Hey IT Teams. Got an idea. Grab a piece of paper and draw a circle in the middle of it. Label it “Customer.” Now draw lines out from the circle, each line representing the way that a customer can interact with the business.
Now recolor the boxes to represent all of the places where IT intersects, or where IT can intersect, with those interactions. How many of these boxes do you have in a different color? Think about pulling together a meeting of your peers who head different groups, and collaborate on the mapping and re-coloring project. Get their thoughts about how IT can strategically enable their customer engagement.
You might look at these boxes and think “what the heck is that doing there?“
What We See With IT Teams
We have seen IT have a profound effect on the execution of the process in nearly every one of these boxes (recognizing that of course IT cannot control personalities – like salespeople and service technicians, but IT can provide tools to help them do a better job).
This is just a sample and your organization might have more boxes, different boxes, or fewer boxes. It is a noble target – and an achievable target – to be the best and easiest company in your industry with which to do business. Aligning IT strategically with the customer engagement process is the path to aligning IT strategically with the business itself. And sometimes, the answer is as simple as understanding where IT can hurt a process and get out of the way (don't be the Sales Prevention Department).
Branded Customer Service: The New Competitive Edge – by Janelle Barstow and Paul Stewart – not directly related to IT but certainly gets the brain cells moving in a possibly different way.
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