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Design a world-class service catalog

Create a process to continuously optimize customer experience and provisioning efficiency

This best practice will help you create a world‑class service catalog design, governance, and maintenance process that:

  • Optimizes customer experience and process efficiency
  • Builds a robust catalog structure to improve search and set the right expectations
  • Streamlines fulfillment workflows for faster delivery time and issue diagnosis
  • Provides flexibility to make changes to the catalog for relevance
  • Defines the right measures of success and predictive metrics to identify performance gaps

Service Catalog

Service Catalog – The ServiceNow Service Catalog provides a structured and consumable view of available services and offerings managed by an organization (it could be IT services or shared services such as HR, facilities, finance, etc.). It helps manage what services a user has access to and is the entry point for users to request products and services (exposed as catalog items) from the organization.

Note: A service catalog can have multiple different views (e.g., IT services, business services, or IT operations) based on its audience. In this document, we refer to the end user (one who places a service request) view of the catalog, such as the users of an IT request catalog.

Catalog item

Catalog item – A catalog item is a requestable item within the catalog.

Service owner

Service owner – Service owners are responsible for the smooth end-to-end execution and experience of the service they own. They’re accountable for designing, building, pricing, and enhancing the service as well as service delivery and cost recovery. The service owner also works with business leaders to collate business needs and with architects, technology brokers, and external providers to select and implement the underlying processes.


Bundles – A group of catalog items that are usually requested together to meet a defined business or customer need. The catalog items requested within a bundle can cut across categories within the catalog and are often fulfilled by different functions across the organization. You can create bundles with the ServiceNow Service Catalog using order guides.

Workflow tasks

Workflow tasks – Workflow tasks are activities, such as “place a procurement order for new laptop,” that need to be completed to fulfill a catalog item request.

Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score – The Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company's products or services to others. It’s used as a proxy for gauging the customer's overall satisfaction with a company's product or service and the customer's loyalty to the brand. (Source:

Customer Effort Score

Customer Effort Score – The Customer Effort Scale indicates the measure of effort your customers put toward getting their needs fulfilled. The measurement is made by asking a simple question: “How much effort did you personally have to put forth to handle your request?” Users score their answers on a scale from 1 (very low effort) to 5 (very high effort).


Service catalogs can no longer afford to be “good enough.” Employees expect a consumer‑grade experience and anywhere, anytime access when requesting services. Service providers expect a quick and easy way to update their offerings. Executives expect clear management of service costs and insight into the value they get for that cost. Organizations try to deliver against these aspirations with the “perfect” service catalog—but changing customer and business needs means that even the best service catalogs need to be frequently redesigned or updated, which can be costly and time consuming.

Creating a world‑class service catalog—one that continuously optimizes the customer experience and provisioning efficiency—is not a one‑time effort. You must have a design, governance, and maintenance process that focuses on ongoing customer needs assessment, flexibility so you can make on‑demand changes to the services you offer, and proactive performance improvement so you can improve the value for cost.

Follow these stages to plan your catalog design, create a customer‑focused catalog structure, remove redundancies in your fulfillment workflows, and define a catalog maintenance process:

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