Shared Services Center Drechtsteden improved customer satisfaction through integrated service center

From eight separate service counters for the 11 affiliated customer organizations to one central service office. With support from The Process Pros and The People Side of Change, the Drechtsteden Shared Services Center realized their ambition.

Our ambition is to bring client services to the next level

In the past, each department of the Drechtsteden Shared Services Center had its own service desk (online, call and counter) with its own service levels, tools and processes. These service desks were occupied in turn by employees of the department. Many employees did this work in addition to their ‘regular’ work. As a result, a telephone call was sometimes felt as a disruptive interruption of the daily work. However, this was not the case in the IT and Finance departments, because they had already teams that focused specifically on client services, and that worked very well. The IT service desk, for example, used an advanced service management process and tool, a knowledge management system and the recording of incoming calls. It was therefore decided to introduce this model for the entire services center in order to improve central accessibility for clients (one-stop-shopping and integrated services) and the desire to increase service levels for the entire organization. The immediate ‘why’ for launching this change project was a reorganization of the Facility Services department and a decreasing customer satisfaction. This led to the merger of al service desks into one central and integrated service office.

How did you end up at The Process Pros and The People Side of Change?

“One of their consultants had previously done a job for Drechtsteden, regarding services to the citizen. That was a succesful change. Nevertheless, there were also two other service providers on our shortlist. We were looking for an adviser who could think in terms of customer impact and guiding the organization though a transition. There was a match with this project/change manager. You would think: a process specialist only focuses on processes, but that turned out to be incorrect. The project manager focused on all relevant aspects of the change; he mastered the entire scope. Both technical and people side “.

We did not get an answer to our question, but a solution to our problem.

– Marvin Suijker, Manager IT

What kind resistance have you met in the organization?

“We had to ensure that the departments were willing to hand over their first-line client services to us. The starting point was and is the cooperation with these departments, where the best possible service to the customer was our shared focus. Of course there was some hesitation at the beginning, because they assumed they would lose control of quality and their work. The Process Pros & The People Side of Change has helped us very well with this. We split the change into smaller projects for all involved departments to chart customer questions, processes and systems. There were of course some people who had their doubts about these developments. We invested most time and energy in the large majority who was willing to embrace the plans without forgetting the others. Everyone undergoes a change in his or her own pace. Those who need longer time can indulge in the exemplary behavior of others who are already further in their indiviual change process. The change phases are the same, but the pace and needed approach is different per group and individual.“

The project/change manager has not done a job for us but with us.

– Annemarie van de Ven, Direct Supervisor SCD Services

How did you get buy-in from the impacted employees?

“There was an important role for the Prosci ADKAR model (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement) that The Process Pros and The People Side of Change introduced. It all starts with awareness of the need for change. Then the next crucial question raised: ‘what’s in it for you at an individual level?’. That was a moment when sometimes frustration came up. We have noticed that the ADKAR model is very useful to get all employees step by step on board and make a succesfull individual transition. Even though the steps are sometimes small or challenging, the model always works.“

It all starts with awareness of the need for change. Then the next crucial question raised: what’s in it for you at an individual level?

– Michiel Vrijhof, Customer Services Advisor

What happened in practice?

“The project/change manager always said: if you want a change to really work for employees, you have to keep talking about the Why and WIIFM (five to seven times). The project/change manager supported on the communication messages and approach for each impacted department and group of employees. We succeeded in taking away the idea that something was taken away from them and on the contrary delivered the insight that the services to our clients would improve. Moreover, he convinced us of the usefulness of sponsorship at executive and direct supervisor level. They openly expressed their support. That helped people to understand the necessity of the new way of working.“

How is the organization doing now?

“There are still people who have difficulty with this change. But we recently examined to what grade employees are satisfied with their job and the new way of working. This led to an average score of 7.9. Of course there are people who find it difficult to let go of tasks or take up new activities, but in general people are in the right place and delivering great work.“

The project team and steering committee has made this change a success by supporting this change with much enthusiasm from their own specific role during this change. Marvin, as a visible and active primary sponsor and building a good sponsorship coalition at board level. Annemarie, by supporting the employees as direct supervisor during the change, which was sometimes perceived and experienced different for each impacted employee. Michiel, by developing the services of the new team step by step together with the different departments and by guiding employees in their journey. An excellent collaboration! It was a great pleasure to be part of this team.

– Andy Schoonbroodt, Project / Change Manager

When you look back?

“Our assignment to the project/change manager was fairly clinical in nature: organize first- line services in a customer-oriented way of working. We have approached The Process Pros / The People Side of Change with this question. We now always say: we did get an answer to our question, but a solution to our problem. And we can also look ahead. At one point the project/change manager consciously stayed in the background and handed us the tools to do it ourselves. The moment he gets out, the services and improvement must of course continue. The project/change manager has not done a job for us but with us. By the way, we still have a help line, because it is our ambition to bring client services to the next level. ”

About Shared Services Center Drechtsteden

The Drechtsteden Shared Services Center is the shared service center for seven municipalities and four related organisations that together form the Drechtsteden. For these organizations, the SCC provides services in the area of IT, HR, Finance, Purchasing, Information services, Communication, Facility Services and Legal Affairs. To improve the service for their clients (employees of their customer organizations), the SCC decided to set up one central entry point for all customer questions and one integrated services office.

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