From the Series: Avoid Mistakes When Buying Any Software or Cloud Services
Do Senior Leaders Have Pain Points? - IT Help Desk & Customer Service Software
Whitepaper Series: Avoid Mistakes When Buying Any Software or Cloud Services
This whitepaper is part of a series to help avoid mistakes that even the most senior and experienced professionals make that cost companies a lot of time and money. Now, learn to approach the software and cloud services buying process in a much more rigorous and analytical manner.
Key Point: Do Senior Leaders Have Pain Points?
Critical to understand problems/pain points of senior leaders/check signers.
CIO/IT Director or VP/Director Customer Service & others in leadership roles.
There must be strong, deep and significant pain that senior leaders feel to motivate sign a check.
This White Paper will help you "listen" for pain statements in your organization.
Tell vendors your pain. If they do not hear pain points, they will ignore you.
Do Senior Leaders Have Pain Points? - IT Help Desk & Customer Service Software
Initially, your most important responsibility is to determine the pain level throughout your organization that is caused by not having an appropriate application (for example, an IT help desk or customer service call tracking application). Perhaps your company does not have an application, or the application you are using is not providing all the benefits that you desire.
It is critical to understand the pain points from the perspective of senior leaders such the CIO/ IT Director or VP/Director of Customer Service. In over a decade of experience engaging with customers, Giva has found that there must be strong, deep and very significant pain that senior level leaders feel in order to motivate them to sign a check for a new IT help desk or customer service application purchase. This is also true with respect to ANY new software or cloud application, not just for IT or Customer Service. There is a "new normal" in business that dictates careful analysis and justification when spending money for any software or cloud purchases.
Giva has a white paper entitled "How to Measure Law Firm Check Signer's Pain Points: A Top 100 Law Firm Builds a Business Case to Replace FrontRange HEAT with Giva." This white paper will help you ask the right questions and listen for pain points from check signers. After reading this white paper, schedule a meeting with the check signer who has the final purchase authority and the highest level person associated with your project and ask them about their pain points.
Your best chance of getting your project approved is with the following approach. Document the pain points of the check signers, and share these pain points with vendors and make sure that they can solve the pain and not cause other pain. For example, your reporting problems may be solved, but the price point of the new call tracking solution may not be affordable.
The project leader or champion is responsible for identifying all the pain of check signers. Yes, you may know your own pain; but you must identify the pain of check signers, if any actually exists. Often, this pain can be latent. Perhaps it has existed for so long that senior leaders no longer realize that they really have this pain. For example, senior level leaders may not be receiving the kinds of reports they desire. As a result, they may not be monitoring important KPIs/metrics and are making decisions without the benefit of very important information.
If you find that the project approval keeps on getting delayed, this is a good indicator that there is not enough pain in your organization, or the pain points have not been properly highlighted. The check signer may not be feeling significant pain, the project leader has not identified/highlighted significant check signer pain or a compelling economic analysis has not been made to justify the purchase. Any new purchase must be at a lower TCO and have more functionality than the solution the company using today.
Further, engage with the other key approvers/supporters above you and below the check signer, and document their pain as well. You must build a business case and economic argument that supports going to a new cloud or software solution that will save the company money, eliminate pain points, and at the same time improve functionality.
Indicate a very strong and genuine interest in learning about check signer pain points. Stop talking about your pain and instead seek to understand and their pain. Check signers will be impressed with this approach. It shows that you have transcended your own department needs, and that you can see the company problems more globally and holistically. Don't be surprised to hear, "Wow, that's a great analytical approach. You mean you're interested in my pain? Schedule a time to meet with me!" Your approach will speak volumes about your strong business sense.
Key Point: Check Signer Pain Points
Lack of KP/Metrics/Reporting is painful. Impacts ability to increase customer satisfaction/revenue and lower costs.
- Important KPIs/Metrics: First Contact Resolution, Customer Satisfaction Trends, SLA Compliance Trends, Root Cause Analysis, KB Utilization.
Check Signers want to know, "Who should I reward, warn or terminate?" Outstanding leaders objectively differentiate between performers with data.
Labor Intensiveness is painful
- KPIs/Metrics/Reports - Out-of-box? Generate in 15 minutes/day? Report Guru needed?
- Configuration/Customization/Deploying New Releases - FTEs required?
Ongoing fees are painful- Annual support & maintenance, upgrade fees, customization & configuration costs
There are generally four main sources of pain points for check signers:
Lack of Granular KPIs/Metrics/Reporting
This impacts the ability to increase customer satisfaction and revenue and lower company costs. Check signers are very sensitive to the needs of customers. If your company is a law firm, the check signers are probably very sensitive to the productivity of revenue-producing attorneys who bill their time. If your company sells widgets, then check writers are probably very concerned about whether customers are happy with your company's widgets. Examples of some basic KPIs/metrics are first contact resolution, customer satisfaction trends, SLA compliance trends and root cause analysis. Most of these KPIs/metrics will help increase customer satisfaction and increase revenue. Root cause analysis will help decrease call volume and lower costs. The lack of these KPIs/metrics is a significant pain point for many check signers.
Check signers want the following basic KPIs/metrics and trends from any call tracking system:
- Can you measure First Call Resolution (FCR)? If so, what was it for last month? What does the trend line look like?
- Can you measure customer satisfaction? If so, what was your overall rating last month? What does the trend line look like?
- Are you using Service Level Agreements (SLAs)? If so, can you measure SLA compliance? What was your SLA compliance on Severity Level 1 and 2s for last month? What do the trend lines look like?
- Can you perform Root Cause Analysis? If so, what systemic changes have you made in the last 30 days to lower call volume?
"Who Should I Reward, Warn or Terminate?"
What do check signers secretly think about every night before going to sleep? They want to know who should they reward, warn or terminate. The best and brightest leaders are fair and decent people; and they want to reward, warn and terminate using objective data (i.e. KPIs/metrics). However, they often cannot obtain this information at all, or they cannot obtain it very easily from most call tracking systems.
Check signers want their companies to be well oiled machines with exceptional talent. Check signers need to know how to objectively measure performance so that they can understand which employees are the most and the least valuable. Check signers want to know:
- Who is providing the highest levels of customer satisfaction?
- Who is the most responsive to customers?
- Who is consistently meeting or exceeding service level agreements (SLAs)?
- Who is contributing the most highly rated knowledge articles over time?
- Who is resolving the most difficult customer problems?
Labor Intensiveness is Painful
Check signers do not want to spend money on people to manage and maintain software applications. Instead, they prefer automation, simplicity and easy to use administration for configuration and customization. They are interested in getting their KPIs/metrics without having to train people to use report writers and sending staff away on expensive business trips to "Report Guru" school.
Check signers also know that often project teams often overlook the true total cost of ownership of owning software. They know this by just looking at all the money the company spends for consultants to configure, customize and otherwise maintain software applications. Software is often built to be almost infinitely flexible, but it comes with a significant price tag of complexity, requiring custom coding or specialized consulting skills.
Large Fees are Painful
Check signers are sensitive to large recurring annual support, maintenance and upgrade fees that nobody thinks about when buying a product. They also know that after four or five years, upgrade fees are required to migrate the company to a new major release. Moreover, an entirely new implementation is usually necessary to accompany an upgrade to a major new release.
Giva can help you build a business case to present to your CIO or VP of Customer Service or other executives to authorize a purchase of help desk or customer service cloud services. We have some valuable tools to do this; and we have the expertise to help you build a business case that will justify a purchase, if really needed. Sometimes a purchase is not needed. Folks often think that they need a new application when what they really need are just some new processes and procedures. Giva can help guide your company in this decision.
Avoid 8 Major Mistakes When Buying Any Software or Cloud Service
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