IT & QA: Powerful Partners in Improvement

Mike Schaffner wrote a recent post about his conversations with IT leaders regarding making IT a strategic part of the business operation. He related his discussion with Kim Denney, President of Air Liquide America LP:

Kim indicated that IT leaders have to be proactive to overcome the
inertia of a company’s culture that may perceive IT as not being
strategic.  This involves actively looking for ways to learn the
business and find opportunities where they can contribute.  We have to
switch from being reactive to being proactive.  We can’t wait for the
business units to come to us we have to go out and demonstrate how we
can contribute.  This also involves how we communicate with our
customers.  As Kim described it, the business folks are looking for IT
people "that talk like the rest of us."  We need to learn the language of our customers and drop the use of all the acronyms and technical jargon.

What many people overlook is the way that the QA process can help IT find ways to improve systems and procedures for both the CSR and the customer. With technology that allows both audio and screen capture, call center management and IT can work together and look for ways to make systems more efficient.

We recently finished an Service Quality Assessment for a client, and from watching the screen capture we made an interesting discovery. In this case, CSRs were routinely required to pull up document images to find basic information that should be readily available in a database. The process of looking up the document was often cumbersome and once the document had been retrieved the CSR sometimes had to scroll around the image to find the pertinent information. With this information, the IT department should be able to begin identifying what common pieces of information should be available on the CSR’s desktop so that they don’t have to go fishing for the information. The CSRs will be happier and the customers will receive better, more efficient service.

Call Center QA and IT don’t have to be at odds. They should be partners in serving customers both external and internal!

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