How Can Businesses Improve Their Customer Experience
To improve the customer experience, business leaders should lean on proven best practices. While there are many proven ways to give customers a better impression of a business, we recommend doing the following three first:
- Incorporate ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) best practices into CSM (Customer Service Management) processes
- Adopt a complete CSM platform that utilizes ITIL
- Integrate new CX (Customer Experience) solutions with proven existing ones
ITIL best practices haven’t historically been utilized in CSM operations or improvements. Still, frameworks like ITIL and COBIT (Control Objectives for Information Technology) have a lot of innovation and efficiency to offer within the customer experience. Businesses that adopt the best practices in these frameworks stand to gain a lot from doing so. Since it is a newly emerging trend in the industry, it will give them a distinct advantage over those that lag.
As we’ve discussed above, the somewhat novel realization of the importance of customer service management and the customer experience has left many organizations looking for ways to improve both. Frameworks such as ITIL hold many of the answers they are looking for because they have been developed over time and provide a matured standard for these seemingly new problems.
But why ITIL?
Why Incorporate ITIL Solutions into CSM?
ITIL 4 is arguably the most popular and widely adopted Service Management framework globally. This isn’t just because of its effectiveness in the IT space but rather its comprehensive set of procedures and best practices that can be implemented across many different departments outside of IT. This is why it works uniquely well when looking for a framework that can be adapted to the needs of CSM and CX.
ITIL offers the following benefits to CSM and CX departments looking to improve their operations and provide better results for their consumers and even employees.
- More substantial alignment between the service management team and the business
- Maximizing value to end users from products and services offered by the company
- Maximizing value realized to the business by supplying those products and services and ROI in those systems
- Co-creation of Value between the Vendor and Customer of that product and service
- Improved service delivery and customer satisfaction
- Reduced costs through improved utilization of resources
- Greater visibility of costs and benefits
- Better management of business risk and service disruption
- Improve and maintain high-quality information to support business decisions
- Demonstrating to the business or customers a company’s commitment to best practices and continual improvement
ITIL can help support CSM teams with best practices that can then be supported by an appropriate Service Management tool to EMPOWER Teams, ENABLE Operations and ELEVATE customer experience holistically.
Incorporate ITIL Best Practices into the Customer Experience
What is ITIL?
Fundamentally ITIL® is a set of best practices on how to deliver value to your customers. The latest version is ITIL 4. It is a set of procedures and standards that impart practical and strategic service management guidance. ITIL is used as a guide to help companies improve the value of their services by focusing on co-creating business value for the end user and the company delivering those services.
Although the letters IT are still in the acronym of (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), it is no longer reserved solely for the domain of IT and can be used in any service management environment.
When thinking about a new or existing service or product, you need to consider the best approach to plan, engage, design, build, deliver, support, and continually improve that product or Service. ITIL 4 will supply the best practice for this.
At a simplistic level, it takes the demand or opportunity for a product or service and how the co-creation of value can be realized.
All companies, when providing a product or service, have influences and constraints put on them from the stakeholders of the product/service and to wider entities such as regulatory or political organizations. ITIL 4 has a model to see the impact on all these on the company that provides products or services.
Within ITIL 4, this is the “4 Dimensions of Service Management” in the Pestle Diagram (see below). These four dimensions – Organizations and People, Partners and Suppliers, Information and Technology, and Value Streams and Processes – are all interlinked and influenced by external factors.
By making use of the 4 Dimensions model, organizations can make use of the Service Value System to map resources for delivering their products and services.
In the middle of the Service Value System is the Service Value Chain, which converts opportunity or demand into value for the customer and company.
The Service Value Stream is a specific series of activities for a particular use case through the value chain. This also includes the documents that a given service or product utilizes, which flow through the Service Value Chain. This value stream is not a linear journey; typically, the exact steps and activities will vary depending on the use case.
The six core activities of any value stream are:
- PLAN and create a shared understanding of the vision for the product or service and what the company wants to achieve.
- ENGAGE with stakeholders to understand their needs, both internal to the company and the customer, and other external influences on that product or service being offered.
- DESIGN & TRANSITION products or services based on the “Plan” and “Engage” activities.
- OBTAIN/BUILD the products and services.
- DELIVER & SUPPORT products and services accordingly – deciding how the products or services are going to be delivered to the customer and how they are going to be supported.
- IMPROVE products and services continually as an indefinite process of evolution.
But how does all of this actually impact end users?
How Does ITIL Translate to CSM?
Prior to ITIL 4, the framework was very focused on IT. Within ITIL 4, the main focus is broadened to apply to service providers more generally– companies delivering products and services internally for IT, HR, or Finance or externally in a B2B or B2C environment.
The ITIL best practice framework now is just as relevant for any service provider, regardless of the service or product that is delivered.
It could be a SaaS software vendor designing, developing, and delivering CRM or banking software. It could be an insurance services company or even a healthcare provider. All these sectors can benefit from following the ITIL 4 best practice framework and thinking about the six core activities of the value stream that we described throughout the lifecycle of their products and services.
Improve the Customer Experience with Vivantio
While each of the benefits listed in this article work wonders for businesses, they won’t help if managers choose a platform that doesn’t offer all of the necessary features. Vivantio offers a cutting-edge customer service software platform that offers everything listed and more, including:
- Endless integrations to make implementation easy
- Automatic ticket routing to ensure every ticket gets to the proper agent
- Workflow designer tool that allows managers to customize the framework of their CS operations without any technical knowledge required
- White label service portals so businesses can maintain a cohesive brand throughout the service process
- A holistic view of each client to ensure that no agent is left without vital information
For businesses looking to bring their customer experience into the modern age, Vivantio is a clear, premium option.
For more than two decades, Vivantio has been helping clients optimize their service organizations by leveraging a uniﬁed service management platform. To find out how Vivantio can help you implement ITIL service management principles into your customer experience, contact our team today or register for a free demo.