Transparency is fundamental between service provider and customer. What’s generally missing is a shared picture of service reality. Both parties require clear evidence of the customer’s situation, providing insight so that the right action can be taken. To enable a service provider to become a strategic partner and trusted advisor to their customers, the solution is to offer a unique value proposition; changing the way the state of a customer’s network is reported and communicated so that it is both meaningful and presented in a format which they understand.
This can’t be done without the right tools. Providers will often say they have all the tools they need when it comes to monitoring and managing customers’ networks and applications. However, these tools are usually managed by Engineers and Operations personnel, so they are highly technical, and the information is meaningless to Sales and Service Management teams. Nor do they facilitate interaction with the end-customer or allow a proactive level of customer service.
Customers are left in the dark because providers either hide information or show them something which is too complex to be understood. When conversations are based on disputed performance data and a distrust of what a person says, rather than one true source of factual data, dialogue breaks down and identifying the real issues becomes problematic.
Delighting corporate customers is much easier when the tool used to communicate service performance is designed for users of all technical abilities and is shared between provider and customer. The customer can see for themselves that the information is high quality, dynamic and delivered in real-time.
The ultimate aim is to achieve a good understanding of every customer and their issues, resulting in improved relationships and the delivery of services that advance the productivity of that customer’s business. But without the correct foundation and tools, equally transparent to both provider and customer, success is elusive.
Transparency and openness are the way to create sustainable competitive advantage, and this stands out in today’s marketplace because the majority of service providers aren’t doing it.
- Written by Farrah Aslam
- Published: 21 January 2019