Learn how three CIOs work with colleagues in marketing, embrace continuous evolution and survey users to ensure that customers have great interactions with their companies.
Learn to Collaborate With Marketing
Some of our most important customers are the 168,000 patients we serve at 2,119 kidney dialysis centers. Our goal is to make their interactions with us as easy as possible. We’re working on mobile applications, pushing everything that’s simple and answer-based to mobile devices.
When it comes to customer experience, you can’t phone it in. We want all of our IT members to spend time in our clinics as much as possible because they come back with a much greater understanding of what our patients need.
We partner very closely with our marketing group on the patient experience. Marketers are innovative, creative thinkers, and I value that. If you want to work well with them, you’ve got to be open to looking at things differently but also help them understand what IT needs in order to deliver a quality product. IT and marketing work together throughout the development cycle so that we can make changes to a product along the way.
We’re building our mobile patient app in a modular fashion so we can easily take components out, move them around, and add new ones very quickly. That’s an important architectural foundation when working with marketing.
Don’t Stop Evolving
One of our most important services is providing manufacturing, packaging, storage and distribution for pharmaceutical companies to speed R&D for new drugs. In addition to delivering physical material, information is a key part of our product, so any improvement to that is an improvement to the customer experience.
We have a number of customer-facing systems, including clinical supply management, clinical labeling and a customer information portal for clinical trial product supplies. The portal provides visibility into every aspect of the clinical process, from order status to real-time tracking of delivery for individual patient kits from our couriers. It is under continual development; the next feature will let customers review, edit and approve clinical labels online.
Because we work with over 1,000 customers, connecting into all those systems is a challenge. We have to remain flexible without creating 1,000 different ways of doing business. We also need to discern what will add value, through conversations with customers.
I have a team that works alongside the clinical supply business team that is dedicated to customer experience innovation, which is critical to our success. Our goal is to evolve alongside our customers, so we make sure we understand what’s coming next for them and alert them to what’s in our systems pipeline.
Seek Continuous Feedback Through Data
When you deliver a product like a base metal to a customer, there is little relationship beyond that point, so in IT we focus on improving the experience for our internal business partners.
When I came here in 2010, I introduced an annual IT user satisfaction survey, measuring service delivery, business alignment and whether our business has the technology it needs. By analyzing the data, we can focus our efforts on the business needs and develop an action plan. The data enables me to say to senior management and business unit leaders, “This is what our employees are saying, and this is where we need to invest.”
For example, there was feedback suggesting that some of the network infrastructure supporting our mine operations was dated, which helped us move forward the timeline for replacing that hardware.
We get good and bad scores on occasion, but all data is good data, because it gives you the opportunity to address issues. Most IT staffers now rally behind the survey because it’s one of our most powerful allies.