As I’ve been mapping out the supply chain space, one of the oft-overlooked areas that I keep stumbling on is service management – and by that I am referring to customer service management, and not just outsourced services management. After all, I do preach Total Value Management (TVM), and unlike Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), TVM is concerned with all of the life-cycle costs associated with a product, and that includes servicing and customer returns.
I know I haven’t blogged much about this area in the past, in fact, my only post to date has been my post on The Art of Service Management back in November. In that post, I described P.T. Harker’s talk on the evolution of service management and how the new goal of service management is to make the customer efficient and how making the customer a part of the process helps to ensure that the product or service is what the customer wants, which in turn increases your chancing of selling the product or service to the customer.
But service management is about more than just making the customer efficient and sufficiently satisfied – it’s about making the customer efficient and sufficiently satisfied and making a profit at the same time. With enough effort, you can make almost any customer efficient and sufficiently satisfied, but if you spend more than you get, you will not stay in business very long.
How do you do that? Strategic Service Management. A proactive approach to service management that balances service strategy, resources, commitments, and pricing that supports the integration, optimization, and efficient management of core business processes, adds to your overall business solution, and differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. How do you get there? Well, as with any new initiative you find a partner to help you get to the next level. Who should you choose? That’s up to you, but one provider you should look at is Servigistics – the second stop on my whirlwind virtual tour of Atlanta – and the subject of an upcoming blog post.