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Actions to Take When Developing a Service Strategy

by ISG

By: Mark Lockard, Director, TPI

Nobody develops a service strategy with intentions of failing. However, if everybody’s service strategy were a success, we would all be gaining market share and achieving top quartile performance! While we know that is not the case, we frequently don’t understand the root causes when our realities deviate significantly from our plans.

Consider these TPI Top 5 tips for developing a service strategy that has a high chance of success:

  1. Know what is important to your internal customers. Never assume that you know what matters to your customers. The marketplace is constantly changing. Review your last customer satisfaction survey with your customers to ensure you are measuring what matters most to them now, and also make sure you focus a portion of the agenda on their future needs.
  2. Have an objective view of your current capabilities. Isn’t it a bit peculiar that when most of our staff is asked about their capabilities, they are top quartile or best in class? It’s a quirk of human nature to be optimistic; great accomplishments rise to the surface while mediocre performance remains unexamined. Understand how you really stack up to an external view and whether you are providing the right services. Compare your service levels and costs to the broader marketplace, not just a comfortable niche.
  3. Understand your total cost of ownership. While gaining that objective view of your capabilities, make sure you understand your total cost of services. In most companies, budgets mask costs. Employee-related costs are usually clear; however, the costs for technology, facilities, recruiting and other services usually reside in the budgets of other corporate functions.
  4. Have an objective view of the benefits and the risks of the proposed service strategy. The benefits of the proposed strategy are often compelling. It’s easy to get caught up in the initial excitement. But have your risks been adequately identified? Do you know how likely those risks are to occur? And if they do, how much damage might result? Know what your risks are and create plans to mitigate your risks.
  5. Socialize your service strategy and the roadmap for change. Strategies that have not been shared and vetted with all of the affected stakeholders aren’t ready for implementation. Be sure your roadmap clearly describes how you’ll get from point A to point B. Gaining buy-in to your service strategy is critical to success and can be the hardest part of the process.

TPI’s experts can help you achieve an objective assessment of your current service strategy. We provide objective, risk-balanced, and forward-oriented strategies for establishing shared services and/or outsourcing delivery relationships. Contact Mark Lockard, Director, TPI, to learn more.