Service Management Blog

How Customer Experience Strategy is driven by IT

Stephen Watts
3 minute read
Stephen Watts

Your business success depends on keeping your customers happy; IT Service Management (ITSM) gives you the technology and systems to achieve that goal. Delighting your customers means getting service management right.

In this article, you’ll learn why ITSM is critical to enhancing the customer experience and growing your business.

How IT Service Management Practices Can Benefit Customers

The two main ways that customers interact with your IT systems and services are:

  1. Directly through a mobile device app, website, SaaS, or other direct-to-consumer software.
  2. Indirectly through interacting with customer-facing employees who use IT systems to provide customer support, sales, and operations.

Both are essential to a good customer experience, so we’ll look at the impact on customers and customer-facing employees.

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IT Service Management Practices

ITSM consists of many separate but related practices, defined and delivered through the ITIL framework. Practices vary widely, from incident management to asset management, and request fulfillment to release management. The following areas have the greatest positive impact on the customer experience.

Service Desk Support: Communications and IT Fixes

The service desk is the front line for reporting and fixing issues. For customers, this means communications and reassurance their issue will be dealt with effectively. For employees, it means understanding the size of the issue and mobilizing resources to restore availability.

Availability Management: Systems and Apps Work When Employees and Customers Need Them

Availability management focuses on the maintenance, security, resilience, and reliability of critical IT systems. Your customer will have access to your apps and software when they need them. Your employees can use operational, sales, and customer service systems to sell products, manage relationships, and fix issues.

Incident Management: Fix Broken Systems Quickly to Reduce Frustration

Incident management restores service when IT systems break and minimizes downtime. Your customer won’t have to wait as long to regain access, and your employees don’t have to deal with faulty technology. Minimizing downtime is critical to employee productivity and providing continual IT services to customers.

Problem Management: Issues Don’t Happen Again

Every incident comes from an underlying root cause. Problem management identifies those root causes and eliminates them, to stop systems failing repeatedly. Customers avoid the frustration of repeated technology failures, and employees can rely on access to the software and hardware they need to support your consumers.

Demand and Capacity Management: Fast, Responsive IT Systems and Services

The demands on your IT systems vary widely over time. Demand and capacity management predict what demand is going to be and strengthen your systems for the changes. This helps customers avoid frustration with slow and unresponsive applications. It allows your employees to access faster technologies so they can serve customers without delay.

Security Management: Customer Information Is Protected from Criminals

Data breaches and identity theft is on the rise. Security management combats this by providing safe, secure, and protected systems for business, employee, and customer data. Customers have the reassurance that your business cares about their sensitive information, and your business can avoid breaches and reputational damage.

Continual Improvement: Maximize Technological Capabilities for Customers

Continual improvement involves making small, incremental changes to improve the availability, performance, resilience, responsiveness, and security of IT systems. The customer experience will improve over time as applications become more of a pleasure to use. Employees can expect their applications to work effectively as they are dealing with consumers.

Change and Release Management: Introduce New Features and Functions Without Messing Things Up

Customers expect products and services to evolve. Your product developers and project managers work with IT to add new functionality to your technologies. Change and release management protects existing systems from being compromised when these new changes are introduced. Customers can enjoy new features without concern that existing systems will stop working. And employees get access to new software functions to help them support customers more easily.

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Stephen Watts

Stephen Watts

Stephen Watts (Birmingham, AL) has worked at the intersection of IT and marketing for BMC Software since 2012.

Stephen contributes to a variety of publications including, Search Engine Journal, ITSM.Tools, IT Chronicles, DZone, and CompTIA.