re: Bad IT Customer Service Starts At The Top
Three cheers, Jonathan.
World-class organizations are guided by their mission and vision, and by their core values. Core values are the organizationG«÷s essential and enduring tenetsG«Ųa small set of timeless guiding principles. Leadership, from the CIO on down, must set, empower, and reinforce this "tone from the top."
One of my [former] organization's core valuesG«Ųits primary valueG«Ųis Exceptional Customer Service. I believe that customer satisfaction is the fundamental measure of an IT organization's success, and we sought to be highly regarded not only for the quality and value of our tangible technical products and services, but also for our responsiveness, assurance, reliability and empathy.
To promote and strengthen this value, we developed in our staff a customer service orientation and skill set that focuses on creating new opportunities and competitive advantages for our internal clients. This is accomplished in three parts. First, all staff promoted into leadership positions, including a role known as G«£service managerG«•, are provided and encouraged to read a copy of the book IT At Your Service by L. Paul Ouellette. Second, we contracted to bring onsite the Ouellette and Associates two-day workshop G«£IT as a Service Organization.G«• Beginning with user support personnel who man the G«£front linesG«•, we trained 10-20% of our staff annually. Thirdly, we reinforced and exemplified this (and our other two core values, Expert Deliver and Value-Added Solutions/Services) with a quarterly awards celebration.
To measure the effectiveness of both the formal training and managementG«÷s reinforcement of positive customer G«£moments of truthG«• through rewards and recognition, customer satisfaction surveys are a prominent metric for the organization. The survey seeks to measure not only user perceived value and satisfaction with the tangible product or service, but as well the intangibles of IT staffs' responsiveness, assurance, reliability and empathy. The results of the survey are openly discussed in staff meetings, and used to plan improvements in products, processes, and staff training.