Market Research Toolbox: Customer Loyalty and Net Promoter Score (NPS)

A personal recommendation from colleagues is considered the most influential source when purchasing a new product or service (source: MLS 2005)


Are your customers recommending or disparaging your brand?

Maintaining satisfied customers does more than just provide repeat purchases; it is also the biggest factor generating new sales and growth for your company. The act of making a recommendation is an expression of trust, putting the scientist’s reputation on the line to improve a colleague’s research. Our research has confirmed a strong relationship between likelihood to recommend a brand and satisfaction with various elements of the brand. In gauging Customer Loyalty, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a widely accepted technique for measuring customer-based brand promotion, a frequent occurrence among life scientists.  The quantitative measurement that is easy to gauge, connected to growth, and provides a means to prioritize investments, especially when monitored on a recurring timeframe monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

Case Study: What’s my Net Promoter Score and how do my competitors rank?

A client was interested in initiating a Net Promoter Program that would involve a quarterly assessment of their net promoter score, along with an in-depth comparison to their competitors.  The main objectives included identifying customer segments responsible for promoting their brand and to gain a better understanding of how scientists in these groups differed in behavior from the average customer.  Promoters are typically less price sensitive, more apt to try new products, often consolidate purchases with their most preferred suppliers, and provide extremely effective marketing, essentially for free.

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Uncovering Which Customers are Helping You Succeed

The NPS itself is based on the likelihood that a customer would recommend a particular brand to a colleague.  The likelihood question is structured as an 11-point scale, with 10=Extremely Likely and 0=Extremely Unlikely to recommend the brand.  Promoter are respondents selecting a 10 or 9, Passives are those selecting 8 or 7, and Detractors are respondents indicating their likelihood as 6 or less. The Net Promoter Score is obtained through the following calculation:

NPS = % Promoters – % Detractors

  • Promoters: enthusiastic scientists who are loyal to their brand (repeat purchases) and encourage colleagues to do the same
  • Passives: satisfied scientists, but are likely not loyal to their brand and are vulnerable to switching
  • Detractors: dissatisfied scientists who likely do not have the option to change brands because of organizational restrictions, but will influence others to defect if possible

While knowing your company’s score is helpful, it only becomes actionable when you understand which customer groups are responsible for the NPS, what effect each component of the customer experience has, and how your company ranks among your competitors.


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Delivering Results

An extensive knowledge of the Net Promoter Score serves as the basis of an effective and informative net promoter program. This technique allowed our client to determine segments of its customer base that were currently promoting and detracting from the brand. Efforts made to decrease the effect of those detractors are then measured over time for gauging return on investment and connection to revenue growth.

Life science suppliers are presently monitoring their Net Promoter Score with attributes of their company that they can act upon immediately to increase promoters and decrease detractors.  Utilize the benefits of promoters for your brand by starting your own net promoter program with BioInformatics.


To get more information on BioInformatics’ Customer Loyalty analytics involving Net Promoter Score or to discuss further details of your potential market study, please contact [email protected].