How We Use ITIL v3 To Improve Customer Service

— co-authored by Melissa Byers, Manager of Customer Support —

It’s obvious to say that data centers don’t manage themselves — it takes a combination of staff, processes and technology to ensure that the systems and process run smoothly and efficiently.

The primary objective of service management is to ensure that the IT services are aligned to the
corporate business need as well as those of customers. Last year, our team implemented the ITIL v3 (IT Infrastructure Library) processes Incident Management and Problem Management. What is ITIL then? It’s a public framework and best practices guide, focusing on continual measurement and improvement in the quality of IT services that are delivered, from both business and customer perspectives.

The service lifecycle is made up of five parts: strategy, design, transition, operation and continual service improvement.

1. The Service Strategy involves deciding the types of services that should be offered and target audience for those services. In addition, the strategy describes how the value of the services will be perceived by that audience and the method for measuring that value.

2. Service Design is the documented policies and procedures that are needed to meet current and future agreed business requirements. The five aspects of service design are new or changed service solutions, service management systems and tools, technology architectures and management systems, processes roles and capabilities, and measurement methods and metrics. Effectively designed services are based upon four key principles: People, Products, Processes and Partners.

3. Service Transition is the delivery of services that are required by the business into operational use: taking it from design into execution through a series of strategic, tactical and operation steps. The process starts with transition planning and support, then managing the deployment, validating the service and finally, testing and evaluating the result.

4. Service Operation revolves around the delivery of the agreed upon service levels customers and management of the applications, technology and infrastructure that support delivery of the services. The operational activities are: Event Management, Incident Management, Request Fulfillment, Access Management Process and Problem Management Process.

5. Continual Service Improvement means maintaining value for customers through the persistent evaluation and improvement of the quality of services as well as assessing the overall maturity of the ITSM service life cycle and underlying processes.

There is a 7-step improvement process that starts with the gathering of pertinent data, dissecting the information for identifiable trends and sharing the information with management in order to draw larger conclusions and needed actions.

Step1 – Define what you should measure
Step 2 – Define what you CAN measure
Step 3 – Gather the data
Step 4 – Process the data
Step 5 – Analyze the data
Step 6 – Present and use the information
Step 7 – Implement corrective action

We’ve seen great response to these new processes not only reflected in our metrics (reduced response and resolution times), our customer service surveys (based on incidents) from our clients, and from our employees because collaboration between the departments has greatly improved.

Later this year, our team will implement the Change, Access, and Configuration Management portion; we’ll be sharing details on that process as well as other ITIL-related information in future posts.

Thanks for reading,
– shelly


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