What Are NPS Detractors? (+ Turn Them Into Promoters)

nps detractor

Dealing with unhappy customers and detractors on your net promoter score isn’t easy. Along with business growth, marketing, and other items on the to-do list, customer loyalty might not be your top priority.

But, according to various studies, your business growth doesn’t depend upon the words you say to the customers, but it is what your consumers tell others.

If your customers aren’t satisfied, they’ll decide not to shop from you again. They’ll also share their disappointment with their family, friends, and other close people, leading to bad word-of-mouth.

This is why you should work on the detractors more than the happy customers. We know that unhappy customers often give critical negative feedback. However, consider this an excellent opportunity to make your services better.

You first need to learn how to reach out to the detectors. Learn their psychology and also how you can provide them with better services to improve their shopping experience.

In this guide will discuss all in detail, and let’s get in-depth to convert an unhappy customer into a promoter.

Table of contents
What Is An NPS Detractor?
How To Identify NPS Detractors?
How Detractors Can Damage Your Business?
How To Turn Detractors Into Promoters?

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What Is An NPS Detractor?

The term NPS Detractor is used for unhappy customers who are not satisfied with your product, services, or experience.

The term “detractor” is associated with the customer surveys of NPS respondents. Detractors give a score to your SaaS from 0-6. Only unhappy customers respond with a score between 0 and 6. They might be small in numbers, yet the impact can be massive.

How To Identify NPS Detractors?

The unhappy customers are only noticeable when you read reviews under your product online and discover them. However, there are better and more ways to identify those consumers.

You can use customer satisfaction surveys to figure out your passive promoters and detractors.

NPS is a common type of micro survey that will let you know about unhappy customers and discover why they are unsatisfied. It handily segments your customer’s responses into three categories based on your NPS survey.

The NPS scores are also an indication of the loyalty of customers. Moreover, CSAT (customer satisfaction store) and CES (customer effort score) surveys are helpful indicators.

However, CSAT and CES surveys might not directly tell you who the detractors are. But you can get an idea about the customer who gave the low ratings as he wasn’t satisfied with your services or products.

Similarly, fewer CES numbers show those customers trying to use your service or products effectively. In both situations, minimum NPS scores are a red flag.

When you constantly collect customer reviews using a net promoter system. It’ll help in identifying those customers that are unhappy and having issues. This way, you can deal with those concerns before they churn due to poor customer experience.

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How Detractors Can Damage Your Business?

Most businesses only pay attention to detractors if they are high in number. Because they’ve numerous customers who benefit them, it is more complex than it seems initially.

If a business owner doesn’t pay attention, his business can be at high risk as detractors can damage the reputation.

Here are a few points that’ll let you know how detractors can affect you in the long term.

1. Effects On Sales And Profits

Most researchers have claimed that due to providing poor services, numerous businesses have lost around 40-41 billion dollars annually only in the US.

By this percentage, it is clear that an unsatisfied customer has no reason to keep on using your services and products.

Another study has stated that the customers with a bad shopping experience, almost 58% will only purchase the same brand again. Half of them will discuss it with their friends and family.

Around 34% have expressed that they left a bad review online through social media after a poor experience. At the same time, 51% won’t come to shop from your business again for at least 2 years.

After studying these facts, it is clear that you’ll have to make new customers if you don’t address the issue and do not try to retain the detractors.

Remember that attracting new customers is 5 times more difficult and expensive than retaining the detractors in the business world.

Moreover, some research has also said that when you sell your product to a new audience, the success rate is only 20%. If you sell the same product to existing customers, the success rate is around 60-70%.

Another notable thing is only one unsatisfied customer out of 26 will complain. Others will refrain from engaging with your business.

2. Impacts On Brand Reputation

Avoid ignoring detractors, especially when we live in an era where negative word of mouth can be destructive. As we all know, through social media, it is easier to know about the experience of others regarding your brand.

And if you’re a customer left with a bad experience, it can also drive away some potential customers’ attention.

During the research, around 70% of customers said that social media helps them to maintain a transparent relationship with brands or services. At the same time, almost 60-65% have amplified the issue of unfair treatment.

If your customers keep practicing the same, it’ll damage your brand reputation. Some potential clients will also hesitate while buying your brand. These are all risks you cannot afford if you want to strengthen your business.

Ensure to work on detractors at your earliest. Even a few detractors should be noticed as they can lead to disadvantageous positions.

3. Help Your Competitors

Your customers only like it if you provide them with quality services. However, your competitors can take advantage. After abandoning your brand, the first thing dissatisfied customers will do is find a new alternative.

Here your competitor will jump in and take over the solution.

Your competitors are waiting for the bad reviews about your brand and looking for detractors so they can make them their customers and expand their business. Around 80% of customers will quickly switch to a new brand if your brand cannot satisfy them.

Hence, while ignoring detractors, your competitors are taking advantage of them. This is why you shouldn’t avoid detractors and start working on them at your earliest convenience.

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How To Turn Detractors Into Promoters?

Retaining existing customers who have chosen new brands is far more complex than making new ones. However, we have some straightforward techniques that many business owners have tried to retain their customers.

1. Make It Easy For Unhappy Customers To Contact

It is untrue to say that all your customers are fully satisfied with the services you are providing. In reality, there are only a few fully satisfied customers.

Because you don’t pay attention to their complaints, it doesn’t mean everything is perfectly fine. Moreover, if you ignore your blind spot, working with unsatisfied customers will become more challenging.

Most consumers stop buying from you or switch to your competitor’s services only because they feel ignorant. They’ll do so without giving you a chance to enhance your services.

Remember that you should make it easy for your consumers to get in touch with you. If they cannot discuss their issues with you, they’ll contact disappointed and drop out of your brand.

It would help if you made it easy to get in touch with your customers and provide them assistance whenever they need it and on only channels such as websites, apps, or social media.

Also, make it easy for them so they can provide you feedback easily without filling out numerous forms. Also, don’t hesitate to offer them your contact information so they can contact you immediately after doing business if they need assistance or want to give any feedback.

2. Encourage Feedback

Another technique you can apply is not waiting for customers to reach out. Focus on the feedback loop and try to reach out to the customers yourself. Ask for feedback from your loyal customers after each interaction.

Sometimes, a few consumers will give you meaningful advice to work on and fix the small issue before it becomes more prominent.

Remember one more thing, value customer feedback. When they give your business their valuable time, you should appreciate them. Refrain from making them feel as if you are asking for feedback for the sake of it.

In this way, they’ll not willingly collaborate, particularly detractors.

Moreover, it is also crucial to train your staff to cooperate with the customers even if they need to respond positively to your product. Train them to talk politely when the customer is angry. If they reply similarly, the situation will be more catastrophic.

Customers need a team who asks, listens, and solves their queries. When your staff is fully trained, it’ll easily calm angry customers, especially detractors. And they’ll feel appreciated and think you are taking their feedback seriously.

3. Respond Quickly

If a detractor is unsatisfied, you need to respond to his query asap. Make detractors your number one priority. If you leave a single unsolved issue, it’ll lead to more severe problems.

They’ll leave the company negative feedback on social media and your website. Around 40% of detractors get frustrated when you respond to them slowly.

Replying within a few hours and within a few days make a huge difference in the eye of your customers. When you respond to your detractors quickly, it’ll make them feel that you care for them genuinely and put their interests before anything else.

A timely response can also strengthen your brand’s reputation.

Many business owners send an automated response which is also an effective way to respond on time. However, customized touch in automatic response is also crucial.

Otherwise, detractors will feel you want to avoid listening to their queries in generic replies. Customizing your reply is the best technique for helping detractors, so they think they are parts of your brand.

Moreover, customizing emails using the name of detractors, acknowledging their feelings, and adding a few queries to let them tell their concerns will help you know about those detractors who don’t give you a reason for giving a bad review.

Nowadays, numerous automation tools help you customize your response and help your customers efficiently.

4. Avoid Overselling Your Promise

Considering your consumer’s suggestion is a good technique, but it’ll take some time to impend them. Make them believe that you are working on it.

However, if you can’t do whatever the consumer suggests, be honest with him and give them a reason behind it. When a business owner is honest, it’ll motivate consumers too.

Also, it would help if you refrained from making any promises you could not fulfill. Admitting your limitations is always a good idea instead of making false promises and under-delivering.

If you do so, you’ll lose consumers’ trust. They might leave a bad review as well.

Moreover, don’t say directly to the detectors that “you cannot do anything” tell them what you can do. Sometimes you have to give a full refund or give them your products for free. Make sure to satisfy your customer at any cost.

5. Learn From Mistakes

Last but not least, you should learn from your mistakes. Unsatisfied customers are an excellent learning opportunity. You might be wrong if you always want your NPS score to remain on the top of the list.

NPS isn’t about getting high scores but improving your past mistakes and assisting your customers by listening and building their trust.

Check each feedback and take it as an opportunity for learning. Some feedback can also help you to stand out from your rivals.

Unsatisfied detractors can become your brand promoters when you work on their complaints nicely. When you listen to your consumers actively, you can strengthen your business effectively.


Follow the tips for retaining detractors by focusing on solutions. It’ll help avoid negative feedback such as bad reviews, negative word of mouth, and rude comments on your products or services through social media.

Also, identify areas of improvement, create long-term strategies, and boost your customer satisfaction by implementing them.

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