It doesn’t matter what organization or business you are involved with; the performance of your information technology absolutely will impact your overall customer service provided and the level of satisfaction experienced by those you serve.
It will be either negatively or positively impacted; the choice is yours. Today with levies and individual choice, you are in a very competitive market and need to have all systems working as effectively and efficiently as possible. You need this to ensure you’re seen as good stewards of taxpayers’ money, and the place I would want my loved one with developmental disabilities to attend.
How Information Technology Can Impact Customer Satisfaction
First, let’s look at how information technology can negatively impact customer satisfaction. Example: A computer is down, or your email system is down or working slowly. For this, slowly really needs to be defined because some people are in situations where they just accept whatever they have become accustomed to.
It’s normal human behavior, even if they know there are better options; some people just continue to accept things as they are. If you log into your computer and it takes more than several seconds to come up, it’s not running effectively, or it may not be the proper tool for your job.
If you are going from one program to another or have two, three, or more active and it’s pausing, forcing you to wait for excessive periods of time, this is not acceptable, and it’s impacting your effectiveness and efficiency.
Some will ask, “What’s the big deal?” Well, seconds add up to minutes, minutes add up to hours, and hours… you get the point. Estimates show that at a minimum, 22 minutes a day are lost due to computer or information technology-related issues.
Take this number and multiply it by 40 staff… that’s 229,680 minutes or 3,828 hours lost over the course of a year! This means every month 319 hours of productivity and efficiency are lost.
Now, take that number and multiply it by the average per hour with benefits and taxes and you get a whopping $102,000… That’s BIG MONEY!
And if you add in supervisors’ and directors’ time and energy, you can easily bump that number up by 18%. All this time, money, productivity, and efficiency are merely lost to something that has a solution… It can be fixed!
Now, do I have your attention?
If you’re a numbers person like me, those are big ones, and they should cause concern. And yes, the example above is a lot of money. But just as important is the impact on missed opportunities that can result in a chain reaction of negative returns.
So, let’s put a real value on this for the loss in activity that can affect every aspect of your organization, especially customer service.
- Missed time to make calls to parents and caregivers
- Missed opportunity to email back the several people you need to respond to
- Missed opportunity to mentor or train a new staff person on agency mission and priorities
- Missed opportunity to provide quality monitoring or oversight to your programs
So, how do we fix it?
First, you need to admit that you have an issue. This probably is the hardest thing because not everyone really knows what a good information technology experience looks like, feels like, or what it can result in.
If you can accept the thought of, “we don’t know what we don’t know” and how this is a dangerous thing when it comes to the security and performance of information technology, then it’s a good place to start.
Next, you need to face this head on and get your task force together. This should include your leadership, IT staff, and any other key staff to share in open and honest dialog what their current needs and concerns are. Let them speak freely with no limitations to ensure everything is shared; otherwise, you’ll end up putting a band-aid on something that needs a lot more attention and a long-term solution.
Then, call other County Boards and/or providers that you know have exceptional information technology solutions. Also, utilize organizations that are there to help you like OACB and OPRA to see who they might recommend assist you. Many times, they know the what and the how regarding the way others are addressing these issues.
Some important notes for you here…
Don’t assume that your local IT person or company or that general IT consultant or general managed service provider (MSP) is the best fix for this very complicated issue with very specific needs.
Remember, your organization is unique with things like HIPAA compliance, State and Local regulations, unique software vendors and programs, and many other things that make a small IT firm or company with a generalist approach the definite wrong choice for your particular needs. The last thing you want is someone trying to learn and understand what you do as they go.
Don’t assume that more staff is better. Some might want to look at adding IT staff as a solution. Remember what you’re up against. Technology is a beast. It’s changing daily, and there’s always a new threat, whether it’s a cyber-attack, ransomware, a virus, phishing emails, or the next bad thing. Also, bringing someone on who is most likely a generalist and not familiar with your specific needs is another band-aid for an issue that demands a long-term fix.
Who should I go to for help with my IT?
Today, you need to consider looking for a managed service provider (MSP) partner that has a reputation of commitment in the DD service community; one that has a team of people who are experts in your specific areas and has the help that exceeds industry standards.
They should be able to assess your current situation and quickly apply proven solutions, but also determine what you will need to plan on in years to come. They also need to have a solution that’s designed for your specific needs, not one they are trying to adapt or customize to fit them. You want an IT specialist, not a generalist.
What if I have an IT person on staff that I like?
This isn’t uncommon. Some employ an IT person, but they have far too much for one person or even a small staff to handle. So they become focused on putting out fires instead of implementing proper proactive solutions to prevent them. They don’t have the time to implement the many needed projects piling up.
Also, typically, a small staff of one person or even a couple of people cannot be expert in everything they really need to know for a job like this. In this case, the MSP should offer a co-managed solution. This is where they work with your existing staff and give them an entire team of experts who are available 7-days-a-week to make them the absolute best they can be at their job.
Is there an IT company specifically for County Boards and DD-related organizations and businesses?
Thankfully, yes, there is! When you need heart surgery, you don’t go to a general surgeon; you go to a cardiothoracic surgeon. You go to someone who is experienced and is skilled in your specific need.
When you need the very best in information technology (IT) for your DD-related organization or business, you go to the team at GO Concepts… The Premier Information Technology Solutions Provider for Agencies, Independent Providers, and County Boards of DD.
What about the cost?
If you say that an MSP costs too much… then you really need to take another look at them, especially one specific for your needs. Things have changed. And remember… What’s the real cost you are currently paying not to have exceptional IT?… This is what you, your staff, and those you serve really deserve.
It’s simple… Don’t take your eyes off the finish line. Meaning, you started on this mission, you have the right solution, now make it happen! Don’t sit on it, be decisive; you’ve done the work, it’s time to act because it’s a big YES…
Information Technology Does Impact Your Customer Service & Satisfaction
Information technology does absolutely impact customer service in not only the service aspect but also your entire financial outlook. So, make your information technology exceptional and help your staff provide the best customer service they can while ensuring a satisfaction level that you and everyone can be proud of!