ITIL Business Relationship Management | ITIL Foundation | ITSM

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In this tutorial, we will discuss on ITIL Business Relationship Management (BRM) Process. Here in this chapter, you will learn the definition, best practices, objective, activities, roles, and sub-process of Business Relationship Management ITIL V3 process (BRM - ITIL V3).

What is ITIL Business Relationship Management Process?  

Business Relationship Management (BRM) is one of the main processes of Service Strategy Process Group under ITIL Service Life-Cycle.

According to the definition, BRM is the formal approach to understand, define, and support inter-business activities related to business networking.

Moreover, ITIL Business Relationship Management consists of knowledge, skills, and competencies that encourage a positive relationship between a Service Provider and their business partners.

Although the ITIL BRM Process looks somewhat similar to Customer Relationship Management (CRM), actually they are different. In the real world, Business Relationship Management has a greater span of control than Customer Relationship Management. You may consider the CRM as to be a subset of BRM. (See: sub-process)

ITIL Business Relationship Management Objective:

The primary objective of Business Relationship Management (BRM) is to maintain a positive relationship with customers.

According to ITIL v3, the BRM process is responsible for identifying the needs of existing and potential customers and ensures that appropriate services are implemented to meet those needs.

ITIL V3 Business Relationship Management Activities: 

The activities performed under the ITIL V3 Business Relationship Management process are:

  • Establish and maintain a healthy business relationship.
  • Understanding and communicating customer’s expectation about the business outcome.
  • Identifying customer’s business needs and change requirements.
  • Define a formal complaint and escalation procedure for customers.
  • Act as a mediator in case of conflicting requirements from different businesses.
  • Identify technology trends that may impact service utilization.
  • Access customer’s satisfaction levels and identify action plans to deal with the causes of dissatisfaction.
  • Optimizing services for covering any future needs.
  • Represent the Service Provider to the customer in a positive manner.

[Must Read: Types of Service Providers supported by ITIL BRM]

ITIL Business Relationship Management Sub-Process:

As broadly defined, there are six sub-processes under ITIL Business Relationship Management process. Below are the sub-processes and their process objectives, followed by a diagram showing the process flow:

1) Maintain Customer Relationships:

Also known as Customer Relationship Management, the objective of this sub-process is to ensure that the service provider continues to understand the requirements of existing customers and also establish good relationships with potential new customers.

This sub-process is also responsible for maintaining the Customer Portfolio.

2) Identify Service Requirements:

The main aim is to understand and document the customer requirements and to decide if the customer’s requirement can be fulfilled using an existing service offering or if a new or changed service must be implemented.

3) Sign up Customers to Standard Services:

Used for capturing customer requirements and negotiate service level targets with customers who request for provisioning of existing standard services.

4) Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT Survey):

The aim is to plan, carry out and evaluate regular customer satisfaction surveys.

The primary target of this process is to learn about areas where customer expectations are not being met before a customer expresses his dissatisfaction with service.

5) Handle Customer Complaints:

The objective is to record & access customer complaints and take corrective actions if required.

6) Monitor Customer Complaints:

Responsible for continuously monitor the current status of unresolved customer complaints and to take follow-on actions if required.

Important Terminologies & Definitions:

Some important terminologies & definition specific to the ITIL Business Relationship Management (ITIL BRM) Process are listed below:

Complaints and Compliments:

  • Complaints and Compliments are feedbacks from the customer sent to the Service Provider.
  • Complaints are negative in nature & Complements are positive in nature. Both are addressed in the Business Relationship Management process.

Complaint Status Information:

  • A message containing the present status of a complaint made by the customer. T
  • his report typically sent to a customer who earlier made a complaint.

Complaints Log:

  • This contains the full details of all received customer complaints, including complaint description, type & actions taken on basis of those complaints.

Customer Portfolio:

  • It is used to maintain detailed records all customers of the IT service provider.
  • This is the Business Relationship Manager’s view towards the customers who receive services from the Service Provider.

Customer Survey Questionnaire:

  • A set of defined questionnaires for surveying Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).
  • This aims to get the insight of overall customer satisfaction and customers' views on specific services.

Customer Survey Response:

  • This records the responses to a service provider's customer survey, typically in a form of completed questionnaires.

Desired Service Outcomes:

  • This is the description of Customer’s expectation as a business outcome when taking a service from the service provider.

Outline of Service Requirements:

  • The desired outcome of a service, described in terms of required service functionality (utility) and service levels (warranty).
  • Based on this information, detailed service requirements are prepared during the Service Design stage.

ITIL Business Relationship Management Roles:

Business Relationship Manager:

  • This Role is the Process Owner for ITIL Business Relationship Management (ITIL BRM) process under ITIL Best Practices Framework.
  • The Business Relationship Manager is responsible for maintaining a positive relationship with customers.
  • This Role is also responsible for identifying customer needs and to ensure that the service provider is ready to meet those with an appropriate catalogue of services.
  • The Business Relationship Manager works closely with the Service Level Manager.


  • A customer is a person or group who buys Services from Service Provider in an agreed upon service level targets.

We hope that you have enjoyed the above article describing ITIL Business Relationship Management Process. Be with us to explore free training on Leading Technologies and Certifications.

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