Thursday, 23 January 2014

Becoming Cx

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @hotpixUK
or LinkedIn here

I must have written in these posts the phrase sometimes good things go bad and occasionally bad things come good somewhere along the line. It is a truism and I saw one positive one being played out at this last week’s Civica Conference held at Manchester Central. It was great to meet some old pals and some recent good eggs! If you are reading this, you will know who you are.

The conference does cover the vast range of Civica’s portfolio, but clearly the housing related features were of most interest to me. There were some inspirational speakers too. Andrew McMillan, Consultant and Former Head of Customer Service at John Lewis, was particularly good. He highlighted how consistency can create an exemplary customer care culture. Something that many RSL’s and housing organisations are struggling to achieve across all their channels, telephone into the customer service centre, interactions on the web and with repair operatives, (who because they wear a florescent jacket or fleece with your organisations name on it, should be able to deal with any request....).

The new Cx housing system was getting a good airing and quite rightly so I think. If I had £50 from all my more clued up housing system contacts who have asked me about it, I would have about £450 by now. Everyone switched on is curious. It’s the first new designed from the ground up housing system in 10 years and some features like the Contact Management truly are designed with future needs in mind, rather than ‘preferences for email etc bolted on later’.  Very brave in MHO and just one of the clever aspects that will make this a true player in a marketplace, against some aging solutions. If too many of your housing systems still look like DOS or Windows95, don’t bank on keeping it if you get involved in a merger. Civica are potentially on to a winner here if handled well.

On securing a drink at the Hilton bar on Deansgate, from Martyn Rees he was typically conservative about the significance of Cx, which was understandable. I would expect him to under-promise and do his best to over deliver. That's how you surprise.

I am sure he knows how good this all should be and Michael O'Reilly gave it a great overview at the Civica Housing User Group session on Thursday afternoon. I was pleased to see some of the sexier features shown, such as the forms & questionnaire designer and the Lettings application progression widget looked so good. Also proud to say to Mark Holdsworth, “that was my idea buddy”.

If handled well, implemented quickly, stops pulled out at some significant sites that are already signed up to upgrade, when its available for them, Civica have a real chance with a game changer on their hands. As any procurement person knows, for five years plus, tenders have been asking for pure browser delivery plus SQL Server.

Citrix, Terminal Services or Oracle in a browser etc, are the standard responses. With Windows8, touch screens and gestures will soon reach the office after mobile workers start to have them. If your device has a browser, your staff can join the Cx party.

Civica are tooling up too for the implementation phase of Cx. A tricky act to get that right that one, as I know myself, I have implemented enough tricky projects. Hopefully Jeff has got the A-Team signed up for that delivery outfit, hope he has got some black transit vans with red stripes on order...

If you are a UH, 4Js, CTX, Saffron or Genero user, do contact me and let me know what you think about Cx, is it something you are considering or are you squeezing more value out of what you have? Find me using the links on the right or via Linkedin.

You can link with me on LinkedIn here - It would be great to connect !

The Sneaker pimps - Becoming X .

(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

PS As usual, if there are subjects you might like me to tackle on this blog, please get in touch and let me know!

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