5 Strategies for Turning NPS Detractors Into Brand Promoters


If your Net Promoter Score is not as high as you’d like, you need to shift your focus to your detractors. Converting detractors into promoters is the best way to raise your NPS and boost your business. 

Learn more about the importance of NPS detractors and promoters and how to get these conversions. 

What Are NPS Detractors?

Detractors are survey respondents who answered with a rating between 0 and 6. 

Detractors may give you a poor score due to low product quality, poor customer service, high prices, inconsistent experiences, unmet expectations, and many other reasons. We know a 6 may not seem like a low score, but it indicates the customer expected better and was not thrilled with their experience. 

What Detractors Do to Your Business

Detractors aren’t just unhappy customers; they can be a weight that drags down your business. 

Many people think that a detractor is just a lost customer, but they can harm your company’s reputation. When people have a poor experience with a business, they often leave online reviews or tell others about their negative experiences. This can cause people to seek alternative businesses before they even try yours. 

What Are Promoters?

Promoters are survey respondents who gave your company a score of 9 or 10. 

Promoters offer high scores for many reasons, from an excellent customer service experience to an impeccable product. A score of 9 or 10 means they felt their experience with the company was perfect or nearly perfect.

What Promoters Do to Your Business

Promoters are a huge asset to your business, as they can boost your brand reputation and bring you new customers. 

They’re more likely to recommend your business to others or leave positive reviews online. Promoters are a form of free advertising, as they’ll talk about your business positively, increasing acquisition at no extra cost to you!

Is it Possible to Turn NPS Detractors Into Promoters?

Absolutely! Sure, some detractors are lost causes, but most have the potential to be promoters. No matter how critical and negative the feedback is, you should always try to convert the customer and remedy their complaints.

Most customers just want to be heard and valued. They want to know that your business cares about their feedback and satisfaction.

Using Promoters to Convert Detractors

Many business owners make the big mistake of ignoring promoters. They focus all their efforts on converting detractors and don’t spend enough time assessing promoters. 

Yes, detractors require the most attention, but paying attention to promoters is a great way to find strategies to convert detractors. Look at your promoters first when devising a game plan to convert detractors. 

  • What are the promoters saying they like? 
  • What demographic are most of your promoters?
  • What are the promoters’ experiences like?
  • What aspects of your company do promoters engage with? (i.e., a certain product, specific service, etc.)

Identify why your promoters gave your business a high score, and use this information to improve the experience for detractors and passive survey respondents. 

The Best Ways to Turn Detractors Into Promoters

Below are some of the best strategies for addressing detractor issues and changing how they feel about your company. 

1. Acknowledge and Sympathize

When someone is dissatisfied with a company and reaches out to customer service, they’re often angry, frustrated, and ready for a fight. Unfortunately, many companies respond with deflection, disinterest, or denial. Don’t make this mistake.

Customers appreciate when businesses admit their mistakes, apologize, and make an effort to rectify the relationship. Never be defensive, no matter how moody, irate, or unreasonable a customer may seem. Instead, be humble and honest. 

Representatives should:

  1. Listen to the customer
  2. Acknowledge the problem or complaint
  3. Sympathize with the customer
  4. Take responsibility and explain (without making excuses)
  5. Find a solution
  6. Thank the customer

It’s not about adopting a “the customer is always right” mentality but about exuding a “we care about each and every customer” attitude. If your customer service team truly cares, the customers will feel cared for, and this is how you build trust.

2. Exceptional, Personalized Customer Service

Ensure customer service is prompt, easily accessible, and personalized. 

This strategy requires clear expectations for customer service representatives and a team committed to customer satisfaction. Curating an exceptional customer service team isn’t easy, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor to give your customers the attention and care they deserve. 

A furious detractor could become a contented promoter following a top-notch customer service call.

As discussed above, the best customer service teams acknowledge and sympathize and offer personalized solutions, such as a replacement product, prompt refund, or the proper assistance.

The recipe for an excellent customer service experience is:

  • Convenient and accessible channels
  • Fast responses
  • Humility and honesty
  • An apologetic and grateful tone

Poor customer service is one of the top reasons consumers switch from one company to another. So, even if you haven’t yet fixed the root cause of the dissatisfaction, offering impeccable customer service alone can turn a detractor into a promoter!

3. Take Action to Remedy Issues

While offering a personalized solution is a great way to show a detractor you want to satisfy them, more widespread actions can be just as effective. 

For example, if a detractor says in a survey that the product selection is too limited, you can expand your product line. Not only does this show detractors that you listen to feedback, but now they can enjoy the broader selection of products! 

This is twofold: detractors feel heard, and your business becomes more appealing to them, which can turn them into promoters. 

4. Thoughtful Follow-Ups

Follow-ups hold a great deal of power when it comes to the customer experience. 

Many consumers feel that their feedback is sent into a void, never to be read by the company. Following up with detractors proves to them that you are paying attention to their dissatisfaction. 

Your follow-up strategy can take various approaches. The follow-up could offer:

  • Some sort of discount or free gift
  • Gratitude for the feedback
  • Demonstration of feedback-based improvements
  • Promise to address the issue in question

These follow-ups build trust and show thoughtfulness, which can sway detractors to think more positively about the company. This is how you “close the feedback loop,” bringing the customer’s issue full circle until it’s resolved to their satisfaction.

5. Incentives for Feedback and Loyalty

As mentioned, customers want companies to value their opinions, so incentivizing feedback can improve your Net Promoter Score. You can offer special coupons in exchange for feedback or simply adopt an appreciative marketing tone that encourages feedback.

Loyalty programs can also be the difference between a detractor and a promoter. Remember, scores 0-6 out of 10 are considered detractors, so a generous loyalty program can push someone into the passive or promoter range!

Final Thoughts on Conversions

The best way to turn NPS detractors into promoters is to listen to feedback and use it to identify areas of improvement. Listen to all your customers, not just one group. 

If you need help implementing these effective strategies, enlist the help of Catalyst Group ECR! Turning detractors into promoters is not always an easy feat, and it can be hard knowing where to start. 

The experts at CGECR know what it takes to convert detractors and can help you make it happen. Contact Lori Moen at Catalyst Group ECR today and watch detractors become enthusiastic promoters!