What is NPS, how does it work, and can libraries benefit? World-class patron service with UniqueChat

What is NPS, how does it work, and can libraries benefit? World-class patron service with UniqueChat

Most public-facing organizations (including libraries) believe they are providing truly great service. However, people as well and companies notoriously overestimate our competence and as a result really don’t know how their customers feel about their brand. That is where NPS comes in.

Let’s take a look at measuring customer satisfaction using NPS. We are going to answer: Why it is important? How is it measured? How can it improve patron relationships and drive success for libraries?

Whether you’re just getting started with NPS or looking to take your customer feedback efforts to the next level, you’ll learn something.

What is NPS?

NPS stands for Net Promoter Score. It is a measure of customer loyalty and satisfaction that is normally based on a single question:

On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this company’s products or services to a friend or colleague?

Customers who respond with a 9 or 10 are considered “promoters” and are thus more likely to recommend it to others. Users who respond with a 7 or 8 are considered “passives,” while those who respond with a 0 to 6 are considered “detractors.”

NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. The result can range from a low of -100 (if all respondents are detractors) to a high of 100 (if all respondents are promoters).

Why NPS is important

The NPS is a simple way to gauge customer sentiment and to identify where an organization can improve its products or services. Groups with high NPS scores have higher levels of customer loyalty and are more successful in the long run.

In general, NPS scores above 0 would be considered good and below 0 considered bad. The extremes in either direction would show further away you get from zero and towards 100 or -100.

Know where you stand with NPS

As a library, a post-interaction survey is a great way to collect an NPS score. While this can be hard to do systematically with in-person service, UniqueChat makes this simple for webchat visitors.

Libraries can choose from a 1-10 numerical scale, 1-5 stars, or a system of “great, OK, or Poor”

Additionally, patrons can leave a comment on the interaction which the library can use for feedback.

Some responses we’ve received:

“Super helpful and this chat service was excellent and convenient! I absolutely love the Alexandria Library system and I’m so thankful for it.”

-Alexandria Library Patron

“Very helpful and pleasant to work with, this is my first chat experience with the library, I will definitely use this feature again.”

-Sacramento Public Library Patron


“AWESOME!! The services available at the library never cease to amaze me.  That was the best customer service chat ever – like it must have been a real person on the other end. It shows. Quick, understanding, compassionate, friendly, accommodating, pleasant.  I’ve been on a lot of customer service calls lately and that was wonderful. Thanks!!”

-San Diego County Library Patron


“Very helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly.  She researched and fixed my issue in a very reasonable amount of time. The chat feature is a great way to provide service when branches are closed.  I’m a satisfied customer!”

-Sacramento Public Library Patron

UniqueChat delivers world class service for libraries according to NPS

Adapting NPS for the standard UniqueChat smiley survey option, we judge a ‘Great’ response to equal a promoter, ‘OK’ to equal passive, and ‘Poor’ to equal detractors. According to this article from surveying company Qualtrics, the creators of NPS, Bain & Company, suggest scores:

  • Above 0 is ok
  • 20-49 is favorable.
  • 50-79 excellent.
  • Above 80 is world class.

From the absolute NPS position, any score over 0 would be considered ‘ok’.

Across all clients, UniqueChat registered a score of 90 across all of 2022!

This means over 100,000 library patrons experienced world class service this year from their library by using UniqueChat.

Read More: Unique Wrapped, a by-the-numbers look at patron service interactions in 2022


Why do patrons love UniqueChat?

Determining a specific Feedback suggests patrons enjoy the UniqueChat service for several main reasons:


Patrons enjoy getting service online as they are browsing the website in real time. Ease and efficiency make Chat a popular alternative to a phone call.


Patrons rave about all they can accomplish via chat. The UniqueChat agents can help with materials, card questions, catalog issues, location/hours questions, for instance. Anything that would normally have to be done via the phone or in-person can be done via chat.


“Quick” and “fast” are two common themes with chat feedback. So getting the right answer and getting it quickly turns passive website visitors into engaged library fans.


Patrons appreciate the friendly, kind, and helpful service they receive from our agents. Therefore, our UniqueChat team follows the golden rule and treats others as we would want to be treated.

Learn more about Unique Chat

Check out our March live webinar on Patron Services

March Patron Services Live Demo

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