Customer experience: how can IT contribute?
A recent report from analyst Gartner says that businesses attempting to improve customer experience are prioritising consistency across contact channels, and ensuring the business works in a unified fashion.

Achieving these goals requires a mix of strategic clarity, effective training, operational prowess and smart processes. In other words, it is difficult to be unified and consistent.

This is one of those instances where IT can deliver huge dividends. Yes, IT will not on its own create a strategy, or deliver training. But once the business has direction and skills, integrated IT becomes invaluable for delivering the consistency and joined-up working that is essential for creating a seamless journey for customers.

Why do you think you have to repeat yourself when transferring between departments? Or explain the whole story again when shifting from online to offline channels? Or telling a customer service advisor your account number despite already keying it into the your phone to ID yourself? These problems exist for one reason: poor IT. Lack of integration between legacy systems and ill-defined or outdated processes behind these tools is the reason why customers suffer a disjointed and frustrating interaction with your organisation.

The customer experience is clearly influenced greatly by IT. But you may wonder what this has to do with the Service Desk? After all, the Service Desk just deals with internal IT problems; how can it help the contact centre, or the online team, or the fulfilment department? But think about it for a second: the Service Desk does fix IT problems all the time, and alter processes and systems when one of problems become reoccurring. This core ability means the Service Desk is perfectly positioned to advise on how to record, respond to and fix IT issues.

We often hear about ITSM principles/processes and technologies being used to power business functions such as HR and facilities management. But the Service Desk model can also be extremely valuable to troubleshooting and improving the customer experience.

So the next time you have the opportunity to speak to the contact centre manager, or anyone with responsibility for customer experience, ask them how they report and eliminate problems caused repeat calls – IT and non-IT related. The Service Desk may be able to help create a process which directly improves customer satisfaction and in doing so, prove its own value to the business.