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Client Success and Support Champion
I have been a support professional for over 30 years. I have worked in the Submarine community on Sub-safe level 1 repair operations, in the Aviation sector on Safe for flight repair evaluations, and in the Tech industry in both hardware and software environments. In all these roles the one key factor that was missing for me was the ability to promote my own career. I established the client success and support badge offering program to address this issue. IBM’s technical support, services, and AVP program members now have a way to show case the strong soft skills they earn in this role.
The program was built to cover 3 key skills “Levels” that span a client success professionals’ career:
Professional: Proven Softskills knowledge & capability
Expert: Recognized as a Softskills SME who also coaches and mentors
Champion: Demonstrates exceptional Leadership & achieves extraordinary results
We built out the program so it would not be solely focused on support professionals. The program is geared to recognize anyone in IBM how has a client facing role. My first recommendation for people looking to build their own badging offering would be to include this strategy – try to expand beyond nitch groups. This will also help secure any executive sponsorship you need.
We also added in special recognition for those IBM professionals who deal with special or critical situations. Again, this expanded our base making our program relevant to a larger audience. Additionally, from the start – we looked at a phased approach: Get the heavy hitters out there first – drum up interest in the program. Show a road map where the program will bring in more specialized badges in later iterations or phases.
Each of our badge levels have unique requirements that validate a candidate has achieved the necessary level of capability to be recognized by the badge program. We incorporated Self-Paced training in video format followed up with a robust practical / test. We also incorporated SME coaching / mentoring … and tied this SME Coaching & Mentoring into the next level of badge … pass on the training and get recognized for doing so. I would highly recommend this approach in other badge offerings as it becomes self-sustaining.
Our program has now issued over 600 badges in the first 6 months. We achieved this through executive sponsorship, having a great offering, and building an interest. Our team members have met with organizations and drove this program. Our leaders make themselves available to discuss with support and services leaders across the globe. I personally have met with regional support leaders in AP and Europe to secure their support. IBM is the ONLY tech company out there today with this type of recognition available to the Client Success Teams … this is a big differentiator in the industry.
Key team members that I would like to recognize
Lauranette Wheeler, Karen Gould, Stephanie Wade, MaryEllan Coleman, Ellen Wallach, Demetrice Browder, Todd McBride, Weihong long, Nancy Antley, Jean Brown, Amy Cargal, Chris Dawes, Guido Soermann, Marion Seibert, Perry Hayward
Our program has moved on to Phase II now. In this Phase, Ellen Wallach has taken on the leadership role and is driving our next set of badges ~ Way to go Ellen!