Delivering Better Value using a Service-Centric Model for your IT Business

Service-centric IT is a service-oriented line of business where the services you provide to your customers are themselves IT deliverables. With this approach, you can implement a structure and an operating model that focuses on managing supply and demand for a line of services: service management as well as server management.

In my view, sticking to a few basic principles is all it takes to ensure I deliver extraordinary service to my customers. These aren’t hard things to put in place – they just need to be the underpinning motivation for everything I do.

I aim to deliver extraordinary service by sticking to the following principles:

  1. Always put people first. Concentrate on helping people, no matter who they are. Think of the relationships your staff, clients, prospects and suppliers have with others. We all know how valuable referrals are, and we don’t even want to think about the damage that could be caused by the opposite of a referral. The relationships you build with the people you interact with go a long way to getting you referred. 

  2. Focus on what people need. Your primary focus should be on providing the service your customer needs. If you identify that the best option for fixing a problem is to involve another vendor, don’t hesitate to work collaboratively with the other vendor. Identifying the root cause is helpful in making sure a problem doesn’t happen again, but keep in mind that all your customer wants is the issue resolved. Playing the blame game can prolong resolving the problem and not really achieve anything. 

  3. Empower your client. Clients pay for a service; it’s important that they don’t feel patronised or stupid for not understanding what you consider to be a simple problem. Remember, if the problem was simple to them they would not have made the call to you. Show empathy towards your client while you help resolve the issue, then go the extra mile and show them how they can resolve or avoid the problem in the future. Arming your client with a little knowledge will make them strong advocates of your business. 

  4. Be yourself. The more genuine you are the easier it is to gain trust and respect, and to build relationships.  

  5. Maximise word of mouth potential. After finishing a project is the best time to ask for referrals and testimonials. People will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust. While it’s nice when customers make referrals on their own, you can’t always expect them to think about the people they know who might need your services. Ask questions, and ask for referrals.