Delivering Great Customer Service with ITIL4
The world of technology and the approach to delivering IT services has drastically changed over the last two decades. Organisations that deliver IT services now need to be more flexible and agile, not only to be able to adapt quickly to changing customer requirements and demands, but also to find efficient, secure, cost-effective and value-driven ways to deliver these services to their customers. This is where the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (“ITIL”) can be of a great benefit.
What is ITIL?
ITIL is a set of processes for IT service management (“ITSM”) which focus on providing IT services that are aligned with an organisation’s business needs rather than technology. The latest version of ITIL was released in 2018 with an emphasis on providing a more customisable version of the framework which encourages more collaboration and better communication across the entire business. The framework is used throughout the world by a range of top organisations such as Microsoft, Intel, NASA, Disney, and British Airways.
How ITIL benefits our customers as well as our company?
At Kogitas our focus is to deliver the best experience for our customers and add value with every product or service we provide. However, creating value is not a one-way street. To do this, we look for continuous feedback to allow us to evaluate our processes and make changes that will help us to become better at delivering IT services.
To successfully apply this principle of ‘co-creating’ value, we follow the advice from the ITIL:
- Understand how customers use each service, what are the expected outcomes, how each service contributes to these, and how customers perceive us.
- Collect feedback on services on an ongoing basis, not just at the beginning of the service relationship.
- Encourage a focus on value among all employees, teach them to be aware of who their customers are and to understand the customer experience.
- Focus on value in every step of any improvement initiative.
- Everybody involved in an improvement initiative needs to understand the outcomes of the initiative, how ‘value’ will be measured, and how they should contribute to the co-creation of that value.
ITL4 introduced the concept of a Service Value System (“SVS”) in order to assist with obtaining value from IT services. The purpose of the system was to break down organisation silos through a Service Value Chain (“SVC”) which provides an operating model for the creation, delivery, and continual improvement of services.
As you can see in the diagram above, it is a flexible model that defines six key activities that we can combine in many ways to create value. These activities are:
#1 – Plan: the purpose of this activity is to ensure that the vision, current status and improvement direction of all products and services are understood across the organisation.
#2 – Improve: the purpose of this activity is to ensure continual improvement of products, services and practices across all value chain activities.
#3 – Engage: the purpose of this activity is to provide a good understanding of customers’ needs, transparency, and continual engagement and good relationship with customers.
#4 – Design & Transition: the purpose of this activity is to ensure that products and services continually meet customers’ expectations for quality, costs, and time to market.
#5 – Obtain/Build: the purpose of this activity is to ensure that service components are available when and where they are needed and meet agreed specifications.
#6 – Deliver & Support: the purpose of this activity is to ensure that services are delivered and supported according to agreed specifications and customers’ expectations.
The Service Value Chain allows customers to have early participation in the value-creation exercise and with feedback at each step, meaningful iterations can be made. Customer-oriented organisations understand the value of feedback and use a ‘feedback loop’ mechanism. As iterations are being undertaken, circumstances and priorities can change. Therefore, it is important to actively collect and process customers’ feedback to identify improvement opportunities, risks and issues and implement the necessary changes to deliver the best value for our customers.
We strongly believe that having an ITIL certified workforce will allow us to continuously improve the services we deliver to our customers. Most of our employees taken the initial certification of ITIL4 – so we look forward to getting the rest of the team certified over the next couple of months.