Digitizing the customer experience remains a key initiative for many organizations—even during a tough economic climate when cutbacks are running rampant.
Investing in technologies to connect people, processes, and systems can yield a unified approach to customer service that drives efficiencies, empowers employees, increases customer loyalty, and decreases the cost to serve.
Digitization can add significant value whether your goal is to ensure front, middle, and back-office teams work from a single system of record or to reduce downtime and prevent bottlenecks in the customer experience.
Here are three enduring benefits of future-proofing your customer experience strategy.
1. Increased interdepartmental efficiencies
Interdepartmental inefficiency may sound like an internal problem for your organization, but it has far-reaching consequences for your customers. Disparate systems, siloed teams, and a lack of interconnectivity in the organization results in slow time to resolution and can force customers to bounce from agent to agent.
When a customer needs to contact their internet provider because of slow download speeds, for example, they might start with social media. When that doesn’t elicit a response, they follow up with a call to the service center. The agent who answers has no knowledge of the previous contact attempt, so the customer explains their service need again.
The agent transfers the customer to the appropriate department to handle their query, where they have to repeat their case history yet again. A field technician is sent to the customer's residence, only to realize the job order was mislabeled and they don’t have the necessary tools to complete the task. At this point, the customer is ready to switch to a new service provider.
Unifying teams with a single system of record can reduce problems like that. Giving all customer-facing teams access to the same case history can prevent customers from having to repeat their issues. It can also increase the chance of a first-visit resolution from a field technician.
Implementing a centralized knowledge repository can also help simplify issue resolution. Agents receive a proven course of action filled with lessons learned from previous engagements. And customers can access a library of articles to help address minor issues.
According to a 2022 Forrester Total Economic Impact study commissioned by ServiceNow, the introduction of a knowledge base can create a collaborative atmosphere among staff, helping them feel empowered to share knowledge with each other. This can result in new approaches to customer satisfaction.
As a next step, companies can use the knowledge base to provide self-service articles that customers can access to address minor service issues.
2. Consistent service and rapid engagement
Joint research by ServiceNow and Qualtrics found 51% of people will hang up if left on hold for more than 10 minutes. To avoid that scenario, the organization needs to run smoothly and collectively—and engage customers on the platform of their choice.
A proactive approach to customer service can resolve issues before customers are aware of them. This involves using analytics to identify potential bottlenecks and network downtime and using automation to keep customers informed.
Taking these steps helps organizations deliver fast service, which is a requirement for customer retention. Integrating your front, middle, and back offices is key. It’s unlikely customers will ever know your organization has achieved seamless integration. They’ll just appreciate good customer experience.
3. Elevated employee and customer satisfaction
One of the main drawbacks of different teams relying on disparate systems and processes is the manual burden of maintaining them. Using a connected platform built on a single data model can make it easier to automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks.
This frees staff to focus on more critical tasks. It can also give staff more empowerment and meaning in their roles, leading to greater employee retention and, in turn, customer satisfaction.
An IT company in the Forrester study reported a 33% increase in employee satisfaction among agents using ServiceNow Customer Service Management.
Providing better engagement touchpoints through the company website and connecting customers seamlessly to the contact center are also best practices. According to the Forrester study, automation and integration can reduce phone contacts by 40% and email contacts by 80%, improving efficiency and customer satisfaction while reducing costs.
A digital customer service solution makes sense as a long-term investment and a cost-saving measure. Aggregated data in the Forrester study revealed that an organization can reap up to a 170% return on investment in Customer Service Management over a three-year period.
Find out more in the complete Forrester study: The Total Economic Impact™ of ServiceNow Customer Service Management.
© 2022 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.