6: Increase IT Customer Satisfaction
The service desk is the face of IT. For many end users, the service desk is the only touch point with IT; so, much of the responsibility for IT customer satisfaction ratings falls on the service desk. As far as the end user is concerned, the service desk is IT. They don't care about what's under the hood.
IT customer expectations are a moving target. The consumerization of IT and the support experiences that consumers have are influencing what they expect from IT in the workplace. As customer expectations increase, service desks must improve performance to track changing IT customer expectations. If you do nothing to improve, increasing expectations mean that the perception of IT will decline over time. As the perception of IT drops, business units and end users are more likely to bring in technology that is not sanctioned by corporate IT (Shadow IT and BYOD) – and budget begins to leak out of the IT department.
IT customers know that things sometimes go wrong. It’s how you deal with the issue that counts. A quick and decisive response will get the end user productive again and they will be satisfied that the service desk has helped them get their job done. This is the key to IT customer satisfaction: removing friction and reducing frustration.
IT people are usually too focused on the technology, so IT customer satisfaction metrics are essential to ensure that what IT does lines up with what the business needs.
When the service desk is more effective at dealing with issues, the perception of IT within the organization increases. With fewer detractors, IT stands a better chance of getting more funding for further improvements.
If you want to improve something you need to manage it. If you want to manage something you need to measure it. Customer satisfaction surveys quantify the perception of IT (if you ask the right questions). They help you target improvements, and give you a benchmark against which to show progress. Commit to regular surveys and use the same metrics so you can benchmark and graph progress (this means planning your surveys in advance). There should be some purpose and structure to the metrics you gather as part of an IT customer survey.
It is important to keep the survey focused, with as few questions as possible. There is an inverse correlation between the number of questions in a survey and the number of responses you will get. More questions mean fewer submissions (and less data to work with). Less data means a less accurate view of performance.
Pick a primary metric to report upwards. Many IT organizations are adapting the Net Promoter Score (NPS) question as a tool for measuring perception of IT: On a scale of 0 to 10, how satisfied are you with IT support?
This is a simple quantitative question, which is followed by a qualitative question: Why did you give this score?
The NPS question gives you a top-level metric; the follow-up question draws out open feedback which can be analysed for themes and specific issues to be addressed.
The NPS question and the follow-up question can be used to benchmark the perception of IT and provide some indication of where improvements need to be made. However, it is a good idea to also include some lower-level questions which ask explicitly about what is most important to the end user community. To do this, you will need to look at which factors influence customer satisfaction (number of dropped calls, agent attitudes, first-time-fix rate, availability of self-service tools and more).
Essentially, the purpose of an IT customer satisfaction survey is not just to show how good (or bad) a job IT is doing, but to find out what end users want – and give it to them. From here, you can prioritize specific improvement (like a self-service portal, more staff, more training or new service desk tools) to drive up IT customer satisfaction and increase the perception of IT within the business.