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IT leadership and customer satisfaction

n GLiNTECH's recent Future of Software Development in Australia survey for 2012/13, we asked 'the following question: 'What do you think IT leaders could do better to support customer satisfaction?’. What follows is some general analysis of the responses to that question. You can also view the full report by clicking The Future of Software Development survey 2011/12 is now available.

The overwhelming number of responses to this question could be covered with three words; “listen”, “engage”, “communicate”. This is markedly similar to the previous year’s survey in which two thirds of respondents rated communication as the one thing IT leaders could do better.

The emphasis on communication was part of a desire, on the behalf of respondents, for IT leaders to simply “focus on getting the basics right”. This came down to them being able to “not assume behaviour”, “listen and respond with real answers - be transparent”, and “give [customers] what they want, not what you have”. Respondents seemingly prefer for leaders to focus “on the actual customer need and don’t get caught up in the latest and greatest technology or methodology”.

As part of this, there was a stated desire to have leaders “engage with end users”, “involve customers early and at every stage of the project” and “convince clients to work more closely with the development teams”. As part of this desire to “involve customers during the lifecycle of software development”, there was the suggestion that a continual feedback process will help “motivate customers to actively participate and manage their stake in the success of projects”.

Offering some tips on how this might be approached, respondents encouraged leaders to “think as a customer”, “try using their own products”, “understand the technologies they sell better” and “be a customer themselves to understand quality of service”. There was a strong feeling that leaders should “not promise what you can’t deliver. And enter into the relationship with a sincere commitment to helping the customer”.

Respondents wanted to see “less make-believe marketing” and “more frequent ‘showcase’ demonstrations”. One response offered the frank suggestion to “stop making excuses - users don’t care why something doesn’t work, just that it is broken”

Some other varied responses sought for those in charge to provide “thought leadership as to how to leverage technology”, use their expertise to “help in designing the requirements” of projects, “support the staff that work for them”, as well as pleas to “support Australian jobs” and “keep support onshore”.

Click The Future of Software Development survey 2011/12 is now available to view the full Future of Software Development in Australia 2012/13 report. Feel free to discuss the report on twitter by following @GLiNTECH or using the hashtag #FODSD.