ServiceNow may have grown from humble beginnings as a platform to support IT processes but today, it offers a substantial capability to improve the experience of customers, whether those are internal or external to the organization. In our modern lives, we often take the consumer-grade experiences we encounter with apps such as Uber, Amazon, and Netflix for granted. ServiceNow can enable a version of this consumerized experience to our stakeholders, whether those are end customers, employees, supply chain partners, or job candidates.
The HR Service Delivery (HRSD) application provides the ability to onboard new employees seamlessly, meaning that their first experience in your organization is far less overwhelming and confusing than it might otherwise be.
The CSM application allows you to provide contextual, entitlement-driven support at scale to your customer base while supporting the integration of omnichannel engagement with those same customers.
In ITSM and enterprise portals, in general, end users can shop online for the services and equipment required to get their jobs done and take advantage of published knowledge bases that provide relevant information at their fingertips. This is useful to employees in major offices, but you could also consider retail or branch locations as well as field employees and their needs.
Customer experience is a value proposition that is usually either scoped directly into your project in the case of a CSM or HRSD implementation or it may be a primary or secondary consideration in the deployment of other ServiceNow modules such as Legal Service Management or ITSM. This means that for many implementations, the scope of customer experience is clearer than some of the other value drivers, but what can be particularly difficult is how to measure it. The tools remain the same regardless and, in this section, we will focus on the things you can do in your project in order to maximize the customer experience.
Tools for customer experience
The most important part of customer experience is whether your customers are consistently and efficiently receiving a service that meets their needs. For this reason, many of the elements covered earlier in this chapter apply, particularly process efficiency and service quality. In addition to stable services and quick turnaround times, your customers and stakeholders have grown used to the experience of being able to digitally interact with services on their terms and in their own time. This can mean self-service portals that put knowledge and structured workflows at the customer’s fingertips, as well as Virtual Agent chatbot conversations that can automatically handle complex interactions and hand them over to a human when necessary.
There are two major items that both drive customer experience value and quickly expand the scope of your projects: portals and Virtual Agent conversations.
Scoping customer experience value – portals
The portal scope is often defined at the outset of the project as simply being out of the box with the assumption that this will meet the organization’s needs. This may be the appropriate course of action but if you are planning to use an out-of-the-box ServiceNow portal for your deployment, you should be certain to conduct a detailed walkthrough with representative users in order to determine whether it will meet their needs.
Fortunately, branding a ServiceNow portal is a straightforward process and aligning it with your company’s image is essential if the portal will serve as an interface outside your organization. For more extensive customization, you will need to ensure there is a clear value statement tied to each departure from the ServiceNow default in order to ensure that the changes are being made for the right reasons; but if justified, ServiceNow portal technology is flexible enough to accommodate just about any set of requirements.
Scoping customer experience value – Virtual Agent
One of the innovative capabilities of the ServiceNow platform is the conversational Virtual Agent system that allows you to combine natural language processing and an automated workflow to generate self-service options that can be as good as a live agent but at the disposal of your users on their schedule and without your support staff’s involvement. Virtual Agent conversations can be prioritized and scoped in a similar way to investments in process efficiency workflows from earlier in this chapter. By creating a combined view of interaction frequency and then assessing the degree to which the interaction can be fully scripted, you will be able to identify the best opportunities for Virtual Agent topic delivery.
A useful exercise with Virtual Agent conversations is to analyze logs of any existing chat-based tooling for support and use this as a basis to prioritize automated conversations. It is also important to realize that if your virtual agent is not able to address a large fraction of incoming requests acceptably (even if it means transferring to a live chat agent), then the agent is more likely to frustrate users and lower the overall customer experience. Consider designing your flows so that if a clear actionable intention is not quickly established and confirmed, then the virtual agent gets out of the way and lets a human take over.
Measuring customer experience
Measuring customer satisfaction with the experience you provide is a challenge because traditional methods such as surveys can have low response rates. For this reason, it is important to engage early and often with representative customers in order to get direct feedback and make good use of the collected data and feedback.
ServiceNow provides survey and rating capabilities that can be used to receive feedback from customers. You must resist the temptation to create surveys that are time-consuming or that contain many required fields. Often a simple happy, neutral, or sad face with an optional text box for explanation can capture more useful data than a five-item survey because you’ll get substantially higher response rates.