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I'm a Chief Experience Officer - Giarte

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I'm a Chief Experience Officer - Giarte

  1. 1. I’M A CHIEF EXPERIENCE OFFICER USER EXPERIENCE SLA xLA
  2. 2. 02 USER EXPERIENCE WWW.GIARTE.COM USER EXPERIENCE I’m a Chief Experience Officer Written by Marco Gianotten In the past, innovations like the PC and mobile phone first made their entrance on the business market. Only much later, following substantial price decreases, they became commonplace among consumers. Now the reverse is true: companies mainly follow trends that emerge in the world of consumer technology. The consequence: end users place high demands on Corporate IT and behave like business-consumers. Many CIOs realise that user experi- ence (UX) will play a prominent role within IT performance management. This chapter discusses the why and how. We live in an economy that increasingly revolves around perception: what customers feel, think and experience is the driving force. Social media, comparison sites and user reviews feed the experience economy and change the way companies and customers interact, not only digitally but also physically. In the retail world, the credo is increasingly ‘bricks and clicks’: strong growth in online retail is regularly associated with investments in the conversion of counters, shops, show- rooms and bank branches into experience cen- tres and flagship stores. The experience economy might look like a fad, but the way in which managers’ measure the performance of their own organisations has already changed significantly. At more and more companies, customer service is no longer judged in terms of efficiency (for example, the number of min- utes per customer contact or costs per FTE) but in terms of customer experience. Many companies rely on the Net Promoter Score: the extent to which customers recommend the company or product to friends and colleagues. IT has a major impact on customer experience User eXperience (UX) plays a prominent role in the services and extends to the design, the marketing and the management of customer channels, such as websites and contact centres. Services and products may in no way harm the customer experience. Designing, testing and improving the usability of websites is common- place in the world of e-commerce. Companies do their utmost to help customers as much as they can during the orientation and sales pro- cess and actively try to avoid ‘shopping cart abandonment’. In e-commerce, there is a direct relationship between usability and commercial ratios, such as average revenue per order and repeat visits. Mobilising positive customer
  3. 3. 03 USER EXPERIENCE WWW.GIARTE.COM experience produces sales. The growing influ- ence of IT on our daily lives as consumers makes an ever increasing impression on our user experience. If online banking is briefly unavailable, this immediately causes negative emotions: that are socially contagious. The problems with ING’s Dutch internet banking on 3 April 2013 produced more than twenty- thousand tweets (#ING) in just a few hours. The employee is also a consumer In the experience economy, consumers hate it when companies do not do what they promise, if helpdesks do not really help or are hard to reach, or if the information provided is inade- quate or appears to be incorrect. The experi- ence economy also hurtles into the world of business IT. The modern consumer is not only found in the high streets or online stores, but also within your own organisation. There they are ‘dressed’ as employees and end users, or the internal IT customers. As end users, they adopt more and more consumer behaviour: IT sys- tems should ‘just work properly’ and the IT department ‘should be easy to do business with’. End users hate it when they have to call back because the problem is not completely solved, because they have to keep on repeating what the problem is, or because they are always faced with people who are not empowered to solve the problem. What does the end user actually want? End users expect user-friendly business appli- cations and portals, a decisive service desk and smart mobile apps that allow them to monitor or control key processes. As organisations dis- cover that working entails more than bricks, brains and bytes (the key elements of the New Way of Working, short NWoW), the expecta- tions of IT are raised. With another way of working for employees, the emphasis shifts to behaviour: the conduct, the content of the work, working together in multidisciplinary teams and learning by sharing knowledge in the workplace with co-workers. The performance of IT is becoming increasingly important here: it affects the personal productivity of employ- ees. Users (and their managers) are therefore becoming more critical and verbal: they con- User experience is more than just technology. The technical performance of systems is often different from what users actually experience. There may be a considerable difference between the absolute availa- bility of core systems (usually far above 99 percent on the basis of 168 hours per week) and the perception of the users. What do they notice in practice of less than 1 percent technical downtime? Health insurer Agis measured how its IT users experience availability. Their expe- rience was much worse than one would suspect from the technical availability. Every minute of downtime was magnified, especially during peak periods; systems’ slow responsiveness was seen by users as a form of unavailability. Poor usability of business applications leads to longer learning curves, lower labour productivity and dissatisfaction. Usability sometimes also comes under pressure with off-the-shelf software. For example, Microsoft was harshly criticised during the introduction of its software package for Windows 8 because of the high learning curve and an inconsistent user experience: Windows 8 works diffe- rently on a tablet than on a desktop.
  4. 4. 04 USER EXPERIENCE WWW.GIARTE.COM sider properly working IT as a matter of hygiene; problems and obstacles in its use have now become dissatisfiers. If users complain about the sluggishness of a core application such as CRM on their tablets, the IT depart- ment does not stand on strong ground if it argues that ‘the application is performing prop- erly according to monitoring in the data centre’. There is no point relying on user experience if the negative user experiences are downplayed or dismissed with the argument that ‘the SLA has been complied with’. In other words: the most important step is to recognise that expe- rience, and thus the perception of the end user, is the truth. What do IT organisations do? IT organisations are until now used to measur- ing and managing mainly on the basis of techni- cal performance. With classical office automation, that was hardly ever a problem: IT organisations – or their service providers in the case of outsourcing – had their own servers, networks, workstations and applications. If an application on a PC was too slow or hard to access, it was fairly easy to figure out the tech- nical causes because IT had control over the entire chain. Nowadays more and more func- tionality is virtualised: delivered to notebooks, tablets and smartphones – purchased by employees themselves – by means of web appli- We are the 99%The end-users many CIOs realise that user experience will play a prominent role within performance management
  5. 5. 05 USER EXPERIENCE WWW.GIARTE.COM cations or with mobile apps. With trends like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and mobile internet, IT loses its absolute control over, for example, workplace hardware, operating systems on devices and networks. As a result, control over user experience also declines. But even without this control over the technology you have to be accountable for managing and improving user experience. Classic SLAs are for technocrats The good news is that more and more CIOs recognise the importance of user experience. More and more IT departments are conducting research into user satisfaction. Nevertheless, customer satisfaction and user friendliness are often the poor relation in IT. After years of relying on ‘hard’ data, it is not easy to give space to subjective indicators. IT departments have difficulty initiating the appropriate The new measure for satisfaction. Who dares? In its new outsourcing contracts, ABN AMRO has decided to rely on four KPIs that improve the cooperation between all parties in all the multi-vendor outsourced IT service supply- chains: aka as collaborative KPIs. Two of the four KPIs are subjective in nature: business satisfaction and project excellence. Business satisfaction is the annual score that key deci- sion makers award the IT. Project excellence is the evaluation of completed projects by business sponsors. The satisfaction is mea- sured on three points: a) quality of the deliv- ered functionality, b) lead time and c) value for money. A few years ago, DSM decided to use KPIs in which the voice of the end user is paramount. As a single point of contact, it makes no sense to close an incident administratively (closing a ticket) with the aim of reaching agreements about the average resolution time of the SLA, while the problem is not properly resolved for the user. The opinion of the IT user has become overriding: after the ticket has been closed, he assesses whether he is satisfied with the solution by means of an online survey. In an updated contract with KPN, ING has decided to work with a ‘new style’ SLA: an experience level agreement (XLA). XLAs are characterised by the lack of penalties, the focus on continuous improvement and a closed loop. If an individual user has a bad experience following a service moment (inci- dent handling, delivery from service cata- logue, answer to a question), he or she is called back to resolve the complaint. Even if the cause of the complaint lies with the solu- tion groups of third parties, KPN declares ownership of the entire chain for resolving incidents. This closed circle should lead to a culture of improvement (instead of a claim culture) where the user experience (rather than technical performance) occupies cen- tre stage. As with ABN AMRO, ING also has a collaborative KPI for all parties (thus includ- ing ING itself): the satisfaction of employ- ees about their workplace is expressed by a so-called happiness ratio. This is the ratio of users who rate their workplace with a 7 or more to those who award a 5 or less. The value 6 is neutral. The ratio is increased by one point each year.
  6. 6. 06 USER EXPERIENCE WWW.GIARTE.COM improvement processes on the basis of results. The methods used do not always provide any useful control information; sometimes manag- ers do not know which buttons they should press. For example, little is known about which leading indicators ultimately affect the lagging indicator user satisfaction. Focussing on user experience means that Service Level Agreements (SLAs) must be adapted to the new reality: not only managing on the basis of technical control ratios, but also on the basis of output. On the one hand, this output affects the impact of IT on the business and, on the other hand, in the percep- tion of customers and users. In outsourcing, new agreements – in the direction of XLAs, eXperience Level Agreements – will also have to be made. User satisfaction 2.0: hard and soft User experience is becoming increasingly important with both the design and functional- ity of management and the corresponding ser- vice. The measurement of user satisfaction about the workplace or business applications will have to be richer and deeper in order to achieve a targeted improvement of quality. It is important to combine soft data (opinions; answers to open and closed questions) with hard data (from IT Service Management sys- tems, such as the active directory, service desk tooling and CMDB) in order to identify causes of discontent. In this way, differences become clear between, for example, locations, type of users and type of workplaces. The combined data ensures that you can now provide the answers. For the different categories of inci- dents, what is the critical time period after which the satisfaction plummets? Is there a connection with working days or periods within one day? And with the type of users? In addi- tion to measuring the user experience, it is also important to have access to tooling with which user transactions can be measured for each business process by means of a (mobile) device and divided into components, such as render time of the device, response time of the infra- structure and the end-to-end transaction time. Sentiments and discussions: the social part of UX By analysing the open comments in satisfaction research (with the aid of language technology), the sentiments about corporate IT can be made clearly visible and connections found within Focussing on user experience means that SLAs must be adapted to the new reality
  7. 7. 07 USER EXPERIENCE WWW.GIARTE.COM Net Promoter Score In recent years, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) has successfully established itself in the row of top KPIs that (top) managers work with. The NPS indicates the extent to which custo- mers are willing to recommend a company or organisation. It is now ten years since the NPS was conceived by Frederick Reichheld. He saw the NPS as a solution for the problem that a high level of customer satisfaction did not appear to predict the loyalty of custo- mers. A disadvantage of working with the Net Promoter Score is that it is not exclusive; the figure is the total of the percentage of fans that awards a 9 or 10 minus the percentage of detractors that awards a 6 or less. The mid- dle group of passives is not included in the NPS score. An NPS of -5 can consist of 45% promoters, 10% passives and 50% detractors, but can also consist of 6% promoters, 88% passives and 11% detractors. These are sub- stantially different results with an identical final score. In addition, managers tend to opt for ‘low hanging fruit’: problem areas where you can relatively quickly and easily imple- ment improvements in order to quickly realise higher NPS scores. NPS also takes no account of the effect of outliers: an average favourable NPS score produces a distorted image if the 5% most dissatisfied customers furiously stir things up on social media. In other words, the way in which the NPS is used also says some- thing about the management culture within an organisation. Furthermore, considerable doubts are expressed among consumers about the value of the NPS. Kumar et al (2008) published an article in the Harvard Business Review about the results of an analysis carried out among 9,900 customers of a telecom company. It emerged from this that 81% of telecom cus- tomers said they would recommend their provider but only 30% of them actually did so. No more than 8% of those who received the recommendation eventually became a profi- table customer of the telecom company. The good news is that UX can clearly be managed and that the results will contribute to a stronger IT-business alignment
  8. 8. 08 USER EXPERIENCE WWW.GIARTE.COM multinationals too. The answer not only lies in measuring and clever analysis; the physical dia- logue with users is also important to encourage empathy. More and more IT organisations use customer panels to collect feedback. Rabobank regularly organises IT user panels with a mod- erator; IT professionals are present as listeners and feedback (active listening) what they have learned and would do differently in the services. UX with Net Promoter Score: ­sense of non-sense for IT? There are various methods and sources avail- able for monitoring the customer experience. Some CIOs have implemented the Net Promoter Score to measure the extent to which users would recommend their own IT organisa- tion. The advantage of the NPS is that this met- ric is part of the marketing and sales management lingua franca. However, there are also a number of disadvantages attached to working with NPS scores. Managers often do not know what they can do to improve the rec- ommended score. Furthermore, the NPS score can be misleading and the question is also what IT end users can and should do with the rec- ommendation question, since they do not have to deal with a free market with multiple provid- ers for their IT. Measuring user experience with Customer Effort Score In addition to the Net Promoter Score, a lot of attention has been paid to a new metric during the past five years or so. This is, more than the NPS, focused on the service that companies provide to their customers: the Customer Effort Score (CES). The CES indicates the amount of personal effort made by a customer to get something done by the company. The CES is applicable to proposals, questions, orders, returns and changing data. The CES is a five-point scale with the result being a number between 1 and 5; the lower the number, the less the effort. The CES is perfectly suitable as a customer experience metric for IT organisa- tions and can also be used in combination with user satisfaction. Another method that is widely used to monitor the user experience is recording the user’s opinion at ‘moments of truth’ (such as after the delivery of a service or the resolution of an incident) and then enriching this with ticket data (such as the start and stop time, where the elapsed time is the actual resolution time) in order to identify causes of dissatisfaction in the service chain. The recording of these opinions during ‘moments of truth’ – often by means of automated research following a telephone call or email exchange – has already been used for some time in the case of services provided to consumers. What is the ambition of the ­­­­ I­T  organisation? A service entity that mainly looks at the tech- nology or a team that successfully contributes to the growth and future of the business? Those who have an eye for the latter, must be open to matters such as (end) user experience and experience level agreements. The good news is that UX can clearly be managed and that the results will contribute to a stronger IT-business alignment. GIARTE P.O. Box 890 1000 AW Amsterdam The Netherlands Telephone +31 (0)20 622 3444 info@giarte.com www.giarte.com

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