Customer experience (CX) is made up of all the interactions you have with your customers. Good experiences can boost the bottom line while generating loyalty, brand preference, and premium pricing.
On the other hand, just one bad experience can drive that customer away for good. That’s why customer experience has become a strategic priority for most organizations. So, what does it really take to deliver great customer experiences, and what does that mean for a business?
To get some perspective on ServiceNow® Customer Service Management (CSM), we sat down with Michael Ramsey, VP of product management for customer workflows at ServiceNow. Here’s what he had to say:
Customer Service Management is one of ServiceNow’s fastest growing workflow products. What’s driving this growth?
Almost every organization is at some phase of their digital transformation. Part of that journey is the digitization of the customer experience, which is now broadly viewed as strategic to the success of the business. We’ve been able to help our customers make this transition and capitalize on disruptions that are taking place in their markets, so they can build new products and services supported by the customer experience they need to deliver to win.
What do you see as the key features of the ServiceNow Customer Service Management solution?
ServiceNow CSM enables organizations to engage customers on their channel of choice, including voice, web, mobile, and chat. It provides self-service and assisted service capabilities that ensure the right level of support is available for every request.
Self-service enables customers to leverage service catalogs, knowledge libraries, and virtual agents, sometimes referred to as chatbots, to quickly find answers or complete service requests without involving a human agent. When human assistance is needed, the requests can be seamlessly routed to the agent best able to address the issue and ensure it is resolved quickly and permanently.
What makes all this possible is that ServiceNow CSM automates the workflows behind every customer request. Every time a customer engages with the organization, whether they are disputing a bill, opening a new account, or returning a product, a workflow is triggered to complete that request. Sometimes this workflow requires involvement from the front, middle and back offices. ServiceNow CSM handles it all, end-to-end, taking the customer engagement and driving that workflow across the organization to complete the customer’s request.
The other piece to note is that ServiceNow Customer Service Management is built on the Now Platform®, one of the most secure, flexible, modern cloud platforms available. This means we have artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), task-based workflows, and the robust ability to model all the products and services that a customer is entitled to, so we can provide truly proactive service to customers.
Can you give some examples of how AI and machine learning play into Customer Service Management?
We are using AI to solve problems for our customers. Some examples include our use of machine learning to identify common issues that affect multiple customers, so organizations can proactively take action and resolve them before they impact more customers or before a customer even knows there is a problem.
We also automatically look at customer engagement data and cases to identify underlying trending topics or issues and then surface them for action. For example, ServiceNow CSM might initiate a workflow to resolve an issue that impacts many customers or initiate the development of an FAQ or knowledge-based article that could help customers help themselves, via a virtual agent. In addition, Customer Service Management can predict how to classify a case, so it can be routed to the person best qualified to resolve that request accurately and efficiently.
ServiceNow claims to be the only company that connects customer engagement and service operations with digital workflows. What does that mean?
We can support the entire customer experience, end-to-end. We have the ability to model the products and services an organization offers to their customers, which could be digital products and services or digital assets that are bound to physical products and services, and engage customers to support them around those products and services. We can also drive the workflows needed to complete those requests across the organization’s front, middle, and back offices.
By combining engagement and service operations, we deliver proactive customer service. That’s how we were able to introduce industry workflows for telecommunications, financial services, and healthcare that will provide a single system of action with insights across systems of record. This allows organizations to manage processes such as onboarding a new customer or managing a complaint from end-to-end while collaborating in real time across departments.
ServiceNow bills itself as “the platform of platforms.” What does that mean?
Every customer is going to have a complex IT landscape, which means they need a solution that works elegantly across that landscape. For example, a customer request may involve the company’s front, middle, and back offices. As a result, some steps and tasks needed to resolve that request need to be done in a back-office system that isn’t a ServiceNow system.
We can automate these workflows across the enterprise and talk to all these systems, like a billing, order management, or marketing system, to drive the workflow to completion. We can orchestrate workflows across people, across teams, and across systems. That’s the power of the Now Platform and why we say it is the platform of platforms.
Has the pandemic impacted how ServiceNow and its customers approach customer service management?
There were a few new trends that came out of the pandemic, like the use of video chat for telehealth scenarios, but for the most part I think it simply accelerated two trends that already existed. The first trend was the adoption of more automated self-service solutions to handle customer requests. The second was empowering a distributed workforce to engage with customers from anywhere in the world.
Suddenly, with shelter-in-place mandates, organizations found they needed both capabilities, immediately, in order to keep servicing customers. Overnight, organizations that might have only enabled 10% of their workforce to work remotely and resolve customer requests now had everyone working from home.
Demand didn’t drop. In fact, it spiked for many organizations, including those in financial services, the public sector, and healthcare. Yet resources were more constrained than ever. So, we saw increasing demand for self-service, automation, and the ability to support a work from home workforce, including those in customer service.
ServiceNow was recently named a Leader in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center. Why do you think ServiceNow moved into the Leaders Quadrant?
I think it really comes down to our customers. We are delivering a solution that solves real problems and delivers real value to our customers. I think being in the Leaders Quadrant is validation that we are helping our customers succeed.
*Gartner, Inc., "Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center," Brian Manusama, Nadine LeBlanc, 4 June 2020.
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