by Jeffrey Tefertiller
Imagine investing in a new brick-and-mortar store, staffing it fully, ordering inventory and everything needed to provide services. Now imagine that you did all this without ever seeking to understand whether your potential customers want or need the service at that location or at the listed price. This sounds ludicrous but this is normal practice in the world of Information Technology.
Understanding the customer’s wants and needs is the proper starting place for such a decision. Even while the consumer world is focusing on the customer’s satisfaction and experience, this concept is only now starting to penetrate IT. Our consumers increasingly have a choice in the services they use, and the way they feel when they consume these services dictates their future spending. Welcome to the world of experience management.
Whereas service management is the process of defining and managing a service, experience management is about understanding how a service is experienced and making educated decisions based on that understanding. Do consumers believe you care about their feedback? Do you make it easy for consumers to use your services? How are you capturing their experiences? How are you assessing and incorporating the feedback? Lastly, how are you measuring the consumer experience? Now is the time for IT and IT Service Management to embrace experience management.
Experience Management and IT Service Management
Let’s look at how experience management reveals itself in the world of IT Service Management. It begins with understanding how experiences are built when consumers interact with IT. Think about all the interactions and try to view them from the consumer’s point of view. For example, how do your consumers feel when they interact with your Service Desk (calls, emails, and chatbots), self-service portal, Incident Management, Change Management/Enablement, and all of the other ways IT services are used? How do consumers feel when they consume these services? How can we measure the sentiment that determines the experiences? How do we use this information and turn it into wisdom for decision-making? This is how experience management changes the world of IT Service Management.
There are many methods and tools a company can leverage to capture and manage experiences. As experience management envelopes IT Service Management, standards and best practice guidance are emerging. The key to success is understanding the customer interactions from their viewpoint.
- Is the Service Desk hold time too long?
- Is the self-service portal easily understood and do they have all the necessary services?
- What are the consumers expectations when interacting with your IT services?
Do you know? If not, the onus is on you to understand the sentiment that your services are creating. In a recent survey by Vanson Bourne, it was found that on average, 51% of incidents are not reported by the business to the service-desk. What does that say about IT service management?
SLA vs XLA – What’s the Difference?
According to ITIL® 4, a service level agreement (SLA) is “A documented agreement between a service provider and a customer that identifies both services required and the expected level of service.” An experience level agreement or XLA is defined as a commitment to providing a defined experience. Something quite different.
In OwlPoint’s Experience Management Training we show that there are two perspectives of XLAs:
- XLA with the consumer of an experience. Examples are, employees using IT services, an outsourced IT services rebid RFP, employee engagement experience
- XLA with the provider of an experience. Examples are an internal organization delivering to individual employees, or an outsourced IT services supplier
In the first XLA, the consumer’s XLAs are the experience commitments wanted or required, so asking is key.
In the second XLA, the provider’s XLAs are the experience commitments to be delivered, so knowing is key.
As a starting place, review your services and see each from your consumer’s viewpoint. Try to understand what your consumer’s expectations are when interacting with your IT services and determine if you’re meeting the expectations.
From there, contact us and we will help you begin your Experience Management Journey.