I read about users not being able to predict their own future behavior because they simply can't comprehend what influences their choices(UX Myths).

If this is the case, why do websites, apps and such services/products ask their users if they'd recommend the website/app to their friends?

  1. How does this help the company, seeing as the user might not even do what he said he would do?
  2. Is there a way to actually predict the users behavior, if even they themselves can't predict it properly?
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    From my understanding. This question is usually used to measure customer satisfaction and less about the intentions of the users in the future. Think of it as "Was your experience so enjoyable that you would suggest us to a friend?". Sep 18, 2017 at 9:34
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    In my personal opinion. Yes. These metrics tend to be used to measure things like Brand Loyalty and Satisfaction in a very superficial way but there are other metrics/questions out there that can be more accurate. The most common companies that runs these metrics are Net Promoter. NN/G have actually covered the pros and cons of this in a very helpful article: nngroup.com/articles/nps-ux Sep 18, 2017 at 9:53
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    @SliQz Case in point: I recently filled-in a survey for Boots (nationwide Chemist/Pharmacy store in the UK). One of the questions asked how likely I was to recommend it (the particular shop I'd been to) to a friend. I answered about one step up from the lowest because I couldn't ever see myself spontaneously coming out with "You really must visit the XXX branch of Boots" It was totally the wrong question if they wanted to know if I was happy with their service.
    – TripeHound
    Sep 18, 2017 at 12:58
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    Relevant: twitter.com/heavenlyequinox/status/877727170868633601
    – Milo P
    Sep 18, 2017 at 16:00
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    It is so that those websites, apps, services, and products can run advertisements with ample puffery. As soon as 10 responses come through, they would exclaim "9 out of 10 of our users WOULD recommend our product to their friends, wowzers!!"
    – MonkeyZeus
    Sep 19, 2017 at 12:38

2 Answers 2


What you are reffering to is called Net Promoter Score (NPS).

The Net Promoter Score is calculated based on responses to a single question: How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague? The scoring for this answer is most often based on a 0 to 10 scale.

Those who respond with a score of 9 to 10 are called Promoters, and are considered likely to exhibit value-creating behaviors, such as buying more, remaining customers for longer, and making more positive referrals to other potential customers.

The NPS actually measures the positive feelings customers have for a product, since our friends are very important to us. You would recommend a product to a friend only if you have a very positive experience with the product, and you want to share this with your friend. This sharing bonds the relationship with your friend.

The NPS though does not capture the why and the actual future behavior. There is a considerable amount of critisism as it is stated in this article :

Although the NPS measure can be used as a loyalty indicator, it does not offer an explanation of the root cause or causes of a low score. Further, this measure is typically taken at the end of the customer journey, thus potentially masking the underlying issues of concern, which form the basis for identifying improvements. Relying solely on a simple single customer metric is risky and so companies are encouraged to adopt a more nuanced multidimensional approach to better predict customer behavior (Keiningham, et al. 2007; Wiesel, Verhoef, and de Haan 2012). Keiningham et al. (2007) stated that a “combination of VOC metrics universally outperforms the use of only the NPS’s recommendation intentions when predicting actual loyalty behavior.” Clearly, the widely acclaimed NPS is based on a customer’s attitude rather than his or her actual behavior.

Some other customer satisfaction mertics are the Loyalty Index, Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Customer Effort Score (CES).

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    Upvote for the mention of other satisfaction metrics.
    – SliQz
    Sep 18, 2017 at 11:29
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    Usually when I rank Jira with an extremely low score it's because I was recently annoyed by one of their stupid UI decisions. Sep 18, 2017 at 11:45

People are heavily influenced by peers

This is a commonly observed pattern that isn't limited just to digital world. It is human nature to trust a peer's recommendations if there's a certain level of trust among them.

If you read about terminology and the language that is used by successful websites you will find out that they tend to make you talk about what you're buying/using.

The share feature is now almost a must in websites and applications. This is why they ask you if you'd recommend their product to a friend rather than asking if you liked it

I wouldn't generally rate/review a product or a service but I am more likely to recommend/share it (sometimes in hope of getting recognition or rewards)

Answer 1

As your response would either be a Yes/No or a rating between 1-5, the website can analyze your rating like positive/negative.

Answer 2

If you actually take time to rate/review the product or service OR if you copy a sharing link/code, then it is more likely that you would visit the site again and maybe even bring in more traffic. But this obviously would be a prediction and hence, wouldn't be a perfect figure.

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