Customer Relationships and The Power of ‘We’

WashU IT’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) team is continually working to improve and strengthen the relationships between our organization and our customers. The team, which is made up of Senior Technology Customer Relationship Manager Candace Jarrett and Technology Customer Relationship Manager Selena Moncrief, frequently serves as a crucial point of contact with WashU IT’s customers. The team meets with designated IT liaisons, delivering IT news and strategic information while gathering invaluable feedback from the departments, schools, and units across the university. Their mission is to be the voice of the customer to IT, and the voice of IT to the customer.

CRM recently invoked ‘The Power of We,’ which is part of WashU IT’s mission, vision, values statement to aid the Division of Student Affairs in simplifying its interactions with WashU IT related to strategic initiatives.

The division is responsible for a range of student life programs including residence halls, student activities, student leadership programs, student conduct, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the First Year Student Center, health and wellness programs, career services, student academic support programs, international students and scholars, scholarship programs, the Danforth University Center, and Washington University athletics, and recreational programs.

“Our IT liaisons at the divisional level wanted a method for understanding and advocating for the IT needs of the departments housed within Student Affairs,” said Moncrief. “Bringing single points of contact within WashU IT together for one meeting would prove more fruitful in this effort.”

The meetings include Raji Laxman, of WashU IT’s Enterprise Applications Business Alignment Group. She is the business alignment lead for the student domain, under which the Division of Student Affairs is categorized.

“We are always looking at how to provide better outcomes for our customers,” Laxman said. “In these meetings, we are able to discuss and touch on everything they want to know about the many areas of WashU IT with which they interact.”

Jarrett added that as projects approach various customer groups, or a customer need requires additional IT expertise, CRM invites other parts of WashU IT to attend customer meetings.

“We utilize the ‘Power of We’ all the time based on what our customers’ need,” Jarrett said. She is careful to point out the best solutions are often as unique as the departments they involve. “CRM does not look to one formula as it pertains to nurturing a relationship with a customer. We really look at each group individually to see how we can meet their needs. Due to Student Affairs’ vast size and mission, this approach seems to work as they look at managing some parts of engaging IT for bulk ordering and projects requests at the divisional level.”

Jarrett says this is not the only example of a varied approach to customer interactions. Examples where CRM meets the customer where they are rather than in a traditional 1:1 meeting format include participating in Occupational Therapy’s technology committee meetings, as well as the Department of Medicine’s divisional administrators’ meeting.

CRM also hosts a joint meeting with the Office of Education and the Office of Medical Education for the MD program. It includes WashU IT representatives from the EUS Help Desk, EUS Deskside Support, EA Departmental Applications, and EUS Media Services. The meeting affords MD program class IT liaisons the opportunity to provide feedback about WashU IT services they utilize, as well as test solutions to issues they experience to provide real-time resolution.

Jarrett said CRM encourages other parts of WashU IT to reach out to them when they need to opportunities to interact with IT liaisons or need help with understanding the customer approach, just as CRM seeks their expertise on behalf of the customer. As WashU IT continues to work at building better customer service outcomes, CRM will continue to play a critical role in guiding WashU IT in using “The Power of We.’

Learn more about CRM at https://it.wustl.edu/home/support/crm/

Learn more about WashU IT’s Mission, Vision, Values statement at https://it.wustl.edu/home/about/mission-vision-values/