Develop an IT Strategy to Support Customer Service

IT can help pave the way for a Customer Service transformation.

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Your Challenge

  • Customer expectations regarding service are rapidly evolving. As your current IT systems may be viewed as ineffective at delivering upon these expectations, a transformation is called for.
  • It is unclear whether IT has the system architecture/infrastructure to support modern Customer Service channels and technologies.
  • The relationship between Customer Service and IT is strained. Strategic system-related decisions are being made without the inclusions of IT, and IT is only engaged post-purchase to address integration or issues as they arise.
  • Scope: An ABPM-centric approach is taken to model the desired future state, and retrospectively look into the current state to derive gaps and sequential requirements. The requirements are bundled into logical IT initiatives to be plotted on a roadmap and strategy document.
  • Challenge: The extent to which business processes can be mapped down to task-based Level 5 can be challenging depending on the maturity of the organization.
  • Pain/Risk: The health of the relationship between IT and Customer Service may determine project viability. Poor collaboration and execution may strain the relationship further. 


Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • When transformation is called for, start with future state visioning. Current state analysis can impede your ability to see future needs and possibilities.
  • Solve your own problems by enhancing core or “traditional” Customer Service functionality first, and then move on to more ambitious business enabling functionality.
  • The more rapidly businesses can launch applications in today’s market, the better positioned they are to improve customer experience and reap the associated benefits. Ensure that technology is implemented with a solid strategy to support the initiative. 

Impact and Result

  • The right technology is established to support current and future Customer Service needs.
  • Streamlined and optimized Customer Service processes that drive efficiency and improve Customer Service quality are established.
  • The IT and Customer Service functions are both transformed from a cost center into a competitive advantage. 

Contributors

Subject Matter Expert

  • Bernard Szederkenyi, VP Customer Management – Koodo Mobile

Clients

  • Russell Schultz, Strategic Advisor – Ontario Public Service
  • Rick Roscoe, 311 Call Center Supervisor – City of Cleveland
  • Ross Patterson, Senior Director, Applications and Solutions Delivery – Cleaver Brooks
  • John Heinzel – Revere Electric Supply Co.

Vendors

  • Ryan Zuk, Analyst Relations – KANA
  • Joshua March, CEO and Founder – Conversocial

Want to Participate in Our Research?

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  • Upcoming Workshops: Accelerate your project with an onsite, expert analyst to facilitate a workshop for you. Contact us for more details.

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Get to Action

  1. Structure the project

    Identify project stakeholders, define roles, and create the project charter. 

  2. Define vision for future state

    Identify and model the future state of key business processes.

  3. Document current state and assess gaps

    Model the current state of key business processes and assess gaps.

  4. Evaluate solution options

    Review the outputs of the current state architecture health assessment and adopt a preliminary posture on architecture.

  5. Evaluate application options

    Evaluate the marketplace applications to understand the “art of the possible.”

  6. Frame desired state and develop roadmap

    Compile and score a list of initiatives to bridge the gaps, and plot the initiatives on a strategic roadmap.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a four call advisory process.

  • Call #1: Use goals to identify viable CS strategies and shortlist business processes for modeling

    Once you have compiled a list of Customer Service goals, we can help you identify how these goals map to potential Customer Service strategies and how they can be used to hone in on the business processes worth modeling.

  • Call #2: Current state review and requirements prioritization

    Once you have modeled your future and current state processes, and have scored your application portfolio for features and integration, we can help validate if all relevant requirements have been captured and provide guidance on prioritization.

  • Call #3: Evaluate solution options

    Once you have compiled your requirements and identified system gaps, we can help you decide on approaches for selecting your CS system solutions. For example, we can help you decide whether you should pick a point solution or a comprehensive suite, and how you will approach the SaaS v/s on-premise question.

  • Call #4: Initiative scoring

    Once you have defined a list of IT initiatives, we can help guide you through defining value and risk criteria by which to score and prioritize these initiatives.

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Define Vision for Future State

The Purpose

  • Discuss Customer Service-related organizational goals and align goals with potential strategies for implementation.
  • Score level 5 Customer Service business processes against organizational goals to come up with a shortlist for modeling.
  • Create a future state model for one of the shortlisted business processes.
  • Draft the requirements as they relate to the business process.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Preliminary list of Customer Service-related business goals
  • List of Customer Service business processes (Task Level 5)
  • Pre-selected Customer Service business process for modeling

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Outline and prioritize your customer goals and link their relevance and value to your Customer Service processes with the Customer Service Business Process Shortlisting Tool.
  • Initial position on viable Customer Service strategies
  • Shortlist of key business processes
1.2 Score customer service business processes against organizational goals with the Customer Service Systems Strategy Tool.
  • Documented future state business process model
  • Business/functional/non-functional requirements

Module 2: Document Current State and Assess Gaps

The Purpose

  • Create a current state model for the shortlisted business processes.
  • Score the functionality and integration of current supporting applications.
  • Revise future state model and business requirements.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Inventory of Customer Service supporting applications
  • Inventory of related system interfaces

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Holistically assess multiple aspects of Customer Service-related IT assets with the Customer Service Systems Strategy Tool.
  • Documented current state business process model
  • Customer Service systems health assessment

Module 3: Adopt an Architectural Posture

The Purpose

  • Review the Customer Service systems health assessment results.
  • Discuss options.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Completed Customer Service systems health assessment
  • Application options

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Analyze CS Systems Strategy and review results with the Customer Service Systems Strategy Tool
  • Posture on system architecture

Module 4: Frame Desired State and Develop Roadmap

The Purpose

  • Draft a list of initiatives based on requirements.
  • Score and prioritize the initiatives.
  • Plot the initiatives on a roadmap.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Business/functional/non-functional requirements

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Help project and management stakeholders visualize the implementation of Customer Service IT initiatives with the Customer Service Initiative Scoring and Roadmap Tool.
  • Scored and prioritized list of initiatives
  • Customer Service implementation roadmap

Workshop Icon Book Your Workshop

Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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