What is tNPS? Understanding Transactional Net Promoter Score

July 28, 2021
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One of the most important questions a company should ask its customers is how likely they are to recommend the business or brand to a friend or colleague. Why does this matter? Because, a customer’s willingness to promote a brand correlates strongly with customer satisfaction and loyalty — which in turn affects a company’s growth and profitability.

The best way for businesses to measure the likelihood of a client promoting their business is by measuring their Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS surveys ask customers on a scale of 1–10 how likely they are to recommend your business to someone else. The higher the score, the more satisfied customers are with a product or service, and the more likely they are to recommend a business.

There are two kinds of NPS surveys: transactional and relational. The guide below will break down exactly what Transactional NPS (tNPS) surveys are and how they differ from Relational NPS (rNPS) surveys. We’ll also outline which scenarios to use tNPS in and how this survey type is vital for getting key information on customer experience (CX) and customer trust and loyalty.


What Is A TNPS?

Transactional NPS surveys measure customer feedback at a minute level. They should be sent immediately after a customer interacts with a business to better measure how that interaction went and if it affected a customer’s satisfaction and the likelihood of promoting the business.

By sending and analyzing tNPS surveys, companies can quickly address pain points that occur along the customer journey. Companies get immediate feedback on whether someone transitions between being a Promoter, Passive, or Detractor. Remember, respondents are sorted into Promoters (respond 9 or 10), Passive (7 or 8), and Detractors (6 or below).


Types Of TNPS Surveys To Send

Businesses should be strategic about when they send tNPS surveys. They should be sent after important transactions or exchanges such as a customer service call, a purchase, or after a demo trial. We’ll go into more detail for these different scenarios below.

1. Post Purchase

A tNPS survey can be sent either directly after a customer completes a purchase or once a shipment is confirmed. If any issues occurred with either the transaction or the product delivery it’s best to automate a tNPS survey sooner rather than later so a business can measure the impact this issue had on its customer loyalty. Using this captured data, businesses can be proactive and better prepared for future orders.

2. Customer Call Or Interaction

Anytime a customer interacts with a customer sales or support representative via telephone, email, or chatbot a transactional survey should be conducted. Sending a tNPS survey will reveal several data points:

  • Which service channels do customers enjoy interacting with most
  • Issues with customer service channels such as neglection, timeliness, or unresolved problems
  • Overall customer satisfaction (CSAT) with a product and pitfalls that need addressing

For instance, if several customers move from promoters to passives or detractors after interacting with a company’s customer service department, then that department likely needs examining.

Vice versa, if clients are moving from passives or detractors to promoters after communicating with a customer service team, that unit should be rewarded and their communication strategies shared across other departments.

3. Onboarding A New Customer

  • The onboarding process and experience is an essential part of the retention stage in the customer journey.
  • Companies must constantly assess their onboarding process. tNPS surveys can help do this by fixing recurring issues or complaints, which also helps with customer retention.

The onboarding experience is an essential part of the retention stage in the customer journey map. tNPS surveys will give insight into how new clients perceive the onboarding experience — which heavily influences if a customer will churn or not.

For onboarding tNPS surveys, it can be beneficial to send two-question surveys. One of the questions should be open-ended, to get more in-depth feedback:


Businesses can use the qualitative data collected from the tNPS surveys, to understand repeat complaints or flaws in the implementation process. They can then address these issues by reevaluating the product itself, adding more self-help resources, or simplifying specific steps.

4. Product Update

Whenever a product update occurs, issues often occur. Companies should send tNPS surveys one to two days after product updates or release so they can quickly address and resolve any overlooked issues.

It’s also important to send follow-up transactional surveys after the majority of product-related issues are fixed. That way, you can see if your NPS score increases or if customer sentiment is already low and other tactics need to be implemented to regain customer loyalty.

What Is The Difference Between TNPS And RNPS?

Now that we’ve discussed transactional NPS surveys, let's also discuss the other type of NPS surveys, relational net promoter score (rNPS) surveys.


Relational NPS, sometimes referred to as regular or on-demand NPS, gives a bird’s eye view of a business’ relationship with its clients. rNPS surveys help B2B businesses affirm that their clients are happy with their overall services and product. Consider rNPS surveys as customer satisfaction check-ins with customers.

While tNPS surveys typically get sent after transactions and interactions with customers, rNPS surveys should be segmented and scheduled either quarterly, every six months, or annually.

The Pros And Cons Of TNPS And RNPS

Both tNPS and rNPS have pros and cons. Used together though, they balance each other out. Again, tNPS surveys review singular incidents while rNPS surveys serve as broad-stroke customer check-ins. For companies to get both granular and overarching insight into their CX, they should implement both tNPS and rNPS surveys.


The Pros of tNPS Surveys

  • Receive immediate feedback from a customer after an interaction.
  • Pinpoint bottlenecks or touchpoints that cause customers to switch between Promoters, Passives, and Detractors.
  • Allows businesses to quickly modify a CX pain point to meet customers’ needs and desires.

The Cons of tNPS Surveys

  • Without a second open-ended question, tNPS surveys don’t answer why a customer is or is not satisfied with an interaction.
  • Time-consuming to comb through qualitative data and find patterns from open-ended questions.
  • Hard to decipher if competitors’ tactics and strategies are influencing tNPS survey results.

The Pros of rNPS Surveys

  • Provides a broad overview of a customer’s relationship with a business.
  • Helps give timely feedback to make sure both new and long-term customers are satisfied.
  • Allows Passive scorers the opportunity to give feedback they wouldn’t normally do.

The Cons of rNPS Surveys

  • Difficult to decipher if a single incident, such as a poor interaction with a customer service rep, or multiple compound issues (payment, order, and customer service) is affecting the rNPS score such as a single incident or multiple issues.
  • Product and software updates or crashes can affect rNPS surveys’ schedules.
  • Takes longer to pinpoint issues, which prolongs implementing changes from feedback.

Is A TNPS Or RNPS Survey Better?

Neither tNPS nor rNPS is better. What’s best for companies is to use both tNPS and rNPS surveys to better analyze the customer experience and properly measure customer effort and satisfaction.

Remember, tNPS surveys are done after singular incidents or transactions. That way, a company is immediately notified of a customer complaint. While rNPS surveys serve as quarterly, bi-annual, or yearly encounters to make customers feel happy and satisfied. Both surveys should be added to your Voice of the Customer toolkit to get minute and widespread feedback.

What matters most is that companies act on their NPS survey data and make the necessary changes to increase customer satisfaction.

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