Transforming customer self-service with User Experience Analytics


Customer self-service: A woman types on a laptop.

Teena Singh, senior manager and customer liaison for Now support at ServiceNow, co-wrote this blog.

We all want fast access to the information we need, when we need it. With a few simple clicks, we expect our questions to be answered and our problems to be solved. We want to be empowered to solve problems on our own, intuitively, and without friction. We expect seamless, quick, and easy self-service.

According to a Gartner® report, 85% of customer service interactions will start with self-service by 2022, up from 48% in 2019.1

At ServiceNow, providing intelligent, speedy, and delightful self-service experiences lies at the heart of everything we do. But when we’re helping our customers help themselves, creating frictionless customer journeys is not quite as simple as 1-2-3.

Gaps aren’t always obvious. The complete self-service experience is often complex and nuanced. And without a detailed view of customer behavior, it’s difficult to make improvements to any self-service experience. That’s where ServiceNow® User Experience Analytics come in, enhanced in the Rome release.


Now Support zeros in on self-service optimization

At ServiceNow, the IT customer engagement team is obsessed with improving self-service on Now Support—our portal that offers customer support—no matter what the question or issue.

Our customers want to feel empowered to solve their own issues so they can be productive in their daily jobs. They want to get the most out of their ServiceNow investment, and they don’t want to spend time troubleshooting issues.

Now Support is designed on the belief that effective self-service is the key to great experiences that provide fast time to relief for customers, whether they’re using a desktop or a mobile app.

When our IT customer engagement team set out to perfect our customers’ click-by-click, self-service experience, the team faced three challenges. We needed to:

  • Understand customer behavior in order to deliver fully optimized experiences and help customers achieve a faster time to resolution.

  • Clearly trace a customer’s click-by-click journey to identify specific stumbling points that resulted in a negative experience.

  • Aggregate data to glean insights into customer behavior trends over time.


User Experience Analytics to the rescue

We pulled back the curtain on previously invisible data by integrating ServiceNow User Experience Analytics into the Now Support portal and app. We can now see exactly how our customers interact with our self-service portal, including a treasure trove of user experience data to guide our future decisions about the customer journey, resource investment, and prioritization.

User Experience Analytics provides the features most usage analytics applications offer, such as user flows, click paths, page views, retention, and other behavioral metrics. But because it runs as part of the Now Platform®, we’re able to combine behavioral data with operational data from instance tables to generate really powerful actionable insights. This enables an end-to-end, streamlined user experience.

User Experience Analytics: operations data (record counts, task success, etc.) and user behavior data (customer flows, clicks, profile, etc.)


5 benefits of User Experience Analytics

Here are five of the benefits we’ve seen:


1. Personalization and intelligent automation

Applying platform machine learning algorithms on user journeys helps us understand user context and identify friction points. We can then add personalized recommendations, in-context help, or automated resolutions.

For example, when we launched our Help Center module, we initially didn’t see high adoption. User Experience Analytics insights helped us determine that personalization was the key to improving adoption.

2. Bridging self-service gaps

We can see critical decision points where customers successfully resolve an issue or submit a case. These can help us determine the actions needed to optimize our self-service.

For example, we can now identify Knowledge Base articles and searches that don’t lead to self-service success. We then use this data to fill content gaps or improve content effectiveness.

3. Visibility into how customers interact with the portal

More than 80% of our customers don’t log in when using self-service. With User Experience Analytics, we’re able to understand which experiences are important to unauthenticated users. This insight helps us make more relevant content available so we can reduce time to self-serve.

4. Lower abandon rates

We can pinpoint where a customer abandoned a search or a catalog item. With that knowledge, we can find ways to bridge the gap by adding knowledge content, optimizing a form, or offering options, such as a Virtual Agent topic or Community forum.

5. Targeted localized content

Our localization strategy was previously guided by experience, not data. We can use a customer’s language preference to analyze and address gaps in local content usage, driving higher self-service rates with global customers.

User Experience Analytics. Insights: customer research and design, optimized user experiences, AI workflows, personalized self-service


What we’ve learned

We started by spending time understanding our customers’ self-service journey. What were our self-service goals? What are the desired actions? How do we measure value and impact?

ServiceNow User Experience Analytics has been a vital part of understanding customer behavior to help customers solve issues and concentrate on other tasks. That translates to a better customer experience and happier customers. And isn’t that the ultimate goal of any customer service and support organization?

Learn more about self-service design.

1 Gartner, “Delivering Relevant Content and Knowledge to Customers Is Key to Great Customer Service,” Gene Phifer, Brian Manusama, Drew Kraus, Olive Huang, Irina Guseva, Mick MacComascaigh, Jim Davies, 5 December 2019.

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