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Bad IT Customer Service Starts At The Top
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JerryJ
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JerryJ,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/14/2013 | 5:54:50 PM
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.
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
8/14/2013 | 12:53:49 AM
re: Bad IT Customer Service Starts At The Top
Kindness is a tall order in corporate cultures that push employees hard for results. And most IT organizations have been forced to push hard during this past recession. Even as the economy revives, it'll be hard for many people to keep a little kindness in the day for those customers who really need it. But Jonathan is right; it is the magic ingredient. Charlie
colorblindjames
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colorblindjames,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/13/2013 | 10:09:46 PM
re: Bad IT Customer Service Starts At The Top
IMO bad customer service is down to two things; broken business processes (someone has failed to do the customer journey) and a lack of employee empowerment.

In many cases "bad" employees are poorly motivated, tied to rigid business processes with no opportunity to use their discretion to solve a business problem.

To find out more:
http://peterwhibley.wordpress....
MyW0r1d
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MyW0r1d,
User Rank: Strategist
8/13/2013 | 3:03:30 PM
re: Bad IT Customer Service Starts At The Top
As I read through the article, I couldn't help but think you should have forwarded a copy to NSA and BAH. Perhaps it would have saved them a lot of embarrassment. :-)
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
8/13/2013 | 2:27:12 PM
re: Bad IT Customer Service Starts At The Top
Emotional IQ has become more crucial as IT pros collaborate with an ever-wider set of people -- yet it is not a skill they're used to bragging about. And if you're hiring, how do you judge someone's emotional IQ? You don't have metrics to use to judge. You ask former coworkers. What other techniques do you use, hiring managers?
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
8/13/2013 | 2:23:26 PM
re: Bad IT Customer Service Starts At The Top
It's tough to generalize. From my experience, customer service isn't Job 1 for a lot of financial, HR -- and editorial -- departments as well. Jonathan is right that great customer service starts at the top, with the culture established by executive leaders.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
8/13/2013 | 2:17:22 PM
re: Bad IT Customer Service Starts At The Top
That certain IT skills are in fact becoming commodities may be what FINALLY drives technologists to take this "soft skills" thing seriously -- because let's face it, most don't now.


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