Customer journeys often now begin with a digital ‘front-end’. As this initial human interaction has been removed, it is important to make sure a customer still feels heard and understood. To combat this, ITIL® 4 provides a clear seven step customer journey to ensure that the desired outcome is met by both the IT service provider and the customer.
What is the ITIL 4 approach to customer journeys?
Detailed in the ITIL 4: Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV) guidance, the customer journey is separated into seven steps.
- Explore: What does the customer need? What are they looking for from this service? Is it an update to an existing product, or is it an entirely new service? These are all key questions that this step will help you answer!
- Engage: This step will help team members to make sure they are consistently engaging with users to ensure the service is meeting their requirements, and using this to evolve and improve their experience
- Offer: Regularly assess your offering to understand whether you are meeting the customer requirements detailed from the outset. Has the customer been given the opportunity to share their feedback or concerns, and how has this impacted the service now being produced? All of which are considerations outlined in this step
- Agree: In this step an agreement should be made between the IT service manager and user to confirm the service will be delivered, and that it addresses the initial questions raised in the explore step
- Onboard: It is important to ensure that customers are sufficiently supported throughout the service production process, this includes setting up a process for orientation, any required training, and offering access to resources where needed – all promoted in this step
- Co-creation: IT service managers should work closely with the customer throughout the process to ensure that a co-creation of value is established for both parties, otherwise value will not be realised
- Realise: This final step refers to the process of delivering the finished product effectively, efficiently and in accordance with stakeholder expectations
What are the benefits of using ITIL 4 for improving customer journeys?
ITIL 4 can help an organisation to improve customer experience by:
- Building a culture of trust and transparency between the IT service manager and user
- Helping teams to gain a better understanding of customer needs and desired outcomes
- Improving adaptability, addressing changes in requirements more efficiently
- Increasing customer satisfaction by keeping them involved throughout the process
- And more!