When it comes to improving services, far too many organizations waste valuable time and resources trying to reinvent the wheel. Wouldn’t it make more sense to use the services you already offer as a starting point, and then focus on iterative improvement?

Enter Best Practice Service Management (or BPSM). In this blog, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide to implementing BPSM at your service department.

1. Define your Service Catalogue

A service catalogue is your first step towards great service management. Because how can you improve your services if you don’t even know which services you offer? Not having a clear service catalogue makes it harder to plan, prioritize and budget. And it’s confusing for your customer, since they have no clue what to expect from you.

Setting up a service catalogue gives you and your customer more insight into the products and services you provide. A service can be anything your customer needs in order to get their work done. For example, providing an employee with a laptop means more than just handing them a laptop with an OS installed; you also need to make sure they can access all the necessary applications, as well as get in contact with IT if they have a question.

2. Reactive Management

Once your service catalogue is in place, the next thing you need is a process for all questions about the standard services you support. We call this Reactive Management. Its purpose is to provide customers with the best and fastest solution possible. No more agonizing over process choices – does it really matter whether something is an incident or a request?

Instead of working with complex definitions, our Reactive Management process simply asks: what does the customer want? In BPSM, you appoint one process manager whose main concern is customer satisfaction. Every choice the process manager makes should be aimed at improving the customer’s experience.

3. Relation Management

Even with a defined service catalogue, you’ll definitely still receive questions about services you don’t support. For this, you set up a Relation Management process. The goal of relation management is to find out how you can help your customers best when they’re asking for a service that’s not in your service catalogue.

This process, too, is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is find out what the customer really wants – which is not always the same as what they ask for, mind you – and work out the best solution you can offer. And who knows, you may even get questions about things you’d like to introduce as new standard services. Which brings us to the next step…

4. The Change process

So, you’ve defined your service catalogue and customer questions are being processed correctly. Now, it’s time to update your service catalogue. The changes you make can be the result of customer requests, or because you want to make changes yourself. To do this, you’ll need to set up a Change process and appoint a Change manager.

Say you want to add a new laptop model to your service catalogue. Make sure you meet all the conditions to make it a standard service. And don’t forget to ask yourself: how does a change to what I offer affect the quality of my service catalogue? The Change manager is the gatekeeper in this process. It’s their responsibility to make sure any changes made to the service catalogue are sensible, and that the services in the catalogue can be issued.

5. Follow-up and make improvements

Once you’ve defined your service catalogue and set up processes for reactive management and relation management, you’ve laid the foundation for an efficient, customer-friendly IT department. Now it’s time for the proactive part: maintaining your services and making improvements to your service catalogue.

Most organizations feel they don’t spend enough time on this, since they have enough trouble managing the reactive process. And that’s OK. It’s the most vital part of your services, after all. But having your reactive processes in order will also free up time to work on improvements.

Want to get started with Best Practice Service Management?

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