys, sources, and email campaigns. You can also track your patrons' responses and run cross tab analysis on your email campaigns to gain greater insight into how your patrons view your institution and the services you provide.

Learn more


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