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Lending an ear

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Nedbank CIO Fred Swanepoel says quick and accurate feedback from users improves the effectiveness of the roll out of big projects and enhances ICT service levels.
Nedbank CIO Fred Swanepoel says quick and accurate feedback from users improves the effectiveness of the roll out of big projects and enhances ICT service levels.

Nedbank's much publicised commitment to listening is stretching beyond merely paying attention to its customers. It's also listening more closely to users of its ICT services and systems.

The bank has teamed up with Johannesburg company inQuba, a specialist in customer experience management, to implement an innovative monitoring system that provides quick and accurate feedback from its ICT users. This information is proving invaluable to Nedbank as it rolls out new services and products to support its strategy to become more client-focused.

The Performa monitoring system, developed by inQuba, provides Nedbank with a stream of live information about users' experiences of its ICT facilities and services. The information is delivered in dashboard formats to designated managers throughout the bank's Group Technology unit. The Performa system also collates, stores and continually updates the information for analysis and presentation.

User satisfaction

"We can quickly pick up areas where users aren't satisfied, identify the problems and take steps to fix them. It allows us to compare satisfaction levels across different projects, business units and regions of the organisation," says Nedbank CIO Fred Swanepoel. "This information enables us to improve the effectiveness of the roll out of big projects, as well as enhance the service levels of ICT facilities and services."

Nedbank started using Performa early last year to gauge satisfaction among the more than 28 000 users of its desktop services as well as monitor a variety of projects, systems and capabilities within the Group Technology unit. It's currently being extended throughout Group Technology. Other support units in the bank may also adopt Performa to track the experiences of users of their services.

"We used to conduct an annual survey to assess user satisfaction. This was inefficient, expensive and the information it produced was out of date. Also, recent events, like a service outage, tended to cloud perceptions of the quality of the service over the whole year," says Swanepoel.

Customer care

InQuba has pioneered the use of automated customer experience management (CEM) systems and methodologies in SA.
The company, founded by Trent Rossini, Mike Renzon and Jon Salters in 2010, provides consulting and associated products and services to help organisations measure, manage and improve the experiences of their customers. The firm specialises in integrating CEM systems with business intelligence, customer interaction management and market research tools to enable its clients to quickly and accurately manage customer experience and enterprise performance.
"We drew on our experience and expertise in tailoring CEM solutions to develop Performa," says inQuba COO Trent Rossini. "Our CEM solution, inQuba VoC, helps enterprises manage the experiences of people outside the organisation. Performa addresses the experiences of people within the enterprise," he adds.
InQuba's main markets are the financial services, healthcare, retail and telecommunications sectors. It provides its solutions on a software as a service (SaaS) platform, and its product stable includes offerings from IBM and US software firm Tibco.

The accuracy of the information produced by Performa, and the speed with which it's delivered, is a major benefit to Nedbank. Quickly identifying and remedying the causes of user dissatisfaction is crucial to the successful rollout of new systems or projects, says Swanepoel. Unless such dissatisfaction is speedily addressed, he says, negative perceptions can linger.

The Performa system at Nedbank e-mails a brief questionnaire inviting users to rank service levels. "Because the questions can be quickly answered, we get accurate feedback promptly," says Swanepoel.

Open dialogue

Trent Rossini, COO at inQuba, says Performa opens up dialogue between providers and users of ICT services within an organisation. "It gives managers accurate insight into the experiences of the users of their products and services," he says.

Rossini points out that Performa doesn't measure the performance of ICT assets but rather their value to an organisation. Such value is determined by assessing the positive contribution that ICT systems, and the business units that provide them, make to an organisation and then offsetting the cost, or negative value, of delivering these assets. User experience, and associated attitudes and perceptions, are important contributors to the value of an ICT organisation, says Rossini.

Swift response to the frustrations of its ICT users bodes well for further improvements in the services and products the bank provides its customers.

We can quickly pick up areas where users aren't satisfied, identify the problems and take steps to fix them.

First published in May issue of Brainstorm magazine.

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