As West Monroe Partners continues to grow our Performance Services practice, an upgrade to our IT service management system was identified as an important differentiator to our offering. After reviewing multiple systems, we ultimately settled on ServiceNow. The tool’s built-in modules for managing various aspects of service delivery and the flexibility to customize workflows within the tool provide us with an opportunity to improve our efficiency and better measure and manage customer interactions.
Don’t ‘Boil the Ocean’
One of the challenges with a tool that has too much flexibility is resisting the urge to solve all your process issues. Through workshops with an implementation partner, our operations management team identified over 100 customizations to more tightly align with internal processes. There was a good deal of discussion on ‘not boiling the ocean’ and really focusing on items that enhance our client’s experience. This drove us towards focusing on quicker resolution of tickets, better visibility into client communications and better data quality to drive continuous service improvements.
ServiceNow has a number of good features to help drive quicker issue resolution, including tight integration with the knowledge base. Once an issue description is entered, the system can search knowledge and provide possible solutions during ticket creation. This should drive more first call resolution. Additionally, if no articles exist for a particular problem, our team can generate an article for future use (after a review process).
What have you done for me lately?
Clients usually remember the last interaction they had with the service desk. We wanted to capture all communications to the customer, whether or not we actually made contact. This isn’t particularly revolutionary, but providing this data in a usable format to the management team at our clients gives them a better and more informed perspective on how we’re building our long term relationship with their team. A ‘white glove’ or high touch experience is a differentiator for Performance Services, and one of the things our clients value about our relationship with them.
Many of the customizations we scoped out for our ServiceNow instance weren’t interface focused, but were geared towards providing deeper, more detailed view of our how our clients, their systems, and our staff interacted. This data feeds nicely into our continuous improvement focus, and also identifies potential new services for our clients. Analysis of the data will continue to differentiate our offering, and allow us to form true partnerships with our clients.
What if we built a tool and no one…
Implementing a new platform for our team should make them more efficient in their day to day workflow, but we decided to enhance processes and procedures regarding request fulfillment, change management, and knowledge creation as well. This required significant input from the Service Desk, NOC, and engineering teams to ensure what we built worked for them. It also required a heavy focus on training, to help staff understand why we’re making changes, the effect on their workflow, and how the new data we can capture can improve customer experience.
Leveraging the functionality and workflow engine within ServiceNow allows us to make these processes more efficient for our team while introducing additional rigor required by increasingly sophisticated clients.
To put a fine point on it
West Monroe Partners Performance Services offering helps clients address new technical and business challenges and enables them to focus on seizing new opportunities for their business. We focus on continuous improvement and gathering as much data as possible during our daily interactions with our clients and their systems. The data we provide them informs budgeting, staffing, future investment and even potential mergers and acquisitions. Enhancing customer experience, and at the same time informing technology decision making with relevant data, is something IT leadership should be looking for from internal teams and service providers.