You’re an IT Rock Star. You’ve built the UC architecture to spec. You had a great project plan and you met all the milestones. Now, you’ve deployed the technology to end users and it’s time to sit back and keep an eye on helpdesk tickets or perhaps wait for your comprehensive quarterly IT Survey to assess the health of the service. Meanwhile, a storm is brewing out there…
In many cases, unhappy users will not take the time to call the IT help-desk, and they will suffer in silence. Soon enough they begin venting their concerns to colleagues and management and the issue begins to grow at an accelerated pace. Users begin to blame IT for all kinds of issues with UC, many of which are caused by their lack of understanding or their resistance to change. Meanwhile, back in IT, you are not seeing tickets, so you think all is well. Then, all of a sudden, the escalations begin on every level. Execs are unhappy because they experienced horrible audio on web conference so they call the CIO directly. Administrative assistants are sharing experiences with their peers and they have assembled a list of complaints about the new technology and they are demanding to go back to the legacy system. Those adoption trends you were hoping to see with users moving from older third party systems to the new UC technology are not materializing.
If any of this feels familiar and you’ve been challenged by user adoption issues or lagging ROI, you may be missing out by not asking your users about their satisfaction. In fact, measuring satisfaction on a regular basis across samples of the population allows an IT team to keep tabs on the overall health of the deployment from the user perspective. The way users feel about using the technology has a direct impact how they use it, and it goes without saying, those users who have a solid understanding of the technology are generally more satisfied. In UC, those users who like the audio device they have been provided, or better yet, were allowed to choose their audio device are generally more satisfied. There are many layers to the transformation we undertake when moving to UC, and giving a voice to the end user with a simple survey mechanism lets IT in on how different users are making their way through that journey. It is an eye-opening experience and it may provide a new perspective that makes you a better IT department.
Lessons learned from UC user satisfaction surveys:
- Brevity is best: If you can limit the survey to less than 30 seconds to complete, users respond in higher numbers. In our experience with single question surveys we’ve see responses from 45-90%
- Ask for comments. In addition to a numerical rating, ask for an open-ended comment. You will be surprised how many satisfied users leave constructive comments, for example: “I really like using the new (UC Solution), I just wanted you to know that sometimes when I call outside numbers, it takes a long time for my call to go through.”
- Make providing feedback worthwhile. If you ask for feedback and users express pain or dissatisfaction, follow up. Closing the loop with the user tells them that you’re listening and that you care. (Yes, this means that your survey would not be anonymous.)
- Thank users who provide helpful feedback. If in the course of the survey, a user identifies a real issue in the deployment that you were not aware of, let them know that their input really helped your team. Recognize their contribution, and if it fits your culture, let their manager know that they made a difference.
In addition to satisfaction, tracking the usage metrics of various modalities will help you reach your adoption and ROI goals. There are products available on the market today that provide both usage and satisfaction metrics in real time. Bottom line, if we gather input from users throughout the deployment and take action on their input, the UC Transformation can be accomplished more smoothly and can provide a helpful new perspective for IT.