In the world of IT, the customer experience should be at the
top of your priority list when it comes to implementing an ITSM tool or pretty
close to it. At the end of the day you are relying on your customers to use
this new system to put in all their tickets so that you, the IT manager, can
quickly and efficiently correct their problems or assist them in getting what
they need to get through the day.
Let’s start with Customers. These customers are your HR,
Accounting, Executive even your own IT Department. These are the people you see
when you get your cup of coffee from the breakroom in the
morning. These are also the same people that come running to you when their
keyboard catches fire, or they need access to some file share you’ve never
heard of. You interact with these customers daily. They want quick and easy
solutions to their problems, not red tape. It’s easy for them to just walk over
to your desk and interrupt your work because they need assistance. In their
eyes, that’s what you’re there for. In some ways they’re right, this is why you’ve implemented an ITSM tool. You
wanted a way to funnel all those phone calls, walkup’s and emails into one
place where you can categorize, prioritize, digitize all that work coming in so
you can move more easily through your day and the customer gets what they need
quickly and efficiently. The CX of your ITSM tool is critical when it comes to
getting these customers to follow the process so that you get what you need to
fix their issue. A poor CX to an ITSM implementation can seriously make
customers turn their nose up at yet another hurdle they must jump over just get
their printer fixed. You as the IT manager may think you know exactly what the
customer wants when it comes to getting services from the IT department, but
are you sure?
According to Forrester
Research, “Companies that want to produce a high-quality customer
experience also need to routinely perform a set of sound, standard practices.
These practices fall under six high-level disciplines: strategy, customer understanding,
design, measurement, governance, and culture.” Let’s focus 4 of these for now.
Strategy – This is where you take a good look at
your organization and determine what it is you do and what you want to
accomplish. What type experience do you want to deliver for your customer? Do
you want them to use your ITSM like an Amazon Shopping cart? Picking and choosing
what they need and have all sorts of different options. Do you want it to be
rigid and straightforward not giving as many choices, but in the end
streamlining their experience with less clicking around a page? You need to
first define what your strategy is going to be to deliver these services to your
customer and what you’re going to need from them in return. That means not just internally with your IT
Team, but with those customers in other departments as well. You need to meet
with them and discuss what they want and expect out of the ITSM tool. How is it
going to improve their work lives? Where are they struggling right now? This
moves into Customer Understanding.
Customer Understanding – You don’t know what you
don’t know. How can you just assume to know exactly what your customer’s needs
are if you haven’t met with them? From their point of view you’ve implemented a
new complex way for them to put in their requests and it’s another barrier to
them. Another way for IT to stay behind closed doors and not interact with the
rest of the company. So, they log in try to navigate through your new system,
get frustrated and end up just calling you or walking over anyway. As IT professionals,
we know what we want and need to succeed and keep the higher ups happy. But if
we’re relying on the customers to actually use the system they need to get
something in return. They need to get a sense that their requests matter, that
your team will respond quickly, that this isn’t just another bureaucratic
system. Getting the customer engaged BEFORE an implementation is paramount. You
need them on your side, not fighting against you.
Design – This ties into the customer experience,
but is more granular. Is your ITSM ugly? When I say ugly, is it hard to navigate?
Is it slow? Can the customer find what they need quickly? Are they just putting
in generic requests? Are they getting updates to the tickets they put in? Are
they able to see related knowledge articles that may solve their issue before
having to submit a ticket? Are they getting what they need out of the system?
Ask them! Get their input when designing a Self Service portal for instance.
How can you expect a customer to actually want to use your ITSM tool if it’s poorly
designed? Talk to your Marketing department. This group of customers entire job
is around getting external customers in the door. Why can’t you leverage their
experience in getting your internal customers in your door? Talk to the group
that will be putting in the most tickets, the group that’s most demanding when
it comes to resolutions. At the end of the day you’ll need their buy in and it’s
always better to have customers on your side.
Measurement – You need to be able to measure not
just your success, but the success of your customers. Numbers matter. Being
able to quickly tell how many tickets are out there, how many P1’s, is your
team closing tickets quickly and correctly? Also consider CSAT (Customer
Satisfaction) scores. Using surveys is an
effective way of taking a pulse of the organization and seeing where you may be
falling short. Taking your monthly numbers to the heads of your customer’s
departments is also a good way of getting buy in. Showing them how many tickets
your team closed for their team, how quickly those tickets were addressed, how
many are outstanding, obstacles you’ve encountered. Working with that team to
make not just them happy, but your IT team happy. It holds groups accountable and
gives everyone the feeling that they are contributing to the overall strategy
and goals of the company.
At the end of the day you want your customer to feel like they are getting taken care of. That the problems they experience day to day are taken seriously and that the resolutions are swift and precise. CX is a huge factor in the success of not just ITSM implementations, but really any changes to a process that a company decides to take. Having departments fight with each other helps no one and can really drag a company down fast. Collaborate, listen, plan together and be consistent. Focus on a unifying strategy, one where everyone wins. Understand that the experience can vary customer to customer and you need to account for that. Design your system in a way the makes sense and is efficient to use. Be able to measure your success and share it with everyone. This isn’t a one-time deal either. You will need to continuously change, redefine, and improve on your processes, tools, and your understanding of the CX. If you follow certain guidelines though, it can make their experience and yours a lot easier.
-Chris Revelia, Consultant