When an IT organization provides IT services to other business units or to external clients, it’ll benefit from a professional IT service catalog that provides descriptions, instructions, uses, and pricing, as well as the types of human backup and support.
To help you with your organization’s IT service catalog, this article offers up four tips to assist with its creation.
Why create an IT service catalog?
First and foremost, of course, such a catalog provides clients and potential clients with a full picture of the services you offer, including as much detail as possible. Customers may even discover services that they didn’t realize they needed or could use.
Just as important, however, is that employees within an organization have this catalog as well. Every staff member should be able to understand the IT services its company offers, and new ones as they’re added. Whether they’re in sales, human resources (HR), development, finance, or customer service, everyone should be easily able to see the available IT services and how they can help them.
Whether for external or internal purposes, a professional IT service catalog should be well-written and exhibit full clarity for its users.
Think of your service catalog as a menu
When you sit down in a restaurant, you’re presented with a menu. Each of the menu items describes the food and drink offerings. Some items need little description/explanation, some a bit more, and others a much fuller description. And, of course, prices are always listed. The other notable characteristic of a menu is that the items are listed in categories – appetizers, a la carte choices, salads, and full meals often divided into sub-categories of beef, pork, chicken, and seafood.
Your IT service catalog should do the same, featuring every product or service you offer, what’s included in services plans, a detailed description of each service, and who can benefit from that service (i.e., the business value).
Begin with essential services and categories
The first order of business in terms of cataloging your IT services should be to start with your most important services (and their categories). So, categorize your main services and write their titles, with following subheadings and bullet points and sub-services. Each service should also have a shortlist of features, description, and complementary visual content to further emphasize your point.
Write service catalog content with your audience in mind
Not all of your users will be familiar with IT terminology or even if what you have on offer is suitable for them. In this regard, it’s important to write your descriptions, explanations, and service outlines in plain English and in an approachable tone of voice.
Avoid robotic, distant, and overly professional writing in your IT service catalog. Rely on personalized, approachable, and casual voice with personal pronouns, catchy writing, and informative explanations. This will help to ensure that users understand your IT services portfolio and whether or not it suits their needs.
Techies can be a bit “jargonistic” in their descriptions, and this can be an issue for people who just want an explanation in “lay” terms. If you don’t have an appropriate content writer on board, then it may be a smart idea to contract these creation services out to writers who have both technical understanding and the ability to write in an engaging and creative manner. There are a number of freelancers out there or professional writing services, such as Trust My Paper or Grab My Essay, that can help provide these catalog descriptions for you.
Provide clear value propositions
One of the most important elements of your IT service catalog is the ability for people to understand what your portfolio items mean for them. So, make sure that your service catalog items feature very clear value propositions in terms of what it is that you can do for clients, in what timespan, using which tools, and at what cost. Do what you can to explain IT terminology and activities to an uninitiated audience and you’ll achieve a higher level of client engagement.
Hopefully, these four tips are useful. If you’ve already succeeded with your IT service catalog, what other tips would you add? Please let me know in the comments.