Successful customer-centricity requires a focus on “why” not “what” analysis of existing services

In today’s highly competitive economy, we are seeing our clients direct a renewed focus on service delivery efficiency.

Business Aspect has recently guided the development of service catalogues and management reporting frameworks for a number of major organisations including two water authorities along the eastern seaboard, one of Australia’s largest insurance providers, a major Aged Care provider, a federal government agency and numerous Queensland government agencies.

Private and public sector organisations are investing significant effort into building a greater understanding of their services, from their customer’s perspective, and in describing their services in terms of ‘why’ rather than ‘what’. This approach is helping those organisations to better measure, report and monitor service delivery performance. The process of developing a customer-focused service catalogue has allowed these organisations to explore their service offerings independently, and to challenge the traditional limitations of organisational structure. They are able to break down internal, functional ‘silos’, and show the services as deliverables that pervade organisational structure and express its real purpose.

Some organisations have taken the process further, in order to better respond to emerging market demands, by refining their target operating model - shifting from a functional alignment to an outcome focus - and aligning their cost centres accordingly. Having defined their services, they are able to turn their attention to measuring the true cost of service delivery. Baselines are identified, defined and quantified. The baseline considers staff and other fixed and variable costs, as well as measuring the current service delivery performance. This may be by using simple metrics, such as time or throughput, or more comprehensive measurement models. Metrics enable analysis and reporting. A services-focused performance reporting framework sets objectives and measures that reflect the level of service efficiency, effectiveness and acceptance by the customer, and then reports on the performance of services.

The service catalogue approach, and the subsequent analysis, arms the organisation’s executive leadership team with real information to better manage the organisation’s efficient delivery of services. Such an approach is not normally a recipe for organisational restructuring as the services normally draw support, contributions and leadership from across organisational teams and across the corporate hierarchy.

However, it does clearly highlight which groups need to work closely together, where lines of communication need to focus, and where resources are efficiently (or inefficiently) deployed.

We strongly advocate that organisations:

  • Do not approach service catalogue development as merely a compliance process. Rather, it should be embedded into the organisation, and used for both internal and external market awareness.
  • Use the service catalogue as the touchstone against which to benchmark, measure and report. It becomes the solid customer reference document upon which to develop scorecards and dashboards, and thereby ensures a clearer corporate focus and greater performance visibility.

To learn more about our experience in guiding development of service catalogues please contact us.