In 2011, Capita Total Document Solutions (CTDS) commissioned
to conduct primary qualitative research to understand customer attitudes/satisfaction with Swordfish and related CTDS services.
Guildwright undertook a comprehensive series of in-depth interviews with customers using Swordfish, including senior decision makers and operations staff. We are grateful for the willing support, honest insights, and future solutions provided by all the respondents.
The project objectives focused on:
- Exploring client attitudes to the Swordfish product and related services
- Understanding, in detail, opinions of CTDS and assessing levels of customer satisfaction
- Identifying where there may be opportunities for future improvements and closer relations.
Customers have noticed tangible improvements in customer relations in the past 18 months, with CTDS having worked hard to resolve issues. There are strong relationships in place at senior level, with several willing to be advocates for CTDS and Swordfish.
“They are like a friend that I can call whenever and have open and frank discussions – it’s a proper relationship not like with most sub-contractors.” Respondent quote
Some concerns remain at the operational level, where staff at the ‘coalface’ dealing with issues feel they are rarely asked about their or the Swordfish users’ day to day needs and requirements. Customers also accept they also have a degree of responsibility for many of the problems faced.
Customers suggest Version 4 of Swordfish is ‘clunky’ and ‘antiquated’ compared to Version 10 and to other software packages they use (Microsoft and SAP given as examples).
They see this as being partly responsible for a lack of internal buy-in/usage of Swordfish.
“I have seen the new version and it looks great. We would love to upgrade to this but cannot afford to.” Respondent quote
Most customers suggest their Swordfish solution had been tailored to their specific needs and that off-the-shelf solutions might not work for them. Yet there is awareness that their needs may actually be very similar to others in their business sector. Whether tailored or off-the-shelf, flexibility of the system is critical, i.e. making it easier to make system changes or undertake better reporting themselves.
Customers perceive CTDS as a reactive rather than a pro-active business. CTDS is felt to deliver valued solutions when requests are made but they are not seen to drive future relations or inspirational ideas.
Infrastructure issues are typically blamed on CTDS even when these may be due to other Capita divisions or customer’s own systems. Customers expressed a desire for a ‘One Business’ approach from Capita.
Opportunities and challenges
Respondents identified the primary opportunities for CTDS as:
- Providing cost justifiable options for Swordfish clients to upgrade to Version 10; help clients with a business case that proves a return on their investment
- Encouraging/facilitating more user forums and conferences, face-to-face and online opportunities for customers to share experiences, ideas and solutions
- Better support services, i.e. open communication channels to resolve issues rather than an automated problem logging service
- Being more proactive in terms of offering ideas and inspiration
- Helping to inspire interest, usage and uptake of Swordfish among customer staff
- Better reporting support
- Keeping customers abreast of what is in the pipeline and ensuring regular product enhancements
- Enabling customers to make their own (minor) product changes.
The challenges for all sides are to:
- Improve communication at operational levels – getting everyone working closer together
- Ensure there is a clear vision for the future of Swordfish and the teams/personnel involved
- Develop clear contingency plans for Swordfish and proactive response/solutions to issues
- Prompt resolution of any critical issues to enable smooth running of ‘business as usual’.