What Does a Service Delivery Manager Do? With Salary

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 3 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A service delivery manager streamlines an organisation's processes to ensure all departments work together to deliver seamless customer service. If you enjoy working with people and are customer-focused, a career as a service delivery manager may be for you. Learning more about their daily duties can give you a clearer idea of what this job entails. In this article, we define what a service delivery manager is, outline their duties, work environment, skills and salary, detail how to become one and provide tips for these professionals.

What is service delivery?

Service delivery is a business framework that optimises services from business to customer. The service delivery framework aims to provide customers with increased value by establishing policies, service standards and complaint handling processes that guide customer interactions. Third-party suppliers interacting with customers may also play a role in service delivery. It has four major components:

  • continuous customer service improvements

  • the development of a service culture

  • employee engagement to enhance service delivery

  • the development of systems and processes that increase service quality

What does a service delivery manager do?

Answering 'What does a service delivery manager do?' involves reviewing their primary duties. A service delivery manager oversees a range of functions designed to deliver superior customer services. Examples of tasks they may perform include managing budgets, monitoring progress, tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), surveying clients and solving problems. Their goal is to enhance the customer experience by delivering exceptional services that meet or exceed client expectations.

Service delivery manager duties include administrative, technical and managerial tasks. The tasks may differ depending on the industry they work in and their employer's expectations. For example, a service delivery manager in an information technology (IT) organisation may focus on technical issues and manage service agreements. Meanwhile, a service delivery manager in the retail sector may focus on point-of-sale experiences, inventory management and delivery. Here are some of the common duties that may arise in the role:

Assess existing customer service processes

Service delivery managers assess the consistency and cost-effectiveness of existing customer service processes. By reviewing existing projects and processes, they can understand their scope, identify problems and leverage successes. The goal is to enhance service delivery and profitability.

Developing procedures

When organisations grow or identify service delivery issues, a service delivery manager may design new customer service procedures and systems that support an excellent delivery of service. This may involve collaborating with technical teams to enhance systems-related service delivery or reviewing customer expectations to improve service continuously. Service delivery managers may also review third-party service delivery procedures to drive improvement.

Build relationships with key stakeholders

A service delivery manager may spend time building relationships with business stakeholders and customers. Enhanced communication with key stakeholders can help them become familiar with service delivery processes across the business and identify issues. Strong relationships can also help service delivery managers bring about change and gain support for new processes.

Manage customer-facing staff

Service delivery managers usually oversee customer-facing staff by monitoring and managing help desks and customer support services. They may perform team training to ensure staff members follow service delivery procedures and maintain excellent service levels. These managerial responsibilities may also include reporting to senior management on customer service performance and service delivery initiatives.

Engage in conflict resolution

In the event of customer incidents or complaints, service delivery managers may oversee the customer complaints process and resolve conflicts. This may involve supporting customer-facing staff or working directly with the customer in the event of an escalation. Maintaining effective complaint handling procedures may also be the service delivery manager's responsibility.

Service delivery manager's work environment

Service delivery managers work across a wide range of industries to drive customer satisfaction and respond to customer demands. They may work in retail settings, industrial organisations, technology companies or service-oriented organisations. People in this position are likely to engage with multiple stakeholders and service providers daily. They generally work closely with operations managers, customer account managers and IT managers.

What skills benefit a service delivery manager?

Many skills may benefit a service delivery manager and be attractive to prospective employers. These skills fit into three major categories:

1. Leadership skills

Some leadership skills that are highly beneficial to a service delivery manager are:

  • team leadership skills and working across in-house and remote teams

  • managing third-party service providers

  • experience overseeing large, diverse teams

  • proven ability to manage incidents and complaints

  • the ability to diffuse and de-escalate difficult situations

  • mentoring and training experience

Related: 14 Leadership Qualities That Are Found in Great Leaders

2. Technical skills:

  • extensive IT and computing skills and the ability to use business support software

  • expert knowledge of customer service automation software

  • in-depth understanding of a business's systems and technical infrastructure

  • good financial acumen and the ability to manage a departmental budget

  • strong project management capabilities and familiarity with quality control techniques

  • excellent customer service skills

Related: Skills Required for Good Customer Service

3. Interpersonal and organisational skills

  • first-rate verbal and written communication skills

  • strong time management and prioritisation skills

  • exceptional organisational skills and attention to detail

  • the ability to remain calm under pressure

  • strong teamwork skills

  • compassion and empathy

  • willingness to support and mentor team members

  • the ability to manage sensitive information professionally

  • good accountability

  • strong self-direction and motivation

What is the average salary of a service delivery manager?

The national average salary of a service delivery manager is $113,415 per year. The salary may vary depending on the job description, workplace, industry and individual experience. You can increase your potential earnings by gaining experience, taking part in professional development courses and researching industry and organisational salary averages.

How to become a service delivery manager

If you're a natural problem solver, enjoy working with people and are looking for a leadership role, you may want to know how to become a service delivery manager. Here are some steps to follow to apply for a service delivery role:

1. Complete your education

To become a service delivery manager, you typically require a bachelor's degree. Some companies value a bachelor's degree in computer science, given the importance of technology to the customer experience. Customer service initiatives often take place online, so a high level of technical literacy can help you attain a position as a service delivery manager. Employers may also value a bachelor's degree with a focus on business administration or project management.

2. Gain experience

To gain a position as a service delivery manager, you may need experience in a customer-facing role, such as resolution management or technical support. Team leadership experience is valuable and insight into the customer experience across multiple departments can help you secure a position. Project management experience can also help you build skills for a service delivery role.

3. Consider gaining additional certifications

To increase your chances of securing a role, you can undertake additional training. Service delivery managers often gain a certification in Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. ITIL is a framework for delivering best-practice IT services. By following ITIL's systematic approach, service delivery managers can strengthen customer relationships, reduce risk, design cost-effective processes and build a responsive and scalable IT system.

4. Tailor your resume

When you apply for a new job, tailor your resume for each application. Consider the skills, experience and qualities that the employer is looking for and edit your resume to show how your skills and experiences fit the job description. In a service delivery manager role, employers place value on strong leadership skills, proven communication skills and the ability to handle stressful situations.

Related: Why Creating Multiple Versions of Your Resume Works

5. Apply for jobs

Once you have updated your resume appropriately, you can apply for jobs advertised on online job boards. If you don't hear from an employer within two weeks, you may follow up with an email. A well-timed follow-up email can highlight your interest in the role and showcase your professionalism. Your follow-up email can reiterate the key points in your application, giving you another opportunity to sell yourself. Follow-up emails can be brief, which shows consideration of the employer's time.

Tips for service delivery managers

By understanding what a service delivery manager does, you can decide whether this career interests you. If you accept a role as a service delivery manager, you can use these tips to help provide customers with high-quality service delivery:

Maintain customer communication

Organisations can increase customer satisfaction by informing them about products, services and company developments. Service delivery managers can lead customer communication improvements by determining what information is most important to customers and developing strategies to deliver information conveniently. Delivering the right information to customers can help them perceive a company as transparent and helpful.

Clearly define your terms

Clearly defining terms and conditions can help customers know what to expect from a service and make informed purchasing decisions. You can define terms like features, warranties, eligibility and cost to create authentic customer interactions. By clearly defining the terms of a service offering, you also help staff understand and deliver the organisation's expectations.

Use automation as appropriate

Technological advances make it easier to automate the service delivery process. You can use automation software to help team members perform daily tasks efficiently. Automation can also be more convenient for customers, reducing wait times and simplifying processes.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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