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Back to Basics: What Is a Service Catalog Platform?

by Jeff Leventhal

As our long-time blog readers know, we have been talking about the benefits of customer-facing Service Catalogs from the beginning. We realized, though, that we never took a step back to properly explain, fundamentally, what a Service Catalog Platform actually is. The concept is popping up more and more, and other tech stacks are following in our footsteps and starting to talk about Service Catalogs. As the creators of the first Services Catalog Platform, it is our duty to break it down for you. Today, we go back to basics.

A Service Catalog is a custom formatted index of a company’s services that drives an ecommerce experience, allowing clients, employees, and partners to easily discover and launch the services they need.

Click to see an example

A Service Catalog Platform is an online tool that allows companies to create a digital repository of the portfolio of services a company offers. “Digital” is a key word here. We are talking about something more than a PDF file.   From there, Service Catalogs can easily be created and embedded on websites, in products,emails, messages, and more. This allows customers to easily access the support they need, when they need it. Creating a digital Service Catalog also ensures that your internal team and partners are on the same page—it is a single source of truth for services.

Who Uses a Service Catalog Platform?

Every technology services company needs a Service Catalog Platform. This includes software companies, systems integrators, VARs, IT services firms, OEMs, and really any business that offers services and support to its customers and is looking to improve their experience.

Why Is Everyone Talking about Service Catalogs?

There are a few reasons. If you want your customers to stay customers, you need to make sure they can easily discover the services they need to use your platform successfully and get a high ROI on their investment in your product. Success means different things to different users, but odds are, you get similar service requests over and over. In fact, the majority of service requests are repeat asks. By productizing services, i.e., defining them, pricing them out, and making them readily available, companies can help their customers use their products more effectively. If you are charging for these services, voilà – a new revenue stream. At the very least, you will have made it easier for customers to get the services they need, when they need them, resulting in more satisfied clients who are more likely to renew.

It is about time services benefited from some innovation and automation. It is easy to buy and sell products online, but if customers need product support, they are left “Googling” for help or contacting the technology supplier directly for answers. Neither option produces the immediate results people are looking for. Will they wait for an answer? Or will they get upset and stop using your product altogether? Savvy companies know they’d best not wait and see.

The WorkRails Service Catalog Platform allows you to sell custom services as easily as you would a product. We automated the service engagement process so customers can get the help they need, when they need it, with a click of a button and easily browse for other service offerings that might interest them.

That concludes today’s lesson. If you have any questions, it is worth reaching out. You are going to be hearing a lot more about customer facing Service Catalogs. The industry got the memo: By making it simple for customers to buy the services they need for success, companies will increase revenue and improve the customer experience.