The ITIL Framework is based around IT Service Management (so basically the activities that need to be done to create, deliver and manage IT Services).
As the focus is on the management of services it is of vital importance to stay in constant contact with your clients, every phase in the Service Lifecycle focuses on customer interaction.
Service Strategy – Demand Management needs to listen to the clients to figure out what the Patterns of Business Activity are. What is it that the client needs from IT in terms of service types and support?
Service Design – This phase has processes like Service Level Management and Service Catalog Management. The Service Catalog has a business component to help clients make appropriate decisions in relation to the type of services they wish to purchase. This phase also starts the creation of a Service Design Package which features User Acceptance criteria.
Service Transition – This phase interacts with the customers about changes to the Services and Service Experience. Change Management will interact with the clients for high impact changes as their input is important in the assessment and authorization of changes.
Service Operation – This phase interacts mainly with the End-users of the service as this is the phase where all day-to-day activities take place. The Service Desk is the first point of contact between the business community and the IT Group.
Continual Service Improvement – This phase needs clear direction from the business and as such interacts with the customers in relation to vision, mission and strategy. Customer Satisfaction surveys are usually initiated from this phase in the lifecycle.
See? Every phase interacts with the clients and end-users at various levels. The IT group can’t work in isolation (anymore…) and needs to know exactly what it needs to deliver to the customers to what level of expectations.