Predicting and saving detractors before they detract, at enterprise scale

IBM, a global technology company headquartered in the U.S., was not satisfied with just reacting quickly to resolve negative customer experiences. The enterprise wanted to know if a customer is at risk of becoming dissatisfied before he or she ever gets there. To do this, the company built a Net Promoter Score Early Warning System (N.E.W.S). Leveraging dozens of sources such as NPS records, support ticketing systems, problem management records, and operational metrics, IBM developed a model that predicts Likelihood to Recommend scores the moment each individual submits a ticket to IBM Technical Support.

Why did IBM invest time and energy into this? Using Technical Support NPS data, IBM’s data scientists determined that accounts with promoters have substantially higher renewals versus other accounts. Meanwhile detractors issue more support tickets driving costs up and resulting in significant losses to the bottom line. With N.E.W.S., IBM could counteract that.

IBM now has predictive insight into the 83 percent of its clients who don’t respond to a survey, allowing the global organization to proactively intervene with those who are at high risk of becoming detractors. This predictive power significantly reduces ‘time to resolution’ — a key driver of poor client experience, which impacts account retention and expansion.

N.E.W.S has become an essential tool in IBM’s organizational arsenal. The company has seen powerful examples of IBMers using NPS data to deliver business impact. In one example, an IBMer in charge of support feedback for a key portfolio credited pre-emptive action from customer feedback with securing a $1.3M support renewal contract. Similarly, in North America, an account owner noticed unusually low LTR scores in surveys from a top automotive client. He quickly determined that a poorly done proposal was the cause and immediately reached out to the client to remedy the situation. By quickly addressing the feedback and fixing the flawed proposal, the account owner was able to secure and expand the contract, leading to $1M in savings.

These stories demonstrate the importance of empowering IBMers, approximately 30,000 of whom are regularly engaging with customer feedback, to do the right thing for their customers, and drive a more client-centric culture.

Source: Whitepaper, Intelligent Customer Experience

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