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How do you find out how satisfied are users with your IT support?

Surely from time to time they tell you: this and that doesn't work, that was good and you talk with users daily, etc. But do you run like an annual survey or something similar?

How do you get feedback from users to improve yourself and get the job done even better?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Where i work, we have a number of methods of gauging user satisfaction:

  1. Company wide recognition system. The entire company has access to a site whereby they can send a note to someone recognising their work, and this will be read to the department and managers at appropriate meetings. This lets your co-workers and managers know how well you do.

  2. Feedback link in job tracking software. We give the ability for users to comment on how they think the work was done (if it's just a change of permissions on the domain we really don't worry about that, but bigger jobs can get more feedback). On major work, we have a sign off form and the requestors can add extra comments.

  3. Face to face recognition. I'm pretty much an extrovert by nature, but i do take time before i get to know people. I can gauge how well i'm doing by the number of people who feel comfortable talking to me and asking for help. The guy i replaced had a habit of talking down to people, belittling them about their problems and generally refusing to help. I've done my best to help restore confidence in our department, and it pays of with a lot of face to face recognition. Examples are people coming up and asking how i got to where i am, and any advice they could give their kids, or they say hey thanks so much for just being nice to people and such comments.

So, two measureable and one personal methods of understanding user satisfaction.

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Thanks! I like the all the ideas. What do you use for the recognition system? – blank3 Nov 18 '09 at 13:29
We have a custom built app that allows users to log in, send a recognition to others (who receive an email notification) and also send points to others. The points can be redeemed for items on our online store for items ranging from iPods & DVD players to jewelry and even travel tickets. It's larger than what could be explained here. – user23193 Nov 18 '09 at 15:43

I find many of my users don't even report problems because they don't think they're actually problems - they think it's something they're doing wrong. We've found walking around and talking to people casually has helped, but it's not perfect. Surveys are pretty much nonstarters, IMO.

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This is one thing i forgot to add to my list. I make a point of walking around and checking with users, and you'll invariably always get at least one or two questions that you wouldn't get sitting at your desk waiting for work to come in. – user23193 Nov 17 '09 at 20:44
+1; At my old job, we actually send a couple IT guys on a walkaround every day at random times. We discovered a lot of issues that way, and greatly improved the IT-General Staff relationship. – phoebus Nov 17 '09 at 23:19
Thanks for the answer. Also a very good point! – blank3 Nov 18 '09 at 13:30

Parts of my answer to this question would apply: lots of communication.

If you can, put together a small group of people who are friends as well as "normal users" in the company. You want people who will tell you if you're doing something wrong, or who will let you know if they hear other people grumbling about something your group is or isn't doing.

Use all the standard communications tools: newsletters, emails, IT web site, training sessions, seminars, and encourage feedback. Ask people to respond to emails and newsletters. When you give talks or seminars make sure there's time to take questions.

For managers, you need to talk to them one-on-one as much as possible. Get their feedback whenever possible and respond to it: make sure you're providing the services they need.

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Thanks for the answer. I agree. Communication is vital: I'll be doing more emails/documentation in combination with walking around. – blank3 Nov 18 '09 at 13:33

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