Last time I talked about the challenges we faced when eir Business embarked on the journey towards ISO certification, including mindset, integrating different skill sets, and introducing new technologies. This time I’d like to offer a few tips for large organisations looking to transform service delivery and achieve certification.
I’m not claiming to offer a blueprint for certification success, rather just a few areas you may need to explore, if our own experience of certification at eir Business is anything to go by:
1. Assess how different business units measure customer satisfaction
If different areas of your business use their own unique means of measuring customer satisfaction, you could find that customers are still unhappy even though “lights are green” across the board according to current metrics. It might be time to change the metrics. Take an overall view and develop a consistent means for measuring whether you have delivered on your promises to customers.
2. Define the service catalogue
Your portfolio of services will need to be scrutinised as you start to think about using standardised, repeatable processes and delivering consistent levels of service. It can be challenging if you have a portfolio largely composed of bespoke services which are notoriously difficult to price, tricky to manage and challenging to replicate. Your ideal final result is for everybody to be singing off the same hymn sheet, which is the service catalogue: if it’s not in the service catalogue, you don’t sell it.
3. Empower people to take action
I’ve already mentioned that the integration of standardised, repeatable, best practice processes will be a big part of your certification journey. That means you’ll be helping teams figure out the most effective ways of working, but that doesn’t make you the expert in the work they do. Your teams know the systems, the customers, and the current products – the certification journey should be regarded as a way of facilitating them to use their expert knowledge and find a smarter way of working. For us, ITIL version 3 provided the framework for deciding what that “smarter way” should be.
4. Sell the bigger picture: certification and standardisation will make things better
The benefits of ISO 20000 have been well-documented, including faster response times when issues arise, reduced cost (and associated decrease in financial pressure for the organisation), fewer customer incidents to troubleshoot, and happier customers all around. Helping your team focus on this end goal, keeping their eyes on the prize, is an important part of maintaining momentum and enthusiasm throughout the long certification journey.
5. Keep talking to your customers
Don’t forget to remain perceptive to your customers’ feedback about what they feel you’re doing right and areas where you could improve. During the relaunch of our managed network services, we consulted rather deeply with our customers to get their view on what a best in class managed network service should look like. If you are a large, long-standing organisation whose customers value your stability and sector expertise, you might not have the organisational instinct to continually monitor how customers feel about you and what their ideas may be for your improvement, although admittedly the rise of Net Promoter Score has modified that somewhat. Your certification journey is about ensuring that the way you deliver services drives customer satisfaction, so don’t forget to keep those lines of communication open.
If your organisation is facing a transformation challenge, our experienced team can help with network design, information security and ICT architecture.