Guest Column | March 13, 2017

5 Tips To Manage A Customer-Centric Service Catalogue

Lilly Expects Patient Centricity, Adaptive Trials, And New Technologies To Deliver In 2016

By Nancy Van Elsacker Louisnord, president, TOPdesk US

Providing your customers sufficient and correct information to do their jobs is vitally important. So, when serving your users through the use of an online service catalogue, there is a great deal you need to take into account in managing expectations properly.

What Is A Good Service Portal?

People now more than ever are extremely self-sufficient. They go online to purchase products, log into accounts, book flights, and find answers to questions — often outside normal business hours. Why would your customers expect anything less from your services? If they come looking for answers to their questions on your portal — provide them for them!

Essentially, doing that gives power to the user and lets them do the legwork on finding out what services you offer and how and when you offer them. This frees you up from complaints about unmet expectations and clears both confusion and your schedule a bit. However, customers can only understand your services as far as your service catalogue allows them to. As such, here is a quick checklist to make sure you manage expectations correctly for your users.

1.Provide A Clear Description For Each Product Or Service Offered

Answers to frequently asked questions regarding a product or service your organization provides can help customers quickly find their own answers. Examples of common questions are: How do I set up the Wi-Fi connection on my telephone? How do I print on both sides of the paper? How do I adjust my desk?

If questions are common it’s statistically probable more customers will come on your portal looking for the same answer. Provide them a short cut!

2.Pay Attention To The Quality Characteristics Of A Product Or Service

Make it clear which regulations apply to whom. For instance, you could explain which meeting room can be used for which event, or which facilities are present in the meeting room. This sets expectations at the right level and ensures your users know what they logically can and cannot expect from you, and how fast they can expect it.

3.Explain The Ordering Procedure For A Product Or Service

A clear ordering procedure prevents customers from ordering a product or service incorrectly or them not adhering to the request’s lead time. If you have an option for ordering various services or products, manage expectations! Sometimes there is no way to get someone a new laptop after lunch. Let them know — prepare users properly and avoid frustration!

4.Specify The Terms Of Delivery

Always inform your customer about the delivery time for a product or service, and make it clear where the product ordered can be picked up. Give your customer all the details they may need to not be confused about anything.

Remember to under promise and over deliver rather and set expectations lower than you could feasibly provide rather than setting the bar too high for yourself and having to play catch-up with your own service level agreements. This makes it easier to achieve customer satisfaction which is covered in this article on service excellence

5.Communicate The Service Desk’s Availability

Lastly, make sure to grant your customers insight into when and how the service desk can be contacted, and when the customer can pick up his or her order. This will, again, help manage expectations and people will (hopefully) understand they can't log a huge ticket five minutes before end of day and expect it to be resolved in the morning.