According to the Agile Manifesto, customer collaboration
goes beyond contract negotiation. You can use this principle to professionalise
your service catalogue. But how do you go about doing so?
arrangements and customer experience
The Agile principle ‘customer collaboration over contract
negotiation’ is geared towards ensuring that customers truly get what they
want. When customers are dealing with a new type of service delivery, they end
up in unfamiliar situations. In such situations, people tend to focus on the
elements that deviate from what they are used to. If you work together with
your customers when developing your services, they feel more involved in the
future of your services, which is a much more productive viewpoint.
in contracts and SLAs
When organisations want to prevent that customers focus on
changes in a negative way, they often create contract arrangements and SLAs
beforehand to ensure that the service delivery will satisfy certain quality
standards. The drawback of doing so is that these kinds of arrangements can
never be all-encompassing. On top of that, they are often made with a technical
viewpoint in mind, which really isn’t the customer’s primary concern. So what’s
the alternative? Try setting up a service catalogue.
customer satisfaction with your service catalogue
Essentially, a service catalogue is similar to a contract.
It’s a (digital) document provided to the customer by the service provider,
outlining what customers can expect from a particular service.
A service catalogue allows you to create a mutual frame of
reference for your service delivery. Your aim is always to provide your
customers with good services. One relatively simple thing you can do to help
achieve this is to compile a client panel when creating a digital portal and
service catalogue. A varied group of customers will be able to provide the
project members with feedback and new insights throughout the entire project
Once that stage is completed, do continue to involve the
customer panel (perhaps with a different composition) in any developments and
changes in your services. This is one very practical way of improving your
collaboration with customers, that has them playing an actual part in the creation
of your service catalogue.
satisfaction = Quality
As I mentioned before, contract arrangements alone are
insufficient if you want to achieve customer satisfaction. That being said, it
is still important for you as a service provider to know whether you are
offering high-quality services. Essentially, service providers are only ever
trying to find the answer to a single question: ‘Are we doing it right?’
Actively asking customers for feedback could be seen as a
type of collaboration in this respect. One important condition is that the
service catalogue is fully integrated in a digital self-service portal. After
all, providing information is crucial, particularly in terms of the customer’s
ability to review outstanding calls and requests. Every time a call or request
is closed, the service provider then has the option of asking the customer
about their experience with that particular call or request.
Your challenge lies in connecting your customers’
assessments to your various services. If you do so properly, you’ll have a
continuous real-time overview of customer satisfaction levels for your service
staff. The useful feedback provided by your customers will provide you and your
service staff with incentive to focus on services that are scoring lower on
average than others.