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Creating a new SaaS NPS benchmark with digital experience intelligence

Virtually every statistic and measurement your brand gathers are to answer one ultimate question: “How are we doing?”

As a marketer, a customer success team, or product manager, you want to know the impact your work has on the business—from email opens and bounce rates to month-over-month conversion rates and feature adoption rates.

And the business as a whole wants to know how it’s doing in terms of customer satisfaction.

To distill that lofty concept into a more manageable one, companies look to the Net Promoter Score.

What is a Net Promoter Score?

A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a common tool that measures customer experience and predicts business growth. This provides a core measurement for customer experience management programs and is used by customer success teams, SaaS companies, and organizations of all sizes in just about every vertical.

While some teams use the opportunity to ask additional questions, the crux of the NPS score is the response to one key question:

"How likely is it that you would recommend our company (or product or service) to a friend or colleague?"

The shortcomings of NPS scores

That said, organizations looking to deeply understand their customer experience may find some shortcomings in the output of a good NPS score survey.

The flaw lies in the simplistic output of the net promoter score survey, where customers are categorized as either a promoter, a passive, or a detractor based on their response. This helps understand the customer lifetime value, especially for SaaS companies.

  • ​​Promoters: 9–10 score ratings. They love your brand and are very likely to recommend you.
  • Passives: 7–8 score ratings. They don’t spread positivity or negativity about your brand.
  • Detractors: 0–6 score ratings. They are unhappy with your brand and are likely to tell the world that they dislike you.

Qualitative feedback for more customer satisfaction

In the most essential sense, the outcome of NPS surveys is quantitative. You get a number in return—but numbers aren’t always very actionable.

An easy way to add clarity to that net promoter score number is to add a comment field to your NPS survey: “Why did you answer that way?”

The quantitative score itself might be most related to a customer’s interest in recommending you, but the qualitative feedback gathered from customer comments can offer clues into your product and its digital customer experience.

Still, shortcomings exist with NPS scores from survey respondents. And analyzing NPS data can be a challenge, especially for a SaaS company. While customer feedback is undoubtedly a gift, anecdotes aren’t always data.

What was the circumstance that led someone to give you a polarized score? What did they see or experience on your website or mobile app?

Leaving it up to the customer to describe their customer experience in a way that is actionable to a customer success team, marketers, or product managers unfairly offloads the burden of proof.

In other words, a score of zero and “Your website is awful” might be the best quantitative and qualitative feedback you’ll get. (And what can your team do with that feedback?)

But, by layering in digital experience data to their NPS scores, teams can go one step further.

How digital experience can supplement NPS surveys

It’s a best practice for companies to approach NPS scores and NPS surveys in a two-pronged approach:

  • Quantitative: the traditional 1–10 score
  • Qualitative: an open-ended “why did you submit that score?”

But even that can come up short in terms of creating data that teams can actually use. This can be the end of the road for many product and marketing teams—but it doesn’t have to be. Digital experience intelligence (DXI) can fill in the gaps.

If someone visits your site, is served an NPS survey, and responds negatively, a DXI platform such as FullStory can help fill in the gaps on what they’ve experienced.

FullStory’s Session Replay capabilities are especially helpful here. Traditional analytics tools answer these questions by turning users into numbers: clicks, bounce rates, page visits, conversions, and other abstractions. While this is data on its own, traditional web analytics miss the forest for the trees.

Session replay is the reproduction of a user’s interactions on a website or web application exactly how the user actually experienced it. This elevates traditional web analytics tools by showing a complete picture of the user on a website or app. It provides all the individual data points you get with a typical analytics tool and how those data points combine to create an experience. In other words, session replay helps you definitively answer the question, "What's really happening on my site (or in my application)?"

In so many words, it’s the perfect accompaniment to an NPS survey—it's essentially a SaaS NPS benchmark.

For more about FullStory and digital experience intelligence, read the comparison guide “Product analytics and digital experience intelligence.”


FullStory offers digital experience intelligence, on-the-fly conversion funnels, advanced search capabilities, video-like replay of real user sessions, and robust debugging and developer tools—all while integrating with leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) products.

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