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Hey IT and HR – Who is your REAL customer?

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Where-ever I go and whichever department I am talking to, when it comes to IT and HR, they consider the “business” as their “customer”.  But is this really so?  Who is the REAL customer of IT and HR?

Before we dig into this further, let’s look at a company that we all know and admire, say, Apple.  Who is Apple’s REAL customer?  That would be you and me and others like us.  But do you and I buy directly from Apple?  No, we buy from stores that are permitted to sell Apple products – from Apple “distributors”.

Now, back to IT and HR, and a slightly modified view of models that are driving business in top performing organisations today, organisations like Sears and Jet Blue (the airline) and others.

Let’s assume that the strategy is for the organisation to be:

  • The BEST place to Work
  • The BEST place with Whom other businesses (or individuals) can do Business
  • The BEST place to Invest, offering Investors the BEST ROI.

Hands up those who don’t want this!  My guess is no-one has a hand up right now.

The “model” for this strategy looks something like this.

We start with the assumption that more Engaged Employees create a better Customer Experience, as well as stay longer in the organisation, refer other Engaged Employees to the organisation, and identify organisational processes for improvement that, in turn, improve the Customer Experience and optimise organisational costs.

Then, we assume that a good Customer Experience and Optimised Costs will lead to Customers that keep buying from us, and refer us to other customers.

And with the increased Customer Business, the organisation grows and becomes more Profitable, and Investors want to Invest in the organisation as they see a good Return on their Investment.

The objective is, through Workforce Analytics, to establish what the links are – and there really ARE links – between these three areas so that you can use the model for predictive purposes.  You will be able to predict, with considerable certainty, what Talent Management processes need to be implemented to attain a predefined Investor ROI, for instance.  How useful would that be to the organisation?  To Managers, to Employees and to Customers.

Back to Apple for just a second.  Let’s assume that Apple use a model something like this.  Don’t you think that they are talking to their REAL customers – you and me – to find out what we need to keep us coming back, recommending their products to others, and referring our friends to their products?

Surely then, IT and HR should be endeavouring to understand what our REAL customers need to keep them coming back, recommending our products and services, and referring other customers to our business.  If we understood this relationship better, we would:

  • Know what culture and talents are needed in our people to build good overall customer relationships,
  • Be able to build the talent necessary to deliver across the model in a predictive manner,
  • Anticipate the needs of customers so that we can be proactive in our planning,
  • Know what technologies and how to apply them to improve service directly to our customers,
  • Drive improved products and services for the ultimate benefit of the organisation and its investors, and
  • Be able, through Analytics, to prove OUR Return on Investment contribution to the organisation.

IT and HR are in a unique position in the organisation.  We know what technology really can deliver, and we know what processes will really engage our employees.  By only relying on the business to define our deliverables we are selling ourselves short – and not getting to the C-Suite.

It’s time that we stood up and took joint ownership of the organisation’s customers.  It’s time that we understood their deeper needs and what keeps them coming back – after all, we are the ones with the knowledge and the means to deliver.

To assist you in finding the links and building your Employee – Customer – Investor model, give us a call at TalentAlign Analytics.  We’d love to help YOU to build a better organisation and impress the heck out of the C-Suite.

To view this presentation on YouTube, click here.