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IT Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Identifying the Important IT Challenges Facing Your Company

Is IT (Information Technology) helping to make your organization highly competitive and efficient, or is IT your company's Achilles heel? Unfortunately, at many companies if you ask IT's customers this question, the answer is "IT is our Achilles heel" or "we aren't sure". Most organizations spend a significant amount of money on IT without getting the results customers, employees and the company needs.
Running a highly effective IT organization isn't easy. Tight budgets, fast changing IT requirements, demanding IT customers, competitive business pressure, IT staffing issues and a highly complex hardware, software and network environment are some of the reasons for IT falling short at many companies.
CTO's, IT managers and IT directors are often under extreme pressure to achieve better IT performance. Many IT leaders are on a treadmill, reacting to problems and trying to keep out of trouble rather than proactively identifying the key issues and taking preemptive action to avoid and solve problems before their impact is significant.
Outsourcing all or part of IT doesn't automatically solve all IT problems. IT outsourcing companies face many of the same problems confronting in-house IT departments. Just like the performance of in-house IT resources, the performance of outsourced IT functions needs to be measured and managed closely.
Conducting an IT customer satisfaction survey or an IT help desk customer satisfaction survey is the best way to identify the strengths and weaknesses of in-house and outsourced IT resources and to hear first-hand from IT customers about what IT needs to do to achieve consistently high levels of IT customer satisfaction. In the IT customer satisfaction surveys Quantisoft conducts for large and small businesses and other types of organizations, IT customers are continuously providing feedback that shows a clear need for significant increases in IT performance. Their feedback includes identification of the things that are working well and satisfying IT customers, as well as the things that are causing dissatisfaction and that need to be improved.
Here are just a few of the many issues that IT customers typically identify in IT customer satisfaction surveys as causes for their dissatisfaction with IT support:
  1. Enterprise systems are causing pain for IT customers and the company's customers - Enterprise systems including SAP, Oracle, SalesForce.com and other software applications are cumbersome and time consuming to use, and data is frequently inaccurate and incomplete. IT customers often say the systems were first implemented a few to many years ago and there still are implementation problems that have not been resolved. The problems frustrate employees and cause them many extra hours of work. According to IT customers, poorly implemented enterprise systems also impact the company's customers and suppliers due to billing and transaction errors and a myriad of other problems. These problems contribute to lost sales, significant customer dissatisfaction and countless customer problems and complaints that frustrate customers, sales and support staff.

    In one IT customer satisfaction survey a sales person commented: "I can spend my time selling, or I can spend my time using and updating our CRM system, but I can't do both. Our CRM system is very cumbersome to update and use and it buys me very little. Our sales managers use our CRM system to measure the wrong things."

  2. Slow response time - IT customers often have to wait a long time to talk with a Help Desk or Desk Side Support technician, or to receive a call back or response to an e-mail service request.
  3. Premature closing of IT incident tickets
  4. Underpowered equipment - Old, underpowered desktop and laptop computers and slow networks, frustrating IT customers and seriously impacting their productivity.
  5. Inadequate support for smart phones and other portable devices - Some companies are not willing to provide their sales and field service employees with smart phones and laptop computers needed for timely communications with customers and internal support staff from the field. This is very frustrating for employees that need to be responsive to their customers. It also makes it hard for companies to compete with other companies that provide these devices to their sales and field service staff.
  6. Systems not configured to provide access to employees working from the field - At many companies the sales force and many of their field service employees spend most or all of their time working in the field. In IT surveys employees often comment on their inability to access needed information and to perform other functions for lack of access to company systems from the field.
  7. Poorly trained and inexperienced IT staff - IT Help Desk and Desk Side Support staff often lack the training, knowledge and information needed to perform their jobs well.
  8. Rude IT staff - In many IT departments, some IT Help Desk and other IT staff members are discourteous. IT customers have zero tolerance for rude behavior.
  9. Poorly designed websites - When IT customer satisfaction surveys include questions about company websites, we often see comments saying the website is hard to navigate and it lacks important information needed by prospects and customers.
Well designed IT customer satisfaction surveys identify a wide range of IT problems that are impacting your company overall, as well as identifying the things that IT is doing well. The survey reports should also provide results by department, location and other demographics, enabling focused improvement initiatives. While a one-time IT customer satisfaction survey can help a lot, annual or semi-annual IT surveys are recommended to assess ongoing progress and to identify new problems and opportunities in isolated areas of the company as well as companywide.
Of equal importance to conducting IT customer satisfaction surveys, IT management must be committed to taking action based on the survey findings. To help facilitate communication of the survey results to IT staff, company management and IT customers, and creation of IT survey action plans, part of our IT customer satisfaction survey process includes performing analysis of the survey responses and preparing an executive summary report. The report includes a summary of the survey findings, recommendations based on the findings, and a benchmarking comparison of the survey results with results from other IT surveys.
A final thought - While some IT managers might think they accurately understand how their customers feel about IT, if they are not conducting IT customer satisfaction surveys, there is a high probability that they are working with filtered information and that they are missing out on some of the key issues that are causing dissatisfaction with IT. They are likely also missing the information needed to focus solutions where they will achieve the greatest benefit. Given the relatively low cost of conducting an IT customer satisfaction survey, no IT manager can afford to run their department without the benefit of making decisions and taking action based on IT customer survey results.
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