ServiceNow Survey: Improve Customer Service by Fixing Root Causes and Offering Self-Service

The Best Customer Service is “No Service”‑  Eliminating Underlying Reasons for Service Interactions Over Time

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – August 24, 2016 – ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW), the enterprise cloud company, today released the findings of its new survey that reveals why some companies are much better than others at providing great customer service, without having to spend more.

In the “Putting Service First” report, ServiceNow commissioned Intergram Online Research Services to survey 200 senior managers in customer service roles at U.S. firms with at least 500 employees to rate their customer service approaches.

The analysis of the results revealed three characteristics that separate the companies with the very best customer service:

  1. Better problem‑solvers: 163% more likely to be able to correctly identify and resolve the root cause of a customer's issue.

  2. Self‑service providers: 36% are more likely to offer self‑serve for simple requests. This empowers customers to answer their own questions, and enables customer service agents to focus on more strategic issues.

  3. More collaborative: 127% more likely to enable their customer service agents to enlist the help of different parts of the organization, partners and customers in real‑time. 

Great service companies not only had these characteristics, they also saw a higher impact on revenue (98%) and higher customer loyalty (95%), while delivering customer service at no extra cost. 

“We found that top performing companies proactively resolve the root cause and offer self‑service,” said Abhijit Mitra, general manager, Customer Service Management, ServiceNow. “The combination of these two practices could essentially prevent the very reasons why customers engage with customer service in the first place. The best customer service is “No‑Service.”

Common Challenges

The survey also discovered the top challenges organizations face in their customer service programs:

  • Solving problems (57%): Connecting all service processes to effectively resolve issues for customers as they go from first contact to permanent problem resolution.
  • Breaking down silos (54%): Bridging the gap between customer service and other departments for collaboration, coordination, and resolution.
  • Being operationally buried (50%): Manual workloads without automation leave limited time for strategic initiatives.

Lessons Learned

The survey findings present three key takeaways:

  1. Treat customer service as a “team sport”: Engage everyone to solve the problem at hand – customers, partners, and employees from relevant departments.

  2. Solve underlying issues that spawn recurring calls: Fix the root cause in the underlying service or product to prevent repeated calls about the same issue.

  3. Be proactive: Get real‑time visibility into customer systems to proactively solve problems before the customer even calls.

“Connecting customer service to the rest of the organization seems like a natural part of delivering superior customer service, yet a large percentage of companies are not doing this today,” said Mitra. “There is an immense opportunity in applying a service management approach to close that gap between engagement and resolution—and in effect prevent reoccurring issues.”

About the Research

ServiceNow commissioned Intergram Research Services of Chicago to run the survey in May 2016. Survey respondents answered seven questions about their customer service practices. Point values were assigned to each question based on industry best practices. Adding up the points gave each respondent a total score. Those whose scores ranked in the top third were classified as being “top‑tier” organizations and those in the bottom third were classified as “bottom‑tier.”

About ServiceNow

ServiceNow is changing the way people work. With a service‑orientation toward the activities, tasks and processes that make up day‑to‑day work life, we help the modern enterprise operate faster and be more scalable than ever before. Customers use our service model to define, structure and automate the flow of work, removing dependencies on email and spreadsheets to transform the delivery and management of services for the enterprise. ServiceNow enables service management for every department in the enterprise including customer service, IT, human resources, facilities, field service and more. We deliver a ‘lights‑out, light‑speed’ experience through our enterprise cloud – built to manage everything as a service. To find out how, visit www.servicenow.com.

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