Restoring The Balance

Our client, a global energy giant, was undertaking a ‘root and branch’ IT transformation to radically improve its commercial and operational performance. It had recently signed a significant end user services contract, with over 100,000 users and ~50,000 helpdesk calls per month in 18 supported languages. The global user base was exceptionally diverse; from energy traders located in major capital cities, to ship captains and pilots, often located hundreds and occasionally thousands of miles from the nearest major conurbation.

Whilst still a comparatively ‘new’ contract, the expected benefits were simply not being realised, typified by poor customer satisfaction, a lack of trust and simply too much ‘noise’. To help, This Partners was engaged to develop an approach to rectify the situation, with our client CIO requesting that we simply ‘reduce the noise’. Not an easy task when previous attempts to do as much had failed miserably and both client and service provider were at loggerheads.

Our approach was one of ‘getting back to basics’ and significant effort was spent on identifying the real root causes of the issues before developing the ‘get well’ strategy.

A series of collaborative workshops, engaging at all levels across both organisations, were facilitated, focusing on understanding the issues on both sides and clearly communicating the business outcomes that the client expected but was not experiencing. By bringing both our deep insight and remarkable pragmatism, we were able to help both parties gain a much greater level of clarity as to what the ‘art of the possible’ was. This change of perspective and focus enabled us to truly understand the root causes and begin the complex task of rectifying them whilst creating a new, fit for purpose and sustainable relationship.

Over a period of weeks, we engendered a new spirit of collaboration and focused the relevant teams from both sides on six key areas:

  • Re-solutioning to enable customer trust to be regained
  • Studying CSAT data and interviewing end users to genuinely understand the root causes
  • Revisiting CSAT targets and understanding what options existed to adapt the service delivery model and meet customer expectations
  • Simplifying the KPI / SLA regime to one that truly measured Service
  • Developing a clear roadmap and rapid implementation plan
  • Renegotiation of contract schedules, pricing and terms

Our collaborative approach avoided both parties falling into an adversarial ‘negotiation’ focused on the price of delivering a particular service and created an environment where understanding the clients business objectives was of paramount importance. Once understood, both parties found it easy to collaborate and jointly develop solutions that would deliver the necessary results. Whilst both parties were not used to working in this manner, the benefits of this outcomes focused, collaborative approach were rapidly understood. Priorities were agreed. Solutions were adapted. Contracts were amended and within four months the deal had been transformed from a ‘lost cause’ into a ’poster child’ for both organisations.

The results were tangible and immediate. CSAT improved by 15% and changes were fully operational within four months.