Actionable Service Catalog

The term Service Catalog has gained lot of momentum and increased focus in the Industry in the recent years. Let’s take a step back to ascertain the rationale and business driver for Service Catalog to be almost synonymous with business service.

Consumers, partners and the entire ecosystem have become pretty much IT Savvy with great exposure to market trends, growing opportunities and empowered decision making capability. Everyone is running at a lightning pace that they just love the model of “Think – order-shipped “that comes along handy as you move forward to your next destination.

So what is a Service Catalog literally?

In a common-man’s term Service Catalog is simply a menu card to display and showcase all the service offerings that the Organization provides to its customers. Having said that, building up of such a Service Catalog is not a child`s play because people carry legacy baggage and non-verified assumptions that make it a herculean task.

The best way to start the process is to first put oneself as an end-user/consumer of the services. If you were to get some services, what would you be interested in?

Service offerings, channel of distribution, pricing, competitive advantage, value benefits, time to order and prompt delivery.

Here are my 10 tips to make your Service Catalog reel in more orders and enable business outcomes

a) Adopt a competitive Marketing strategy: The best of the products and solutions cannot excite your customers until it is presented compelling in various facets of touch points

b) Do not get lost in Maze: Easy Navigational and Intuitive selection of order booking/shopping cart experience would be critical for your success. So just follow the principle of KISS (Keep it simple stupid)

c) End User Experience: Make it appealing with good graphics and clear information on price, support options and contact support will enhance end user experience. Having a live chat option to clarify and help users to pick and choose things right will earn you a higher percentage of first call resolution (Trying to correlate with the user experience of shopping)

d) Terms and Conditions: Entitlements of what you get while purchasing the product or service and support plan needs to be clearly spelt out without ambiguities in plain language instead of sophisticated jargons.

e) Building trust – This comes with consistent user experience right from choosing options, shopping experience, delivery and post-delivery support.

f) Periodic Feedback Review: Organizations should be open to solicit candid feedback from customers and work promptly on action plans and close loop to address the pressing issues.

g) Roadmap of Future Products and Services:
This will be both in the interest of the consumer as well as service provider to highlight plans and roadmap communicated using appropriate styles to stay connected and understand the changing perspectives

h) Value added benefits: Benefit realization and value delivery become the most important differentiator for customers to come back to you for experimenting on your new products and services.

i) Training and Education: Offer your customers hand holding on the market trends, opportunities and training to keep them informed to make effective business decisions

j) Become trusted advisors: Offering a world class product using a great Service Catalog is just a beginning and the goal of the service provider must be to become trusted advisors in executing the whole service lifecycle to achieve true business outcomes.

What is your best tip for building the Service Catalog?

Suresh GP has more than 12 Years of experience with 7 + years at Hewlett Packard (HP). He is currently the Global Delivery Leader for SMS under HP Professional Services. He has wealth of experience in different facets of IT Service Management, IT Governance, Project & Program Management and ISO Standards. Over the years, he has performed diversified roles that included ITSM Consultant/Solution Architect/ Program Manager/Business Consultant and Architecture & Standards Governance Manager.With ideal blend of experience in Infrastructure Management domain and Managed Services, he continues to be a trusted advisor for Clients World Wide. To complement his extensive experience, he has earned wide range of certifications that include ITIL V3 Expert, CGEIT, PMP, ISO 20000 Practitioner and ISO/IEC 20000 & 27001 Lead Auditor. He is a regular blogger and speaker in National & International Forums and some of the Publications and blogs are available at ISACA, PMI, HDI Connect and ITSM Portal.Suresh runs the ITSM Weekly Asia Podcast covering Indian ITSM practitioners and senior executives on Market trends, challenges and best practices. He also serves as Board of Director at itSMF India and Executive Council member of itSMF Singapore Chapter.Follow him on Linkedin: sg.linkedin.com/in/sureshgp. Follow him on twitter: @sureshgp