When a customer service agent picks up a phone or opens an email or text, there's usually a stressed or upset customer on the other end. A package didn’t arrive. A bill contained incorrect charges. A server crashed, and no one can access their data.
This is a crucial moment that can make or break relationships—as can any customer interaction with a company, from buying a product to asking for help. It can even happen while the agent engages with other teams to resolve an issue. Solving the problem quickly, regardless of where it occurs, is the best solution. But until that happens, what customers want to hear is that the company actually cares about their problems. They want empathy.
Personalizing customer service
One way to demonstrate empathy is to familiarize yourself with someone's situation so they don't feel like another number or case file. An agent needs to access specific customer information to be able to offer personalized service to that customer.
Yet, companies tend to collect rudimentary data about customers, such as basic satisfaction scores, not the kind of information that can really improve the experience. And the systems that capture the data are often disconnected from the systems that manage service and support interactions.
To help organizations deliver more meaningful, personalized service experiences at scale, ServiceNow and Qualtrics have added new capabilities. Combining ServiceNow digital workflows with Qualtrics experience management technology, companies can harness and act on customer experience data in real time. This allows them to quickly resolve issues and help improve experiences, increasing engagement, loyalty, and retention.
“Great experiences are the modern currency of business,” says Jay Choi, chief product officer at Qualtrics. “The experiences that companies deliver today can become their greatest competitive advantage tomorrow."
The importance of empathy
In a world beset by deadlines, impatience, and short tempers, empathy is more crucial than ever. As companies of all sizes and across every industry continue to compete on experience, they need to re-earn loyalty with every interaction.
According to research from Qualtrics and ServiceNow, 80% of respondents have switched brands because of poor customer experience. Loyalty can only be earned when the whole company—the people and systems—work together.
Because many companies haven’t connected their people, processes, and systems, they can’t resolve the issues at hand quickly or with full transparency and empathy. Productivity is slowed, and customers are frustrated that their expectations for fast, simple, and seamless customer service aren’t being met.
Delivering superior empathy and customer service
To address this challenge, organizations can now access additional customer experience data from Qualtrics on the Now Platform® via the Qualtrics CustomerXM™ and ServiceNow® Customer Service Management integration. The data will empower service teams to create personalized workflows and automate experiences, increasing loyalty and spend while helping to reduce operational costs.
For example, certain customers can be categorized as high-value customers with low satisfaction scores who represent a high-risk customer segment that most companies want to avoid losing. By understanding these attributes, a company can provide unique and proactive service experiences for this segment when an issue occurs.
When a high-value/low-satisfaction customer goes to a brand’s website to ask about a shipping delay, a Virtual Agent can identify the customer at once and proactively offer a credit or connection to a live service agent (see Figure 1). Paying a little extra attention to that high-value customer will go a long way toward making sure they remain a customer for the foreseeable future.
Figure 1: Virtual Agent support that identifies a customer and offers a personalized solution to their issue can increase customer loyalty.
Forbes reports that personalizing the customer service experience can yield up to a 500% increase in overall consumer spending.
"Companies who understand and act on experience data—the feedback that employees and customers share with them—will successfully build long-term relationships with their most important stakeholders," Choi says.
ServiceNow and Qualtrics are working on further advancements for 2022 that will visualize sentiment and profile data directly on the Now Platform. This will enable service agents to see customer data in a more holistic and meaningful way.
Organizations that succeed in the future will be the ones that show their customers they truly care. In order to show customers you truly care about them, you need to know them, and you need to be able to connect people, processes, and systems to deliver the seamless experiences that customers want.
After all, customers want speed and convenience in addition to knowledgeable and friendly help. Access to rich customer insights allows organizations to respond to individual needs and powers digital workflows that drive great experiences, customer loyalty, and empathy. ServiceNow and Qualtrics' continuing partnership will empower service agents to act on that empathy.
Visualization of sentiment and customer and employee profile details, along with visualization of satisfaction insights and stakeholder feedback, are expected to be available in 2022.
© 2021 ServiceNow, Inc. All rights reserved. ServiceNow, the ServiceNow logo, Now, and other ServiceNow marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of ServiceNow, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other company names, product names, and logos may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.