In the ZDNet article IT managers: Customer service trumps managing costs, the author references a study of 220+ US-based Information Technology managers about their priorities, and customer service was listed as a high priority to the point that 70% felt that customer service was more important to them than managing costs. Now this is important to note, particularly since technology is often seen as a driver of productivity in organizations and, therefore, a cost reducer.
Of those responding to the survey, 65% said they felt “personal pressure” to provide good customer service. So what is driving this “personal pressure?” In most organizations, pressure to provide great customer service comes primarily from the customer. Now it may go through executive management to the middle managers, but it starts with the customers.
In the world of Information Technology, those customers are typically other departments in the organization. They’re complaining about the lack of responsiveness. They’re complaining about technology people too focused on the technology and not focused enough on the people to whom they’re supplying the technology. They’re complaining about attitudes of arrogance. They’re complaining about cumbersome processes to get a request submitted, an issue resolved, or a need met.
So when I.T. managers say they feel “personal pressure,” it’s typically coming directly from company executives who understand how overall company performance in serving the external customer is impacted by service to internal customers.
Now look at your business. Think about all the people internally that need to share information, ideas, technology, supplies, and materials with each other to meet that end customer’s need. To figure out how to make great improvement in customer service to external customers, figure out how to serve internal customers more efficiently, simply, and respectfully.
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