Too often in our experience, IT service providers believe that they can discharge their service reporting responsibilities by delivering a monthly list of server names with some CPU, RAM and Disk space utilisation information tagged alongside.
More often than not, we suspect that such documents find themselves unread in the deleted items folder. This isn’t because the information was unwanted – quite the contrary – but because in such a form it’s of no value to the recipient.
What stakeholders (customers, managers and business decision makers) need is information they can understand, evaluate and base plans on:
- information on how services that their business depends upon are running;
- information on where scarce resources should be focused for greatest effect;
- information on the performance of the service delivery team.
One Size Never Fits All
Each recipient will have their own reason for needing the in
formation and their own questions to be answered. The one-size-fits-all report that we mentioned at the start of this piece is most likely going to fall short of the requirements of all its intended audience and therefore be worthless despite probably having all the answers buried deep in the detail. And if they haven’t read or understood your report, what does your customer think of the service you’re delivering?
Tailor Your Service Delivery Reports
The objective of a report is to deliver the information that
the reader of the report needs. Your customers and your account managers need to be clear about what’s working and what’s not in order to be able to work together, develop the relationship and, importantly, renew for an extended term. If your customer is unclear about what you’re delivering, he/she is far more likely to be swayed by a competitor.
The cheap and lazy option for report writing is the one we started with blog with. The service provider has left the difficult and expensive part to the customer and that is to derive meaning. It’s expensive because it takes understanding and time which, in the case of your account managers, could be used on winning more business rather than servicing existing clients.
How to deliver value without incurring costs? Use the right tools.
If the report writing can be automated by intelligent systems which filter out the background noise and structure the important data to meet your criteria, then you’re a long way forward in delivering value and keeping your customer happy.