It is crucial to understand the customer needs when operating as an IT Service Provider. Organisations that fail to do so inevitably end up losing customers as well as market share very quickly. History has shown this time and time again and the story behind VHS and Betamax is an excellent example, although there are many others to choose from.
Service Strategy therefore must be focused on the needs of the customer. If strategic improvement projects are not geared to the needs of the customer, there is little point in wasting time, money and energy to execute them. There is one of many important questions that should be asked at the start of any strategic project in my opinion “what benefit will it deliver to our customers?”
The next question is “how do you understand the needs of your customer?” One simple answer is to ask them, and directly engage with them. Obvious right? Well how many IT Service Providers will actively look to understand their customers, what their needs are, understand fully what their business does and what their customer plans are over the next 5 years? By doing this, it will help you to understand your customer inside out so that you can deliver to their requirements in both the short and long term. Service Strategy needs to be aligned to these needs in order to ensure you are successful as an IT Service provider.
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