If for your job, you get a bonus over a certain NPS score, then here is how you can game the system to get it.

For SaaS, NPS is ubiquitous, and you’ll find them for both small and large services. The simplicity of this single number is its strength. It’s easy to share with the team and to follow over time. It’s even a vanity metric over a certain threshold.

But an NPS score doesn’t mean a lot by itself. Comparisons between companies in different sectors are ridiculous, but even between direct competitors, we should proceed with caution.

For example, if your running a freemium service, only asking paying customers will improve the score. It’s not a surprise as you usually don’t pay if you’re unhappy. For monthly subscriptions, you can even wait two months only to get users that paid, then had the opportunity to cancel but stayed. And for an even better NPS, display the survey exclusively on the website as emails can reach users that forgot about the service and left without canceling.

With all those techniques, you’re sure to improve your NPS, without having to improve your service!

If you live a life where gaming the system for bonuses or self-delusion isn’t the goal, they are still some lessons to take away:

You can change the way you gather the NPS to increase the number of responses. Usually, that will mean lower scores, but that’s where the valuable information is. You want to get as many responses as possible. Even those users that “didn’t get to see enough of our service to know what they are talking about.” If someone signs up, stays for 5 minutes and leaves never to come back, you want to know why.

At Hunter, we have a decent number of people who sign up but end up leaving the service just as quickly. They understandably give us bad NPS ratings and comments. They are multiple factors: We push sign-ups too hard, we fail to provide value swiftly, we rank on Google searches that aren’t relevant, etc. If we had tried to limit the survey to active or even paying users, the score would be better than now, but we would be missing so much information.

In the end, NPS is like any other survey: the way and to whom you administer it; is as meaningful as the score itself.