Friday, September 28, 2012
“Unless you have 100% customer satisfaction…you must improve.” -- Horst Schulz
Constant improvement is a mantra among IT channel companies, especially when it comes to the services they deliver and the clients that receive them. There’s no place for complacency in an industry as competitive as this, and owners have to keep their eyes, and business practices, focused properly on process upgrades and other enhancements to ensure their long-term success. Identifying the areas where a company needs improvement can be difficult, but making the changes that strengthen those services can be a more daunting task.
Good companies become great by tightening the screws on their processes, streamlining and automating each step involved in service delivery and support. They review their metrics and assess their performance based on industry benchmarks constantly, looking for new ways to improve their operations and their level of customer service. When everything is running optimally within the business, they can focus more time and attention on both current and prospective clients. The same principle applies to IT solution providers, vendors and distributors.
In order to reach the point of eternal service enlightenment, most successful companies continually:
- Perform internal operational assessments.
- Seek client feedback; current, former and prospective.
- Implement industry best practices.
Frequency is often the stumbling block for smaller organizations, especially in the harried world of an emerging solution provider. How do you find time to conduct all the necessary steps on a weekly, monthly or even quarterly basis?
It’s not easy, but companies in search of greatness make it a high priority – on par with their sales and operational responsibilities. After all, when an organization offers top quality service, it can make many of the other business operations a lot easier. Life for the sales, marketing and customer retention teams is much simpler when they’re not putting out fires, allowing them to focus more time and energy on growing the business.
So how do good companies gain the service expertise and knowledge needed to be great? A number of them seek the input of their peers and related industry experts, and engage in meaningful discussions with those who face similar challenges and opportunities. The CompTIA IT Services and Support (ITSS) Community has provided that type of forum for several years, bringing together a myriad of services-dependent solution providers, vendors, distributors and industry professionals. Their meetings offer much more than networking opportunities and brainstorming sessions; they collaborate to develop key initiatives and best practices to improve the industry.
ITSS is the original CompTIA peer group, serving as stepping stone for many of the association’s other communities that are actively engaged in specific vertical markets and technologies. Several of those groups came about from a specific initiative or work session developed by services members, and providers continue to benefit from joining the discussion in each.
Service is a foundational element of all CompTIA communities. This quality will be on display when the ITSS, Managed Print Services, and Mobility groups gather together in Fort Worth, Texas on October 29 to 30 for the CompTIA IT Services and Support Community Meeting
. This joint meeting agenda is packed with discussions and topics to help solution providers or any IT services-oriented professional improve their businesses. Several of the scheduled activities focus on service delivery transformation, including:
- A keynote presentation by Steven Young, senior director of service delivery transformation with Cisco Technical Services.
- A panel presentation with members of all three participating communities.
- Roundtable from the perspective of each group.
In the joint meeting, members will also explore a number of the issues facing the IT services industry and initiatives that each community could adopt for 2013 to explicitly address those concerns and/or opportunities. Whether you’d like to attend the multiple-group event
or just learn more about the ITSS and other CompTIA communities
, contact Cathy Alper at CAlper@comptia.org
.Brian Sherman is founder of Tech Success Communications, specializing in editorial content and consulting for the IT channel. His previous roles include chief editor at Business Solutions magazine and senior director of industry alliances with Autotask. Contact Brian at Bsherman@techsuccesscommunications.com.