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Service Excellence... What's that?

I have been contemplating to write something on Service Excellence Office (SEO) for a while now. And finally, here it is!

At Infosys, we finished one of the most successful SEO implementations for one of our largest clients. As we went along this journey, there was tremendous learning over the last two years. From this experience and from the queries that followed from different Infosys programs spanning across industry verticals, I realized that the most logical way to de-codify SEO was to start by defining what we mean by "Service Excellence" in the first place!

Service excellence is about embedding predictability and standardization in the way we deliver services to our clients (be it one time services or continual improvements). It is all about delighting our clients a feel of the "true-value" that these services deliver.

Imagine your favorite mechanic or handyman - why trust him and not the others? It is all in predictability and quality of service delivered by him! Service excellence is all about setting and exceeding our own internal benchmarks - about persistently competing with ourselves to create a compelling service experience. In an IT setup, it is about enabling mechanisms to share best practices across various IT services and reaping the benefits together. It is about creating a healthy competition between different IT services working towards a common goal. 

Service excellence is neither Science nor Art. It is a mix of both. It is scientific in the sense that it brings in predictability through mechanisms to demonstrate measurable business value. The artistic aspect comes in with the innovation, creativity and passion presented by the teams.

In an IT organizations' daily routine there are multiple occasions where opportunities are available to increase satisfaction of clients, reduce TCO and demonstrate value from IT. It is here that SEO works closely with operations' team to increase client satisfaction by driving process efficiencies, improving response and resolution statistics and remediating client pain points.

Further, SEO supports TCO reduction by helping achieve cost savings through rationalization of teams, optimization of processes and helping in optimum resource utilization through helping reduce overheads. Finally, SEO is most useful in demonstrating IT value to business; it is here where the tire meets the road. SEO does this impeccably by identifying key improvement levers that positively impact efficiency and effectiveness, builds agile measurement frameworks and communicates the benefits achieved to business in a timely and impactful manner.

In the next post we will gradually unravel what different types of challenges come in way of achieving Service excellence and the kind of organizational focus that is required to meet these challenges. Stay tuned!

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