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Why Is Sales and Customer Service So Important to My I.T. Department?

Information technology managers tend to think that the sole purpose of their department is product delivery. While setting up computers, managing the information technology Infrastructure, providing support, and maintaining and delivering applications are the foundation to what information technology managers do; there are many aspects of internal customer management that start to look like a sales and customer service department. For example if a customer has a complaint, the resolution of the complaint is not the only issue at stake. Would the customer want to work with your department again to resolve a similar issue? How did the customer feel about the experience? Was the complaint handled quickly? If a customer needs a software system, the delivery of the system is not the only issue. How effectively will the system meet my needs? Is it going to be worth spending my time working with the information technology department or should I just do it manually? Staying mindful of a customer's needs when selling to and servicing a customer is essential to effectively working with your customers. Every positive interaction between your customer and your department increases the chances that your team will win the next big project. In Information technology survival of the fittest looks more like: survival of those with the most well balanced and reliably executed project portfolio.

The following questions are useful in kicking off your own thoughts as well as a team conversation about how well your department is selling to and servicing your customers.

  1. Who are my best customers? Why are we successful with them?
  2. Who are the customers we are least successful at winning work from? What are the best ways we could improve our working relationship with them?
  3. What was the last big project we wanted to deliver to our customers but was lost to a consulting company or was not done? Why didn't we win the project?
  4. When was the last time we tried to sell a project to the CEO or CFO? Why did we succeed or fail?
  5. When we sell a project to a customer, do we consider the formal and informal organizational networks that may impact the success of winning the project?
  1. How effectively do we resolve customer's issues? How quickly do we resolve them?
  2. How would our satisfied, but not our greatest, supporters rate our soft skills as a department?
  3. If our customers were to rate us as a servicing unit what would our rating be? What are the ways our rating could be improved?
  4. Who complains most frequently about our customer service? Do I, and my information technology leaders, feel like the complaints are valid? Why?
  5. When I think about our customers who struggle most with technology, how effectively do we address their needs? Why are our efforts effective or ineffective?

Copyright © Devon Manelski