Recently, I have been looking to replace our rather old and dilapidated kitchen, and never having done this before, I did the only thing I know how and Googled it. This returned pages of kitchen shops and designers which we started to go through, and it really made me think about employee experience in IT. Before you think I am mad, let me explain.
Can Online Service replace People?
Firstly, there were several kitchen shops that were only online, and we couldn’t speak to them. There was no contact number and we just had to view what they did online and contact them via their website. Although they were cheap, a terrible experience resulted in looking somewhere else.
This made me think of IT support portals, lots of companies have them and at Bright Horse we have even won awards for building them. However, a lot of companies use portals for deflection, not self-resolution. Some companies pay lip service to self-help, they are really only implementing a portal to take the calls away from the service desk – “don’t call us – log it online!” A bit like this online kitchen shop, this does not enable employees and does not deliver a good outcome.
Managed Service Providers – Does ‘’The Biggest’’ equal ‘’The Best’’?
For the ones who did allow us to speak to them or had places we could visit, some of them kept telling us how they are “one of the biggest in the UK and probably had the most branches and designers”. They told us this as if to say that big therefore equals best.
This made me think of outsourcing and MSPs (Managed Service Providers). Lots of MSPs still rely on the fact that they are big so therefore must be good – they don’t mention experience or if they do – it only runs an inch deep in their organisation (for the majority of you that are younger than me – an inch is 2.54 cm). However, a growing group of perhaps more innovative, forward-thinking MSPs is now realising that size is not a measure of greatness, it is the experience that matters – lots of these companies are seeking our help in delivering the right measures for how they can enable good outcomes for their customers.
Customer Service: ‘Help’ and ‘Ownership’
Finally, other kitchen providers kept telling us that our plans were wrong, and we should change our design ideas to meet their way of thinking. They told us that they design kitchens all the time so they know best.
This made me think of all the things we often do in IT which we do from an IT perspective, not an employee perspective. We deploy new applications, new services, and devices, often thinking we know best but unless we ask those we are serving and listen to what they say – how do we know what is best?
The company we chose, in the end, was one that was not the “biggest”, they had real people that we could talk to and who listened to and tried to understand our needs. The company asked intelligent questions about what we wanted and actively listened and responded to our answers.
The biggest thing I learned was that we chose the company that gave us the best experience, the company that made us feel good about what we were doing – they made us feel comfortable in our choices. They were not the cheapest people we had a quote from, but they did offer the best value.