Is Customer Experience Important To Internal IT Organizations? With Free Statistics!

You can guess where I stand on this otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this blog and others like it ...

Yesterday I was a guest speaker in an Axios webinar, called “Using ITSM to Increase Business User Satisfaction and the Perception of IT,” during which we ran four audience polls. I thought it would be great to share the poll results and my thoughts.

The webinar story arc …

I set the scene using many of my favorite graphics including the following which shows the gulf between the business’ and IT’s own opinions of how well the average internal IT organizations is doing …

… Before starting to look at how what we do and measure either increases or decreases the customer experience – including the fact that we often seem to be too focused on what we do in IT rather than what we achieve through what we do in IT (and IT service management (ITSM)). I also included a section on common metrics issues which I’ve previous blogged on here and here; and the customer experience work of my Forrester colleagues and its applicability to internal IT.

The poll results and my thoughts …

1. Do you consider the people that consume your IT services to be:

  • End Users                       17%
  • Internal Customers          49%
  • Business Users                28%
  • Other                               6%

Not unsurprisingly, given the webinar subject, half the audience was in a customer-centric state of mind and only 17% were aligned with the end-user mentality. The Other 6% might be external customers in the context of service providers.

2. Do you consider your IT department to be:

  • Technology-centric          50%
  • Service-centric                33%
  • Customer-centric             17%

The 50% that are still technology-centric is scary, and I admire the responders’ honesty. With hindsight it would have been interesting to ask a secondary question around whether there had been a corporate investment in ITIL and therefore some expectation of service-centricity.

3. Are you currently using a customer satisfaction metric to measure IT performance?

  • Net Promoter Score           9%
  • C-Sat                               9%
  •  Our own CS metrics       61%
  •  None                             21%

Key points for me here are:

  1. I’m surprised at the uptake of NPS but this could be employees of IT service organizations
  2. That one fifth or responders don’t measure customer satisfaction
  3. The 61% that do their own thing are missing the opportunity to compare against benchmarks. And yes I know industry benchmarks can be dangerous.

4. Do you have an agenda to improve business user satisfaction in the next 12 months?

  • Yes                                   60%
  • No                                    24%
  • We do now!                      16%

Again the high number of yeses was expected due to the webinar title but I’m pleased to see the additional 16% who have been inspired (maybe too strong a word?) to go away and look at customer/business user satisfaction after the webinar.

It is a quick blog but I know people love stats. If you would like to view the on demand version of the webinar it can be accessed here (registration required).

As always, your thoughts and opinions are encouraged – this includes you Roy Atkinson of HDI … how do these stats stack up against yours?

Comments

Service centric is quite different from customer centric

Hi Stephen - sorry I missed the webinar - I'll check the replay. A few quick comments as the topic of customer satisfaction is at the heart of the outside-in for service work I do.

As you likely recognize, there is a vast difference between service centricity and customer centricity, assuming service mans a focus or bias towards designing and delivering ' a service' in the form of an application listed in a catalog, and service in the form of outcomes and a suitable customer experience.

I suspect a large number of respondents thought being service centric was the goal for ITSM initiatives and tool implementations. Something I still regard as 'inside-out' thinking.

Its somewhat expected, but still alarming that only 17% recognize or suggest they are 'customer centric'. We can only hope they truly know what that means.

I've similarly detected an increased awareness of NPS in IT, but I'm not convinced its being used properly. I have seen the 0-10 scale in action but it is seldom structured in the personal manner for greatest effect.

As an example to illustrate what I mean here, its best asked right after a specific customer event, a support call is a good backdrop, and asked thus, "are you now able to (do what you needed to do and the reason why you called support), would you recommend the service I've provided for this situation to a friend or colleague?"

I see airlines include this in emails speaking to a recent flight, and hotels to the last stay. So it has to be very situation and event specific and ask you if you would recommend the service provided to someone you know. Very powerful when used as a great indicator as to where customer engagement strategies should focus.

Hi Stephen - I enjoyed your

Hi Stephen - I enjoyed your webinar and I was thrilled that, thanks to the likes of people like yourself and Ian, there feels like the customer-centric movement is gaining traction.

Ian - I recommend all our clients (internal IT departments) use an NPS-approach, but drop the "would you recommend" style of question altogether. I believe a "how satisfied are you" question is fine. The important thing is not the question itself but what you do with the answers:

- Are you calling back detractors to see if you can make things right (or at least learn something about how to do thing better next time)?

- Are you collating feedback and mining it for themes and trends?

- Are you using the score to monitor your performance over time (and, ideally, benchmark your performance with others)?