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Service Management for Dummies® by Marcia Kaufman, Judith Hurwitz, Robin Bloor, Fern Halper

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Chapter 3. The Customer Is King

In This Chapter

  • Figuring out what the target and customer want

  • Viewing a service from the outside

  • Delving into service management

  • Using services as components of other services

We look at a service from the inside in Chapter 2, so it seems logical that in this chapter, we take a look at a service from the outside. In Chapter 2, we focus on the first part of the definition of a service (a service is a purposeful activity); in this chapter, we focus on the second part (carried out for the benefit of a known target).

We could say for the benefit of the customer, but we don't. In most circumstances, satisfying the customer isn't the only driver that shapes a service. If the service is delivered by a public company, for example, you also need to satisfy the shareholders. You can quite easily make the customers happy and still go out of business, and the shareholders are unlikely to approve such a business strategy. So in addition to executing the activities of a well-defined service in a high-quality manner, service management needs to include both a customer satisfaction process and a stakeholder-requirements management process to ensure that the needs of all stakeholders are known and managed.

So when we say for the benefit of a known target, we may be talking about a need to satisfy multiple targets, each of which has a specific expectation of the service. The shareholders care about profitability, whereas the customers care about the quality of service.

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