by Suma Nallapati

Customer service: The proof is in the numbers

Aug 17, 2015
Government ITIT Leadership

Customer satisfaction increases when you find your greatest weaknesses and then hone in with a laser focus to address them.

customer service
Credit: Thinkstock

When I came to the State of Colorado as Secretary of Technology and Chief Information Officer a little over a year ago, I sensed a certain hunger. Customers were hungry for attention, communication and better service. Employees were hungry for a vision that would help them effectively, efficiently and elegantly serve our state agencies.

I immediately embarked on a “Back to Basics” campaign, identifying the biggest pain points and addressing them as quickly as possible to ensure we were delivering the best customer service possible. My team established a rigorous Major Incident and Change Management process, which cut outage times and reduced failed changes by 80 percent in just one month’s time even as requests for change increased by 140 percent.

Next, I ensured that our customers had a transparent view of their most critical projects. Our OneView Dashboard is customized for each state agency so they may have a clear picture of resources allocated, project status and dollars spent. State agencies have come to view this as a one-stop place to see, high-level, how their IT projects are doing.

One challenge that every IT organization faces is information security. I decided that as part of my “Back to Basics” rallying cry, my team would do everything possible to enhance information security for Colorado. They worked diligently over the past year to gain insight into all of our assets and to ensure a secure perimeter. We put tools in place to detect attacks as they were coming in so we could shut them down just as quickly. As a result, though we had targeted 10 percent decrease in risk, we exceeded our goal and decreased our security risk across the enterprise by 16 percent.

Year to year, our customer satisfaction increased 25 percent as a result of these initiatives. It took focus, teamwork, and tremendous effort — and we’re still working hard to move that needle even more. I would encourage every IT organization to find their greatest weaknesses and hone in with laser focus. It starts at the top. And success only comes when the entire team buys in, leans in and makes great things happen. I can’t thank enough my team that stood behind me every step of the way and my leaders who believed in me.