Currently, I work in a support group in the IT department of my company. Our group assists other IT teams by scheduling, assessing impact and coordinating deployments to our production systems. In essence, these are the services we provide. For the purposes of this posting, this is my frame of reference when I say service-oriented.
Random thoughts on improving your customers' experience:
- Think about things from the perspective of your customers. Perspective is everything after all.
- Take your own medicine - go through the process yourself. Have you ever come across a user interface where you wondered, "What were they (the developers) thinking?!"
- Don't be a cold heartless bureaucrat. It's important to your customer; make sure they know it's important to you.
- Do things which provide benefit and value, not because you're following a checklist.
- The process you steward can be a part of a much larger one. Never forget it. When someone asks for help but it's in another area, make sure you explain to them how the larger process works and your piece in it.
- When you need to pass a client onto another service team, do it personally if possible. Make sure the transition goes smoothly.
- Acknowledge the requests you've received and set expectations for completion.
- Provide updates when you're running late and won't be able to meet the expectation.
- Follow-up afterwards and ask for feedback.
- People shouldn't use your services because they have to. Don't tell them that. People should use your services because they want to! Be ready to market the benefits in a tangible way.