Success in any business depends on customer satisfaction, and the IT services industry is no exception.
But how can an IT department measure customer satisfaction and maintain it at the highest level?
In this article, our specialists in IT Service Management solutions shed some light on the matter.
Internal vs external customer: understanding the difference
For an IT department, the means of managing and measuring customer satisfaction will often vary depending on the customers themselves and adapt to each type of user. This is partly due to the fact that these two types of customers generally have very different needs, requirements and recourses.
Moreover, the idea that the satisfaction of external customers should be prioritized over internal customer satisfaction would be wrong, since both will have an impact on organizational performance.
What is an internal customer?
Every IT services company has its own users to manage and these are its internal customers. For example, internal customers may be part of accounting or marketing teams that rely on hardware.
These teams pay the organization’s IT department in the form of a theoretical expense, since they actually work within the same company. It’s as if the left pocket pays the right.
What is an external customer?
A user that is not a member of its IT service provider’s organization is considered an external customer.
They pay for all services they receive, negotiate service level agreements (SLAs) and impose penalties when service targets are not met.
External clients generally play hardball. They have nothing to lose when making their expectations known. Any wrong decision or error on the part of the IT service provider could result in the end of the partnership and even damage its reputation.
Getting quality feedback is a great way to manage customer satisfaction
How can you gauge the level of customer satisfaction with an IT department if there is no effective way for customers to express themselves on the matter? This is why strategies that allow users to give feedback to their IT service provider are important.
This can be done through various means such as online surveys or in-person meetings. Sometimes, the simple fact that a customer feels that their opinion on IT services is considered and valued can increase their level of satisfaction.
Offer IT solutions tailored to each customer to ensure greater satisfaction
Customers generally do not appreciate being treated like numbers and would much rather have solutions that are tailor-made for them. After receiving good feedback from users, an IT department should develop strategies and functionalities that will address the issues raised.
It is far easier for IT departments to develop custom solutions by working with easily customizable ITSM software. Then, with the help of an ITSM consulting team, the software can be configured and adapted to meet the needs of the users.
Strive for continuous improvement by staying on top of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Certain key performance indicators can speak volumes about the quality of service offered by an IT department: average time to resolution, cost per incident, responses to customer surveys, etc.
These ITSM metrics should be carefully monitored by IT service providers and their customers as they measure performance in a quantifiable way and allow them to set actionable targets.
A continuous improvement plan can even be implemented to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction by setting ever-higher performance targets and providing the means to achieve them.
An ITSM solution such as iTop Professional allows IT departments to rigorously monitor these KPIs and ensure that performance is in line with user and management expectations.
SEI Team helps you ensure internal and external customer satisfaction
In conclusion, an IT department should be able to identify its users and understand their needs in order to better manage customer satisfaction and then offer them customized solutions. It should also ensure that services are delivered efficiently by evaluating them based on specific metrics, chosen according to targeted goals.
If the advice given in this article applies to you and you would like to apply these tips in your IT department, please contact us today! We will help you implement IT service management solutions that increase customer satisfaction and contribute to the success of your business.