Effective service management has been the foundation for success of many companies for a long time. This premise has become increasingly relevant in recent times, with customers and employees demanding greater speed and efficiency in their relationship with companies. And how do you know if your company is properly serving its customers? How to check if you’re meeting expectations of customers, employees, and shareholders?
In this article we’ll discuss the principles of service management and how they contribute to adding value and retaining loyal customers and employees.
Understanding Service Management
According to Philip Kotler, “Service is any activity or benefit that one party can offer to another that is essentially intangible and does not result in ownership of anything. Its production may or may not be tied to a physical product.” It is important to highlight that service provision is not only linked to commercial relationships. The concept of Enterprise Service Management (ESM) covers meeting the needs of internal and external customers. In this context, when an employee requests a benefit from HR, for example, or a department needs an air conditioner to be repaired, we also have services being provided.
The 4 Ps of Service Management
The marketing mix concept, or 4 Ps (Product, Price, Place and Promotion), is well known and widely used. Professor Jerome McCarthy created it in 1960 and remains extremely relevant. When we think of services, we also have 4 Ps, but specific to these activities:
In order to be able to offer quality services, you must know the audience to which these services are being offered. Understanding the target audience allows creating solutions focused on their needs and, consequently, increases the chances of meeting their expectations.
These involve all activities from purchase or request, execution, monitoring, and events after use. It is extremely important to map each of the processes, defining the paths that the customer will take. The use of a BPM tool, usually included in ESM solutions, makes this task easier and more effective.
They establish how the processes mentioned above will be executed. The methods and conduct used in service delivery define the service standards. They also guide the behaviors of systems and employees.
Usually systems and machines perform parts of the process, yet service provision essentially involves interaction among people. Therefore, having trained and qualified employees to perform the required activities is key for success in Service Management. Investing in training and having efficient internal communication will make a huge difference in the quality of your services.
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