The Customer Confidential Podcast

How IBM Scales Customer Feedback

IBM’s Kathy McGettrick describes how she created a system of customer feedback that scaled to 40,000 employees and counting.


How IBM Scales Customer Feedback

In the pre-Net Promoter System® era, IBM collected customer feedback through longitudinal surveys. The survey results would roll in year after year. Reports were delivered. Results were reviewed. The scores and metrics hardly ever budged.

That is, until Kathy McGettrick, the vice president of market development and insights at IBM, had a stroke of insight. “We have a very complex experience equation here at IBM, with many moments of truth,” she told me, “and we're relying basically on one data point about IBM's generic relationship with its clients. We're putting all the weight and responsibility to create a quality experience on our sellers, and that is missing a huge chunk of what really matters in terms of how clients engage with IBM.”

So Kathy launched a digital platform that could send client feedback deeper into the company, beyond the sellers on the front line. Some 40,000 IBMers now use a client experience management platform that tracks hundreds of thousands of data points. They’ve come a long way from the “single data point” surveys of the past.

Just how do 40,000 employees use this system to discover the many moments of truth in the IBM customer experience? Kathy shares how it’s done on this week’s episode of the Net Promoter System Podcast. You can listen to my conversation with Kathy on iTunes, Stitcher or your podcast provider of choice, or through the audio player below.

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In the following excerpt, Kathy reveals what motivates IBMers to keep track of client feedback.

Kathy McGettrick: I will never forget the time that we had first started to receive feedback from the new platform. I was in with the chairman and some of her senior vice presidents, and we put up examples of the kinds of feedback that we were getting, and one of the SVPs said to me, "Kathy, is that a real client?"

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And this was because the client had given us this incredibly detailed feedback about what it was like to work with IBM's cloud and how much they wanted to keep working with IBM's cloud. There was a particular feature that they did not have and were feeling like they were going to be forced to go to a competitor.

It was just remarkable to see that the client had taken that much time and put that much thought into giving IBM feedback. And that was very motivating to the folks around the table in that room, and it continues to be very motivating to the team here at IBM.

Net Promoter System®, Net Promoter Score®, Net Promoter® and NPS® are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld, and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.


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