What’s in your shop window?

Chris Good


July 2020

key fact

Identifying the services that an internal team offers, such as IT, can be a minefield. Presenting these services clearly and effectively is a key component to providing great service.

Imagine this scenario.

You are hungry. You have a craving for a tasty burger. You don’t have much time. You see a shop front called ‘Best Burger’. With much anticipation you walk in. The place is beautiful and the aroma from the kitchen is divine. However, the place is packed. You wait patiently in the queue. A friendly (albeit slightly stressed) staff member walks the line to thank you for your patience. As time goes on, some leave the queue in frustration. But you hold out. You really need this burger. You’re now next in line, and search for a menu, but there isn’t one. You decide to wait to speak to the helpful guy at the till. Finally, you’re there.

Guy: “Welcome to Best Burger. Sorry for the wait. What would you like?”

You: “I’d like a cheeseburger please.”

Guy: “Sorry, we don’t do those here.”

You. “That’s a bit odd. Just a beef burger then please.”

Guy: “We don’t do those either.”

You: “Well what do you do then?”

Guy: “Philamantic AHS burgers.”

You: “What are they!?”

Guy: “It’s our term for Vegan burgers.”

You: (now very hungry and annoyed). “I’ll have one of those please.”

Guy: “Sure thing. We cook them fresh so that’ll be a couple of minutes.”

You take a ticket and sit down. A few minutes later the chef comes out to speak to you.

Chef: “Thanks for your order. We’re about to start cooking. Can you confirm what you’d like please?”

You: “Really??? A Vegan burger, I’ve placed my order already.”

Chef: “Ah, yes. What would you like in that?”

You: “I didn’t realise there were options! Why didn’t the guy at the till ask me to begin with? I’ll have lettuce and mayonnaise please.”

Chef: “We don’t do mayonnaise, but we do lettuce. We’ll get on to that now for you.”

(I could have gone on with this scenario…)

You then see the Chef pass on your order to a colleague to complete.

Half an hour after walking in, you finally get your burger. It tastes great (and probably the best you’ve had), but the experience leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.

On your way out, you are handed a customer satisfaction form to fill in. You’re too annoyed and time poor to fill it in.

Now apply this to the internal service provider world, be that IT, HR, Finance or any other function that provides a service to another team (and regardless as to whether these functions are in-sourced, outsourced or multi-sourced).

If you work in such a function, is your Service Catalogue visible to your customers and listed in a way that they will easily understand?

For those services that can be requested:

  1. Are they easy to find? Do your customers know where to go for all Service needs, or is the onus on them to navigate the different areas of the organisation? Can customers self-serve and/or submit requests online via a service portal, or do they need to call / email someone?
  2. How many are still fully, or at least partially, paper / email based?
  3. When a service is selected, are optionality questions presented to ensure all required information is captured ready to be fulfilled by your team?
  4. How many requests automatically route through to the correct team to fulfil first time of asking?
  5. Are any approvals required? And if they are, do the associated delays and extra effort outweigh the risks, especially when considering alternative governance methods available?
  6. Do you have the required capacity to fulfil these requests?
  7. When was the last time you checked whether the Service Desk could fulfil the request (with training / knowledge articles) instead of a second or third line team
  8. When was the last time you conducted customer satisfaction reviews to draw out those all-important service improvement plans?

Whilst the ‘Best Burger’ scenario is fictitious, this is often a very real scenario in the internal service provider world, with two major differences:

  • customers are unlikely to be able to go elsewhere for the service they require. If they do, ‘shadow service’ drives increased cost, risk and complexity to the organisation, and
  • the function is unlikely to go bust, unless this brings the wider organisation down with it.

Organisations rightly invest resources in promoting their revenue generating products and services to their external customers, going great lengths to provide a customer experience that aligns to their strategy and values. Why should internally provided services be any different?

Developing a customer friendly, concise and interactive Service Catalogue is key to the effective operation of all aspects of Service Management across the enterprise, key to efficiency, and key to delighting your customers.

Using tried and tested techniques, Mason Advisory has extensive experience in assisting organisations to quickly create and leverage the advantages of an effective Service Catalogue.

This is the third in a series of three Service Management articles. Click below to see the other two:

Published in: LinkedIn

Disclaimer – opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer or organisation.

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