This phrase, attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, was the dictum most enterprises followed for long. These enterprises were product-centric with the main objective of selling their products to customers. They poured tremendous energy into continuously adding features and enhancements. They expended intellectual capital on clever messaging strategies and tactics designed to make customers aware of the features and making them want to try them. This was the age when a "New and Improved!" version was always just around the corner.
However, times have changed in more ways than one. Enterprises have evolved digitally as business processes have become streamlined and data-driven. New competitors have entered the industry with disruptive innovations. But the biggest transformation has occurred in how customers perceive the companies they do business with. Customers are more aware. They know what they want and how they want it. They are very conscious of their right to a good experience.
The need to thrive in this hyper-competitive world has driven enterprises to become more customer-centric. They are prioritizing the customer experience to create customer preference and enhance loyalty and advocacy.
The demand for a good experience has put pressure on the customer service function too. The service desk must keep pace with business changes and align its processes to meet evolving customer expectations. The function needs to be enabled with the right tools, processes, and technologies and be empowered to provide outstanding customer service.
Solutions like IT Service Management (ITSM) can help service departments serve their customers better. It helps them manage the end-to-end delivery of services to their customers in line with business norms.
The foremost priority of the service desk is to resolve issues quickly and effectively. To save costs and time, the objective is to ensure that there are no repeat calls. However, the service desk is sometimes unable to address queries when the team members do not have access to all the knowledge base, or they may not have the right tools or infrastructure to fix the issue at the first instance. To address this problem, enterprises must invest in ITSM.
ITSM creates an optimized workflow that routes the request appropriately and provides the service personnel tasked with solving the problem all the information they need when the issue reaches them. This aids faster resolution. It also becomes possible to create and share self-service knowledge resources that can aid the customer to troubleshoot their problems without any intervention. Data captured in the ITSM solution also helps the service desk manager monitor analyze accumulated performance data and determine if issues aren’t getting resolved. They can identify early if something is amiss and address any systemic issues to maintain first-time fix rates.
Customers seek high-quality experiences free of irritants and road blocks. The onus now lies on the service desk to provide just that. To begin with, the service desk must establish best practices, define seamless processes, and find ways to resolve customer queries efficiently. With a robust ITSM strategy, the enterprise can find out the gaps in existing processes and tools, structure the process to handle customer queries effectively, document the processes, and evaluate customer satisfaction regularly. This will not only help enterprises improve service levels, but also improve customer experience and build a strong relationship with them based on a strong perception as a professional and capable corporate brand.
We have repeatedly been using the phrase "create value for customers". To create that value, enterprises have to measure the service outcomes to know if it is really delivering what customers want. ITSM helps enterprises analyze the impact of their customer service based on transparent metrics that are mapped against industry benchmarks. This will help the enterprise gain insights into customer pain points, identify the improvement areas, and solve them to enhance customer satisfaction. They can also take specific decisions such as improving existing processes, launching automated options or integrating technology like self-service portals, or prioritizing training programs for the team members to ensure that they deliver more value to customers. This cannot be a one-time exercise. Enterprises need to regularly measure the metrics and monitor the progress to innovate and meet the customer expectations consistently. ITSM solutions help keep these facets in focus.
Service desks are typically reactive. They act when a customer complains. Most of their time is spent resolving tickets. ITSM, if implemented well, can help enterprises create customer delight by allowing them to anticipate their upcoming challenges. The data gathered over past customer interactions can be analyzed for insights about the likely conditions causing customer issues. ITSM can help the service desk become proactive by proving early fixes based on intelligent predictions about problems or prepare for a surge in issues that get reported in clusters. Enterprises can also develop and share knowledge bases with the customers to accelerate self-service query resolution. Resolving these issues can also help the enterprise to prevent unplanned outages and maintain business continuity.
Customer-centricity does not end with establishing set processes, hiring the right people, or using tools. It has to deliver continuous value to the customers. Enterprises must start with assessing the capabilities required to improve their service delivery. At ITPN, we help enterprises achieve ITSM maturity advancement so they can stay ahead of the competition and deliver a superior experience to their customers. We leverage our vast experience and expertise for end-to-end ITSM implementation to help enterprises unlock the potential of digital transformation, improve agility, and reduce costs on serving customers. The aim is to help enterprises evolve to an optimized level where every process and function is managed through solid governance. A superior customer experience is a natural consequence of that.