My boss doesn't care about satisfaction. Why should I?

We all have enough on our plates already. Why bother adding another project like an IT survey if my boss doesn't even believe in them? We will see a few reasons why your boss might not be interested to run user satisfaction surveys and how to respond to it.

1. We already know the score, and it's not pretty

We rarely hear from our users in IT when everything is going well. Never in my life did someone call me just to thank me and let me know everything was working well. It just doesn't happen. So every time we hear from an user it's because there are problems. This can leave the impression that the users are always dissatisfied and bitter about the IT services they receive.

But in fact, experience shows us that satisfaction is typically higher than IT managers expect. Before we run an IT survey we systematically ask the managers to "estimate" (guess would be a better word) what user satisfaction will be. Afterwards we find that IT managers consistently rate themselves lower than the users.

2. The business doesn't do customer surveys

Some companies still don't do customer satisfaction surveys. Although they are quickly becoming the exception, it makes any internal survey initiatives very uncomfortable.

BUt feedback can be gathered from a variety a mechanisms. Post-transaction survey are a great way to get started without rocking the boat. Asking a user after a call to the help-desk if their problem was resolved satisfactorily provides a first level of feedback and an opportunity to fix an issue before it is too late. ANd it provides a data point to show the value of IT services.

3. It's a waste of time / effort

Some IT leaders believe that running an IT survey takes a lot of time and effort. The reality is quite different. Several companies offer turn-key survey solutions for IT (such as our own product PING for example) that makes it easy for IT departments to begin a measurement program.

Of course, if no one looks t the results then yes it will be a waste of time. But we systematically find that once results are available, IT managers are intrigued and wants to undertand a little deeper what drives user satisfaction.

4. No one asked for it.

No one in the business asked to see suer satisfaction numbers. Why would we go out and volunteer this information?

The rality is that even if the business executives are not asking for user satisfaction scores, they are still getting the information. They are getting it every time one of their employee blames IT for missing a deadline, when they complain about the problem they had last week, when they make jokes or comments about IT in meetings. And the information they are getting tend to be negative of course.

Satisfaction surveys tend to reset perceptions. Once executives see that most users are actually satisfied with IT services and that there are no major issues, it tempers the one-off comments they hear around the water cooler.

Don't wait until it is too late

Once a superior or a business executive ask to see user satisfaction numbers, chances are their mind is already made up about the quality of the service given by IT. By actively managing satisfaction IT departments can get a heads-up on potential satisfaction issues and fix them before they become critical. And in a time where everyone is focused on the customer, being preoccupied by satisfaction is a great way to show how attuned IT is to business orientations.

Take-aways

  • IT shouldn't let lack of interest from their boss from measuring satisfaction
  • When a superior or executive ask to start measuring satisfaction, their mind is often already made up on the results
Posted on October 18, 2013 .