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Net Promoter Score Improves IBM Client Experience

Net Promoter Score

At some point over the last two years, you have probably seen at least one survey from IBM asking if you would recommend IBM’s products or services to a friend or colleague. This question, which involves a 0-10 scale, is the basis of Net Promoter Score (NPS)—the latest industry standard metric companies are using to gauge loyalty and client experience.

NPS classifies clients as promoters, passives or detractors and provides a consistent way to look at the client experience across multiple touchpoints or interactions. Although this metric was developed 15 years ago, its popularity has taken off over the past few years with more companies adopting the techniques and research on this metric.

Adoption at IBM

Three years ago, IBM adopted NPS as a consistent method to measure client advocacy companywide. The metric is a valuable tool for our clients because it replaced long, detailed surveys with quick, targeted requests for feedback. Responses are directed to the teams that are able to make an impact and reinforce the culture of providing excellent experiences for all of our clients.

Although clients have always been at the forefront of our strategy, their feedback wasn’t always accessible to everyone involved in ensuring a consistently great client experience. Every IBM employee now has the opportunity to view feedback on the products and areas they support. This data can be used to augment more detailed feedback we receive via user groups, early ship programs and other client sessions. The speed of the NPS survey feedback allows IBM to quickly see if changes we are making to our products and processes are truly driving the expected result.

We’re just a few years into our journey and we have already seen incredible ways that this feedback fuels innovation in our products, support and services, enabling IBM clients to succeed. Each piece of feedback clients provide is a gift—and the 50,000 pieces of feedback on our Systems products and services that clients have provided so far are truly helping to transform the way that we work.

Improving Support

IBM receives a significant volume of feedback related to support delivery, which has served as a catalyst for improving the client support experience and implementing myriad changes. Feedback from many clients indicated that the process to open a support ticket and get to the right person can be challenging. Based on that feedback, we’re in the process of rolling out a new system to open and handle our support tickets. The NPS feedback from clients will quickly tell us if this method is working. We have also been able to identify and resolve open issues based on optional write-in comments on NPS surveys.

Someone who’s responsible for resolving issues reads each and every comment. This has led to insightful discussions to clarify our product roadmaps, dig into features and functions with our development teams and recognize teams that elevate the IBM client experience.

Culture change is one of the side benefits of this client experience transformation as everyone can understand how they’re making a difference to the overall experience of IBM. When people are able to take feedback and make a difference, a sense of excitement and engagement develops that truly refocuses on the client experience. Teams now have the ability to see very quickly if changes are making a difference and develop innovative ways to proactively resolve common concerns.

Changing Culture

The value IBM can gain from NPS data comes from applying cutting-edge analytics and artificial intelligence technologies to client feedback. The large volume of data has allowed IBM to develop models that guide teams to take proactive steps to improve the client experience. Moreover, these models also highlight subtle trends that may have taken longer to observe with previous methods.

We’re able to correlate client experience feedback with other key metrics across the business to understand what areas are most important to clients. Our goal is to ensure that every person who interacts with IBM has a positive experience during the entire process—from browsing product pages online, placing an order and installing hardware to engaging support and renewals. NPS allows IBM to monitor the overall health of client relationships, proactively getting in front of issues before they arise instead of waiting to react to new feedback.

As IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has stated, “Above and beyond, not only are we an innovation company, we are in service of our clients.” Earlier this year, IBM was awarded with the inaugural “Engage Every Customer” EXPY award by Medallia ( ) and we’re energized to continue innovating for our clients.

We’re focused on meeting clients’ needs both today and in the future—and NPS is the latest tool to support that journey. IBMers are proud to be recognized as a leader in NPS and client experience, and are committed to continuing to improve for the benefit of clients.

Christiana Levy is a program director of Client Advocacy and Transformation. She has specialized in management and improvement of processes in a variety of roles across the supply chain and support.

Jessica Murillo is the vice president of Client Advocacy and Transformation for IBM Systems. She has held global leadership roles in development, strategy and product management.



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