Respond directly to close the feedback loop

Last week we talked about how the best companies are Learning by listening to their end users.

This week we are exploring how, having Listened and Learned, how best to Respond to those you have asked based on what they have told you. 

Structuring the Response

First, responding effectively needs to be structured, with priority given to the issues that are having the biggest impact (and not just those who scream the loudest). 

Businesses should be looking to prevent issues before they snowball and resolve them to help the end users be productive.

For more advanced user-centric IT departments, installing an Experience focused team, led by someone in an executive role, is of benefit. For example some mature companies are already creating roles for a “Chief Experience Officer” focusing on external and/or internal customers.

By incorporating key techniques and making it a shared service with IT, the company can work in a strategic way, creating a business aligned roadmap, thereby enabling measurable wins and delivering value and trust.

Prioritising the Response

In conversation with many IT managers over the years we have seen that the best way to prioritise the IT strategy is to carry out an IT focused “Pulse Check”. This means asking a large proportion of end users on a regular basis “how are we doing in terms of IT?”  

The key is to analyse those results quickly, returning to the end users with the results and insights and then ask them to rank the priorities. i.e. “This is what we heard, and based on that feedback this is what we think the priorities are, but could you let us know how you would rank them”

This way you close the loop, and can use this process to drive roadmaps in an iterative fashion.

Strategic Response

IT needs to be in the role of advisor or offer guidance instead of already coming to the table with a solution in place. 

It is critically important that your IT team can break down exactly what problem your end users are trying to solve before you start discussing the technical solution. 

IT teams need to go through this process to really establish what is needed.  For example, to paraphrase one of our customers, an end user might think they need a Ferrari but in fact they need a sedan or a motorcycle to solve their problem or challenge.

Although initially when you take this approach of breaking down the problem before providing a solution they may feel that the IT Team isn’t providing value, if you take them through the actual process they will start to learn and understand that you are truly providing value and gain trust.

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