Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My customer experience

Last weekend I was in the hospital as my wife gave birth to our son Zachary.  As I was walking in the hallways of the hospital, I realized that hospitals have changed alot in the the last thirty years so.  When my brother was born in 1980, I remember walking in the hospitals and seeing how the hospital was setup.  It was sterile, white, and frankly boring. It is similar to the scene in the classic movie, One who flew over the cuckoo's nest.  I posted a picture from the movie.  Do you notice the whites and grays in this picture.  

Now here are pictures from the hospital where my wife gave birth to our son

Do you notice the blue & gray carpet, the nice wood floors and the halls have beautiful paintings and pictures.  This is typical of any hospital in the US in the twenty first century.

I liked the change and it made my experience in the hospital pleasurable. The doctors, nurses and the staff are extremely polite and the overall experience was great. 

In March 2012, I was given the opportunity to work for my IT organization's customer service department.  I look at customer requests and enable the requests to get processed to the appropriate IT service delivery group.  I enjoy working in the customebr service department because it has provided me an opportunity to assist in the transformation of an IT organization. 

A few years ago, IT organizations were viewed as a collection of computer geeks who wrote client server software or fixed PCs.  Couple of years ago, I talked someone in the US government who was complaining that typical IT person is an introvert who enjoyed working with technology.  He stated this type of workforce was hurting the overall image of his IT department.

I talked to numerous people in the private sector and public sector and there is a frustration that IT budgets are getting cut, IT functions are being outsourced and most of the time they don't understand how they can join the transformation rather than fight it.

After my experience in the hospital and reading Gartner, Forrester articles, I believe IT organizations need to emphasize customer experience management.  Customer relationship management is key however the relationships cannot become strong without providing a rich customer experience.  If I am a customer, I would like the IT department to be proactive, understand my business and needs and enable me to do my job better.  If I don't enjoy working with the IT department then I won't be able to develop a mutually constructive relationship.  For a rich customer experience, I would like the IT department to be transparent, and provide me good service.  Not service like this:

So whenever I think about customer experience, I think about my hospital experience.  I am sure we can do improve the customer experience in IT.  We don't Peggys like the ad above.