Gartner Research

Measuring IT Customer Satisfaction

Published: 10 September 2001

ID: G00100793

Analyst(s): Kris Brittain, Lynn A. Sechrest, Tom Berg


Management Summary The focus on information technology (IT) effectiveness and IT's contribution to the achievement of business objectives has increased significantly in the past five years. However, pressure on the enterprise bottom line and the resulting drive to increase productivity are now viewed by many IT executives as somewhat myopic. Today's IS organizations need to align IT objectives with business objectives, improve the perception of the IS organization and expand its role in enabling business processes. A decade ago, IS organizations were the central -- and usually the only -- source of IT services for enterprises. The current trend toward recognizing and offering alternative sources will continue. By 2003, 75 percent of IS organizations will refocus their mission toward the brokering of resources and facilitating business-driven demands rather than their traditional role as direct IT service providers (0.8 probability). To address the issue of IT effectiveness, more than half the IT service providers or IS organizations have already implemented or increased the use of a survey mechanism for measuring the satisfaction of the internal customers of IT services. These surveys have taken the forms of an annual poll, telephone interviews, focus groups, point-of-transaction questionnaires or a combination of these. Unfortunately, less than 1 percent of the surveying performed until now has succeeded in producing a concise list of top issues, a statement of these issues in business or end-user terms, the layout of a clear action plan and the ability to show improvement from year to year. Moreover, satisfaction survey methodology has not changed appreciably in the past 50 years. The only consistency in methodology has been the inconsistency of results from organization to organization, year to year -- and the nearly universal failure of their follow-through. The only outcome more counterproductive than the conclusion that the results of the surveys had...

Table Of Contents
  • Management Summary
  • Introduction
    • The Perception of IT
    • Perception Improvement Program
    • Survey Focus
    • Survey Fatigue
    • Survey Deployment
    • Survey Criteria
    • ITCS Methodology
    • Survey Length
    • Survey Sample Size
    • Survey Format and Functionality
    • Survey Response Rate
  • Data Analysis
    • Software Analysis Tools
  • ITCS: The Gartner Measurement Decision Quadrant
  • Checklist for Perception Improvement Program
    • Fatal Flaw: Criteria Are Not Comprehensive: Result — Guesswork
    • Fatal Flaw: Criteria Overlap: Result — Reduced Accuracy
    • Fatal Flaw: Criteria Are Not Clearly Defined: Result — Collection of Useless Data
    • Fatal Flaw: Failure to Filter the questions: Result — Suggestive Bias
    • Fatal Flaw: Failure to Ask for Importance Weighting: Result — No Prioritization
    • Fatal Flaw: Failure to Ask Respondents to Justify Their Answers: Result — No Solutions
    • Fatal Flaw: Use of Raw Instead of Normalized Data: Result — Respondent Bias
    • Fatal Flaw: Ignoring Alternative (i.e., Competitive”) Services: Result — Omitting Key Data
    • Fatal Flaw: Disregarding Rules of Statistics to Obtain Results. Result: Lack of Credibility
    • Fatal Flaw: Not Properly Converting the Data Into Action Plans: Result — No Improvement
    • Fatal Flaw: Not Regularly Repeating the Survey to Measure Improvement: Result — Loss of Trust
    • Fatal Flaw: In-house Survey: Result — Respondents May Not Be Candid and Honest
    • Fatal Flaw: Failure To Explain Importance of Survey: Result — Low Response Rate
    • Fatal Flaw: Survey Form is Too Long: Result — Survey Fatigue and Incomplete Responses
    • Fatal Flaw: Lack of Analytical Tools and expertise: Result — Under-Utilization of Data
    • Fatal Flaw: No External Comparison: Result — No Context for the Results
    • Fatal Flaw: Failure To Report Results To Respondents: Result — Cynicism and Withdrawal
    • Fatal Flaw: Failure To Involve Respondents in Solutions: Result — Lack of Buy-In
    • Fatal Flaw: Fading Sense of Urgency: Result — No Measurable Improvement
    • Checking the Process
  • Alignment and Prioritization
  • Conclusion
  • Transaction-based Customer Satisfaction Questionnaire
  • Annual Customer Satisfaction Questionnaire

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