How do you measure your IT service success and failure? Performance numbers and metrics can be valuable, because they help you to improve, as well as to defend your IT service management against possible criticism.
Yet with the notion of service come the concepts of customer and customer satisfaction. It stands to reason that complete recovery from service failure means taking into account customer satisfaction, as well as moving all the other indicators from red back to green. Here’s a handy list of tips.
- Be proactive towards your IT service users, especially if you see an IT service failure happening before they feel the impact. Don’t wait to react to complaints.
- Offer a recovery solution that addresses your users’ business needs. Obvious perhaps, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded that your snazzy SLA dashboard is not the be all and end all of IT service performance.
- Treat your IT users and “customers” in a way that lets them know you are sensitive to the inconvenience that service failure has caused them, like, for instance, the difficulty for the accounting department to provide profit and loss reports in time for the next board meeting.
- Encourage customer complaints. It is important to know what’s wrong, in the eyes of your customers. Remember, whether for IT services or any other, users and customers rarely spontaneously tell you what’s wrong. Painful though it may be, you’ll have to ask them.
- Recognise failure. If users feel their business needs are not being met, this is probably enough to define an effective failure of an IT service that needs to be fixed.
Some IT service failure is probably unavoidable, but the key aspect with regard to your “customers” (internal or external) is how such failure is handled.
Taking a leaf out of general service management best practices, it makes sense to include customers in the recovery equation, because good recovery can lead to increased customer satisfaction after recovery than before failure. In other words, treat them well and your counterparts in sales, marketing, finance, production, and so on, will think even more highly of you.