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The Two Dimensions of IT Service Excellence

When it comes to IT, don’t you think it’s about time we got customer service right? In other words, why, despite the best intentions of both providers and customers, dose ITSM end up falling short of excellence? At his blog, Ryan Ogilvie comes to the conclusion that IT service management regularly fails to provide excellent service because it assumes to know the needs of the customer.

Perspective: Service Provider

To understand the customer, IT service providers are usually quite content to look at their own metrics and then move forward with a plan. That’s only half the story, according to Ogilvie. Aside from the fact that a provider’s metrics are possibly flawed, there is no way of knowing if a quickly resolved issue is being effectively resolved.

Perspective: Customer

This part isn’t as complex as one might assume. If you want to know what customers are thinking, it’s a good idea to ask them, but the ‘how’ of asking is a bit tricky. A yearly survey might include questions about request completion times, yet vague questions about speed of delivery do not really advance the provider’s cause.

Hanging the “Picture Frame” of Service

The best approach for achieving quality service is to combine the two perspectives listed above to form a cohesive strategy. Much like hanging a picture frame, one must gauge the dimensions of the frame against those of the wall in order to make the ideal placement. Ogilvie offers a brief example:

  • Service Provider: “It looked like in the past 3 months we have seen an increase in the amount of requests as well as the duration of those requests for application x”
  • Customer: “Yes we have started a new marketing blast for our customers that has increased the need for not only new associates but the roles that they need to get their work completed:
  • Service Provider: “I see, is this a seasonal promotion or something that is long lasting?
  • Customer: “actually in the coming months we are looking to expand our sales globally”   The above interaction should result in a beautiful IT customer service picture!

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI’s Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master’s degree in communications at Penn State University.

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