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Why do you need a Service Catalog?

Businesses are expected to understand customers’ requirements and meet their needs on time. Likewise, customers expect a transparent system to understand available and eligible services to request for. ITIL Service Catalog helps businesses to classify services that are offered and present them to users using an intuitive UI.

Following are the primary objectives to build a Service Catalog for your organization:

  • To clearly communicate the list of services offered to end users
  • Acts as a single source of truth for all services
  • To be transparent in their offerings
  • To manage the performance and efficiency of services
  • To improve the user experience

For enterprise businesses that have a large number of users, Service Catalog is a great advantage and acts as an interface between the IT team and end users for on-time service request fulfillment.

So what is a Service Catalog?

“A Service Catalog is listing of all services that a business offers to its end users in the form of a catalog.”

When services are clearly presented in a visual format, it improves end-user experience.

Service Catalog in ITIL Service Lifecycle

ITIL Service Catalog is a part of Service Design lifecycle and it includes live services offered to end users.

ITIL Service Catalog is tightly associated with Service Portfolio Management to plan for services as part of offerings.

Service Catalog has two types i.e. Business Catalog and Technical Catalog.

Technical catalog - Used between the IT team and vendors

Business catalog - Visible to the customer to request for relevant service

Service Catalog Implementation Steps

Step I - Understand your users' needs

Service offerings must be aligned with end users’ requirements and needs. Therefore, it is vital to understand what users want and deliver those services. The demand-supply match is crucial to on-time service fulfillment. When your business grows, end users’ requirements change. It is important to add new services and update existing services to stay relevant. Service Catalog can be used across the organization and not just for IT services.

Therefore, collaboration with different teams and understanding their specific services are important to design a holistic Service Catalog.

When we interviewed one of our customers on understanding endz-user preference and the popular source of tickets,

“The source before Freshservice was either a Slack channel, email or in person. 
We have created a plan with the comms team to inform everyone about the migration to the new system, which will also eventually include terminating any support provided by other means. We will also be introducing the system to the employees during induction, hence new users will automatically refer to the new system.”

Step II - Select the right team

Setting up the service request fulfillment team is an important task. Clearly assign roles and responsibilities to every team member. Create different groups based on the request type to handle specific service requests. Assign relevant permissions for users to access the Service Catalog. Not all service items are visible to everyone across the organization. Businesses do enterprise service management which means that all departments including IT and non-IT services are maintained in a single catalog. Therefore, it is crucial to identify the service owner for every department.

Our questionnaire included the following question, “Who handles these requests and how are they structured?”

“Requests are handled by the Corporate IT team, and as everyone has the same knowledge everyone handles the requests as they come in. This means the load can be properly delegated. No Tier levels are used in our case.”

Step III - Design & roll out in phases

Service Catalog design has a direct impact on the end user experience. Configure service item form to capture all necessary details. This process is usually supported by your service desk solution. Classify service items into different service categories and make it intuitive and visually appealing. Invest time in user experience and minimize the number of clicks and avoid long forms. Add relevant images to resonate well with your end users. Implement for one department and then extend to other departments.

About self-service adoption for raising service requests, one of our customers quoted,

“All of them is through the portal (except few from phone), creating tickets through email is blocked in our design. It doesn’t require any efforts since it’s the only way to the get the service ”

Here are some of the great Service Catalog examples of our customers

Non-IT Catalog
Customised Catalog
Automated Workflows
Facilities Service Desk
Payroll Service Desk
Step IV - Automate the Workflow

Understand Service request workflows from the time of request placement until fulfillment. Identify the right teams and assign clear responsibilities. Most businesses follow service request approvals. Therefore, automate these workflows to improve efficiency. Establish a strong communication channel with other teams.

Upon asking some of our customers,

“What are all the other teams that the service request team interacts with?”
“Mainly Accounting but in some cases IT, Operations, and Information Security.”

This customer is using Service Catalog mainly to offer HR services.

“We interact with every team in the company: HR, Finance, Developers, Designers, you name them, and we have dealings with them, especially since we’re the backbone of a smoothly operating company of over 700 users.”

Service request automation use cases include:

Step V - Review the current

The current process needs to be reviewed based on end-user feedback. Review process helps in adding new items or updating existing service items. Monitor the performance based on KPIs such as the number of service requests received vs resolved, SLA consistency. Share the performance with management and continuously improve based on user expectation.

Here’s a best practice from our customers on setting up the Service Catalog process,

“Understanding the HR processes, identify the service items with their target audience, agreeing on the configuration related to each service, implement and use analyses for continual improvement.”

“We first came up with the services that we offer internally. Once that was decided, we structured the service catalog accordingly with updates to aid in the design and ease of use, since we will also use Freshservice for another team, we needed to do some customisation to separate both teams service categories/items in order to avoid user confusion. The customization included adding an extra menu item and hiding service categories based on the selected team services and ensuring that the tickets/service requests go to the proper team with automation. 
We also conducted an internal study to check what processes can be automated, in order to reduce response time and increase team efficiency, and what services can be closed with a workflow without agent intervention, since the response and process is always the same or the user can just refer to a KB we created and uploaded on Freshservice.”

IT SERVICE CATALOG RESTAURANT CATALOG
Understand your end users' needs Understand users’ preferences such as the type of cuisine, ambiance, restaurant timings
Select the right team - fulfillment team, approvers, requester groups Selection of staff for departments like F&B, F&B service, Front desk etc.
Design and roll out in phases Start with a particular business model and expand. For example, start with a specific cuisine for a certain audience and then expand
Automate the workflow for approval, request fulfillment and assignment Invest in automation application for order taking and billing - To improve staff efficiency
Review the current process and focus on improvements to remove gaps Get real-time feedback from customers and request them for reviews in external review site
Benefits

Some of the top benefits of Service Catalog include the following as described by our customers

Related Resources