To excel in the new world of increased customer expectations and growing competition from digital native companies, organizations need to focus long term on an IT model that centralizes service for both internal users and customers/partners. Importantly, they must leverage digital tools and techniques to proactively address user issues before they arise.
As global enterprises digitally transform, they must balance a centralized service-desk (SD) approach, which generates operational efficiency advantages, with a decentralized approach that facilitates service customization for particular business units/user groups.
In line with this, we believe global enterprises with multiple businesses would benefit from an enterprise service hub (ESH) that would act as a centralized means for driving operational maturity, technological innovation and applied analytical insights, and to cross-pollinate ideas across various business/IT functions. Once constituted, this hub can then power and inform numerous service spokes that serve internal users across the extended enterprise, including customers and business partners.
The ESH approach provides transformation-led continuous improvements, with the mandate of enabling service spokes to create a service desk that maintains the traditional problem resolution focus but takes the next step by proactively generating sustained customer excitement (see Figure 1).
To deliver customer excitement on a year-over-year basis (keeping in mind that such services become table stakes over time), the ESH focuses on innovation (i.e., new ideas, solutions and technologies and their applicability across spokes by working collaboratively), cross-pollination of best practices across spokes and the creation of shared-interest forums for spokes. These can be physical or virtual.
The end result: the SD is better equipped to fulfill, if not exceed, user expectations.
The ESH also provides a way for spokes to explore and adopt new technologies, tools and operational improvements within and across channels.
The service spoke delivers operations-led customer excitement with a mandate of running the spoke function. The ESH enables each spoke to be future-ready in addressing user issues through digital technology, tools and collaboration channels to better serve internal users across operational functions (e.g., HR, IT, finance, etc.), business functions (e.g., loans, cards, etc.), external customers/users (e.g., banking, insurance customers using mobile apps, online or social platforms to consume a service) and geographies (e.g., the Americas, Europe, etc.). All spokes would leverage specific channels, tools and relevant technologies to serve various user personas – very very important persons (VVIPs) or millennials, plus functional and traditional IT users – across mobile, website and social platforms.
Considering the increased level in connectivity through devices and data, the spoke could also take the form of a network operating center (NOC) to solve issues and deliver customer excitement. The service spoke will continue to be the single point of contact between end users and support functions across the enterprise.
Since the spoke is persona-driven, avatars are used to guide the user journey and interaction with the SD. The avatar in turn could facilitate communication via one or multiple channels. For example, the persona of a VVIP is most likely to prefer an avatar that resembles an executive assistant with full support and a human touch. In the new operating model, traditional communication channels must be enhanced, while new ones must be introduced to provide a seamless end-user experience. Also, technology drivers will play a key role in determining how service spokes progress over time.
Key to the success of the ESH and spoke model is a KPI-driven approach that measures how well issues were solved proactively and how reactive issues were resolved in a seamless and personalized manner. As the Internet of Things (IoT) evolves across business ecosystems, it becomes critical to monitor more devices and applications. As users become accustomed to using IoT data or apply derived insights to augment their jobs, new types of issues will emerge over time that the ESH and spoke model can address.
The push to keep users highly engaged is gaining momentum among CIOs who want to leverage the power of IT consumerization, the entry of millennials into the workplace and ever-changing internal customer expectations. Navigating such organizational realignments requires a modular approach that allows customer services to be customized for various user groups (i.e., function, geography, etc.) within the organization and at the same time steer users in line with the organizational direction. The ESH and spoke model addresses these transformational and operational goals, helping companies attain digital and traditional business objectives in tandem.
With an ever-increasing number of devices, applications and data usage, customer excitement attained through user services will soon become a differentiator for leading organizations. As internal and external users move closer, so do the spheres of value creation and value consumption – and companies have a great opportunity to build successful business models centered on serving and exciting these two user groups. IT organizations (including traditional SDs) need to redefine their goals, realign their units, functions and roles and become the enablers and drivers of sustained user excitement. This will shift the focus on leveraging technology for better user experiences (instead of IT for IT’s sake), and better user experiences will lead to top-line growth and will bolster the brand.
For more use cases, real-life scenarios that illustrate the proactive, self-help nature of tomorrow’s service desk and practical suggestions, read our whitepaper Delivering User Excitement in the Digital Era Through an Enterprise Service Hub. Please visit Cognizant’s Infrastructure Services Unit for more.