Everywhere you look, digital transformation initiatives are taking hold across the enterprise. Customer service is no exception. Today, new digital technology options mean customers expect choice, flexibility, speed, transparency, and personalization from the companies they do business with—expectations that are only increasing.
In customer support, the pain spreads fast when a problem can’t get quickly resolved. For beleaguered customers, there’s the frustration of phone calls to open a ticket, compounded by annoying follow-ups to find out why a fix is taking so long, often rehashing the problem with a different agent each time.
For support teams, the pain can be just as bad. First, they may need to find the right engineer or developer to analyze the glitch, then there’s a flurry of emails to track progress, or lack thereof, amid intense pressure to meet ever-rising customer expectations.
Case by case, a crack support team can deliver the goods. But as companies scale their support operations, the whack-a-mole approach can only take them so far. What’s needed is a seamless, integrated solution that breaks down communication silos, automates workflows, improves transparency, and empowers customers to resolve issues on their own. For all the bottlenecks and inefficiencies that ail customer support, a holistic customer service management (CSM) strategy can be the cure.
ServiceNow uses digital workflow solutions for customer service. By removing barriers to communication and collaboration, and by boosting self-service and automation capabilities, you can dramatically improve both support productivity and customer satisfaction.
ServiceNow’s customer base has grown by nearly a third since 2015. Using ServiceNow CSM solution, it has recorded a 50% reduction in time to resolve cases a year over year during that period, as well as a 20% annual decrease in low-priority tickets.
Here are ServiceNow’s smart Customer Service Management strategies to look for:
Breaking down enterprise silos
The first major pain point in customer support is communication. Traditional customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, indispensable though they may be, can slow knowledge sharing due to internal barriers between product developers, engineering teams, support agents, and customers. That confuses the chain of ownership and cloud transparency for both customers and internal teams alike.
ServiceNow CSM solution brings customers, internal stakeholders, and ticket tracking together on one shared portal. This has helped accelerate information flow from customers to the people who build the product or service, and vice versa. Known issues, best practices, and ticket updates flow seamlessly from product and engineering teams to customers. Real-time progress becomes visible to customers, support teams, and IT pros, letting teams collaborate better and track case ownership at every stage.
Self-service with a smile
Customers rapidly get frustrated when they’re stuck on hold waiting to speak with an agent or counting the minutes while a faceless engineer scrambles to find a solution to their problem. The ServiceNow self-service CSM tool relieves that frustration by giving customers the power to create tickets, monitor progress, and search an online service catalogue that informs them of known issues and suggested fixes.
ServiceNow customers have embraced self-service support. ServiceNow has also added an AI Chabot to help customers manage their issues, navigate the site, and access our service catalogue and knowledge base (KB).
Automatic for the people
ServiceNow believes that automation is the secret sauce for better, faster workflows. It’s also the key ingredient of an integrated CSM platform. With a few clicks, users can log into its support portal and automate mundane tasks themselves or schedule help from a technician.
In customer support as in healthcare, prevention is the best medicine. Here too, automation plays a critical role. ServiceNow uses automated-system monitoring to flag low-level customer problems before they become big problems. At the earliest stages, it guides customers on the best architecture and best practices to optimize their system’s efficiency and stability and also rely on early-detection tripwires to alert them to bugs, slowdowns, or outages.
Knowledge is power
Another way our CSM tools improve the customer experience is by putting valuable information in front of the right people through our KB. As soon as a customer opens a ticket, the system pulls up KB articles for our support team that may solve the problem. If no article provides a fix, the support team can update old content or create new content that is immediately available to customers via search.
Last year, KB articles generated 14 million views, reducing resolution time and costs. Cases with KB articles attached have been solved on average 40% faster since the program started, and 24% of customers who logged into the portal to create a case didn’t need to because they found KB content to resolve the issue themselves.
Wisdom of the crowd
ServiceNow has a thriving user community, with more than 200,000 active participants engaged in 19 million interactions annually.
80% of the questions posed to the community get answers within six hours. Of 81,000 questions posted on the community section of the portal in 2018, 49,000 cases were solved by the community without technician support.
But it’s not community troubleshooting alone—or, for that matter, automation, workflow transparency, knowledge-sharing, or self-service capabilities—that helped decrease its time to resolve cases by 50% while the number of cases increased by 20% year over year. ServiceNow’s experience shows that the key success factor was integrating all these tools into one CSM solution.
Customer support may never be entirely pain-free, but a holistic CSM solution can help reduce the swelling of tickets and the spread of harmful glitches. That makes for more satisfied customers, as well as more productive and helpful support teams.