NPS Blog

Creating a market of trust and delight at eBay

Joshua Rossman of eBayThere’s a line people say to each other so they feel better about exceptionally difficult or painful situations: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” The idea is that you grow and learn through struggle and challenge—after the pain and frustration subside.

It’s not easy to bring about culture change at any organization. And any executive who’s striving for true customer centricity will likely face resistance from colleagues in every direction. Adopting the Net Promoter System can ultimately help companies become more customer centric and accelerate their growth, but getting to that point requires commitment, resourcefulness and, sometimes, pure grit.

If anyone understands the pain and struggle of bringing the Net Promoter System to a large, complex company, it’s Joshua Rossman, senior director of global customer loyalty and NPS at eBay. He joined the online marketplace in 2009 and helped the previous CEO, John Donahoe, introduce the Net Promoter System to the online marketplace. He continues to run the effort, with the help of a 17-person team.

Net Promoter System podcastI recently spoke with Josh for the Net Promoter System Podcast. Actually, what really happened is that I cornered him during a two-hour car ride. I told him I’d give him a ride to an event, but I left out the part about my plans to hook him up with a microphone and grill him for the entire trip. Being the good-natured guy he is, Josh shared the good, the bad and the ugly of his Net Promoter journey at eBay. During that time, Josh has become a true master of the Net Promoter System. Like every company I’ve ever observed, there’s still room for eBay to improve. Yet, many of the processes he and his team developed have become examples of global best practices.

Under Josh’s leadership, eBay has used the Net Promoter System to improve the purchasing experience for its more than 100 million buyers—simplifying fees, adding a buyer protection program and increasing shipping accuracy in the process. The system has helped eBay build trust with buyers and identify promising investments.

But it wasn’t without toil and setbacks. For example, eBay set ambitious goals early in its Net Promoter journey, which put a lot of emphasis on the metric, rather than the improvement process. At one point, it also began measuring Net Promoter Scores at too many different points in the customer experience, rendering the program unwieldy. And there were some missteps involving data analysis and analytic process. Those moments were painful at the time, but the company and Josh’s team evolved from the experience, developing more robust and rigorous processes.

Josh’s work has put eBay in a good position to thrive after its recent spinoff of PayPal. eBay lately reported quarterly revenue that outstripped Wall Street estimates, and its stock is outpacing the Standard & Poor’s 500 for the year.

Our discussion offers many lessons (and encouragement) for others who are early in their Net Promoter journey. You can listen to my conversation with Josh on the Net Promoter System Podcast. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, or listen to this episode through the player below. Click here to browse more Net Promoter System Podcast episodes.

Subscribe to the Net Promoter System podcast on iTunes

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