If someone were to ask you “What is the purpose IT Service Management?”, you might simply say:
“It is the management of IT services for the customer.” The next question that may come up would be,
“How do you do that effectively?” That answer may not be as simple, but it could be…
Like most improvements of any nature you rely on what you measure to tell you how well you are doing today. The result far too often is that we never really seem to achieve customer satisfaction the way we intended. We get only so far and seem to hit a plateau. Why is that?
The challenge you may face is that of perspective.
Think about this for a minute… IT will measure how “good” IT is doing based on the reporting that IT does on itself.
Sounds crazy when you put it in those terms, however quite often this is how we do it. We measure the amount of incidents we had last month and their durations which is good, don’t misunderstand. However, we are measuring IT success based on IT criteria, not that of the customer. If we want to improve the customer experience we should first understand what that experience is.
There are many ways in which we can better understand this. Depending on your organization some ways will have more value than others. It could be managed through:
- A customer satisfaction survey,
- Some form of Social IT,
- Actual customer interactions, or
- A combination of these.
It’s also important to be specific; the whole purpose is to get feedback from the customers and not to assume what the issues are. Set some goals and target them accordingly.
Remember that this is about improving service. It is not just an “Incident Reduction” thing or something along those lines. Get all of IT on board with the work you are doing to achieve this goal. While it may be the mandate of the ITSM team to improve quality of service and drive down the costs, alignment ensures that you are all going in the same direction towards customer satisfaction. At the end of the day IT is providing services to achieve a business outcome.
Keep in contact with your customers while this work is underway. Many of these improvements are not going to happen overnight so it is important that your customers understand that you have heard their suggestions and are working with them to improve the quality of service.