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ITSM support tools for excellent customer service

ITSM support tools for excellent customer service

In today’s highly competitive business climate, the role and dependency of technology in most enterprises underpin their success. An unexpected failure of a business-critical service or underpinning IT infrastructure components can result in major financial losses, damaged brand credibility, or loss of organizational confidence. Managing the customer experience, the affected services, and the underpinning IT infrastructure are increasingly vital to the IT function. Yet many organizations still struggle with sourcing and selecting the right supplier and IT Service Management (ITSM) software toolset to assist with this. When ITSM support tools are well implemented, they ensure an effective management of IT services, which, in turn, improves the customer experience, and satisfaction and contributes to the bottom line.

Identifying customer needs while meeting IT support requirements

Define and agree on requirements and expected outcomes from the start. Identifying the needs of customers to meet their IT support requirements is a crucial part of the implementation process. In an ideal situation, it would be useful to know all of the customer’s requirements from the start, but in reality, this isn’t always possible, but there is an underlying assumption gained from years of experience that organizations are driven to improve service by doing things more efficiently, economically and combined with
great customer experience. When Marval is selected as a supplier of choice, we commence by holding a scoping workshop to identify the organization's real needs. We carry out a simple SWOT analysis to gauge the IT strengths and weaknesses of the organization. We then establish the required outcomes to be achieved and the processes they want to improve, amongst other key considerations such as timing, project phasing, and training. This analysis and scoping workshop provides the foundation of the service improvement plan, which is measurable and agreed upon by the team.

Optimal ITSM implementation

Sometimes an organization may be unclear as to the exact requirements they really need in delivering the optimum service; after all, it’s not every day a business has to select a new ITSM tool. At Marval, we always provide this type of help and assistance. We are excellently positioned to guide and influence the customer based on experience gained from similar organizations with similar requirements and similar challenges. To ensure a successful outcome, customers must be honest about what they want to achieve within their organizational and financial boundaries. The IT team may be technical experts in their field but may also be lacking in
ITSM knowledge and experience. This is where Marval can really assist the organization in choosing the right direction and approach, including; people, processes, and procedures, alongside software implementation to ensure the project is successful.

Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder engagement is critical from the start and is a key part of Marval’s scoping workshop. Stakeholder engagement should not involve just the IT staff but other areas of the organization that will rely on successful outcomes, such as the business sponsors and users. Remember, what might be important to IT staff is often vastly different from end-user needs. Choosing an ITSM solution and supplier should be a business decision, not a technical one made solely by the IT team. The most common error made is asking the IT department in isolation what they want to get out of a software tool. This often results in requirements containing hundreds of features with barely a mention of the challenges the business has to address and the desired outcomes.

Top Tips in the Selection Process

  • Ensure that senior management is behind the service improvement initiative and there is strong leadership to see the project through.
  • Determine your business outcomes and any technical/organizational constraints, and then establish how the ITSM solution will meet them.
  • Understand what you really need and identify ‘must have’ from ‘nice to have’.
  • Do not set unreasonable requirements, e.g., ‘the solution must integrate with ALL company X applications.’
  • There is no such thing as a free lunch. Look at overall costs over 3 – 5 years outside of tool procurement/maintenance.
  • Organizational change/staff buy-in will decide the project’s success and ensure adequate training is taken from the outset.
  • Check the software provider's credentials and certificates - look into their background, qualifications, and industry involvement.
  • What do other customers have to say? Ask vendors for references that you can speak to.

The diagram below shows how easy it is for an organization to misunderstand what the business actually needs and how poor communication can result in wrong outcomes.