IT acts as a unique differentiator for business. And while providers claim that client requirements and minutely specific SLAs leave them with little room for innovation, clients would beg to differ. “If you get your basics like cost, risk, etc. right, you suddenly get the license to innovate,” says David Awcock, Group Head, Group Technology and Operations, Standard Chartered Bank.
Speaking at the NASSCOM track discussion on Strategic Sourcing, panelists held forth on what defines customer satisfaction. While providers are doing what they think is right, in terms of meeting customer satisfaction, customer priorities are shifting, said Noshir Kaka, Director, McKinsey & Company. So while providers have been offshoring in the quest for reduced overall costs, they are missing out on what counts most for their customers- business impact. Thus, service providers need to align their priorities, and their SLAs, in keeping with customer satisfaction.
At the same time, he cautioned clients to be concerned about things that matter the most, like management attrition, which affects customer satisfaction. Also, where there is a single point of ownership, there is more customer satisfaction. He said that clients themselves agree that “when we have a larger wing span, we have more customer satisfaction.”
Customer satisfaction is definitely something that companies should be concerned about, given the fragile condition of the economic recovery. But the recovery has also provided a good opportunity to innovate, said KAI Beckmann, CIO, Merck KgaA. “Tough times call make for some really inspirational innovation,” he held. The recession has also forced providers to look beyond their traditional markets. For countries like India, this means turning to the domestic market. This, in turn, provides an opportunity for innovation, as local clients give a greater push to innovation than the traditional MNC clients.
Finally, listening to the customer is what is going to drive efficiency, and hence customer satisfaction. “60- 70 percent of what is done by the provider is not used by the client,” says Awcock. So if you can figure out what that 70 percent is, that is the key to efficiency.