Rethinking customer experience

Customer experience: A woman looks at her cellphone at a coffee shop.

On a video call, a customer asked why I had a stack of boxes behind me. That’s one of the things about Zoom—you get glimpses into other people’s worlds. My world is full of cardboard. I moved to a new home on the East Coast a few months ago, and unpacking is a slow process.

The boxes are full of business books. I have a healthy collection, and my latest addition is Think Again by Adam Grant, the top-rated professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Grant is super inspiring. I wish he’d been there in my time at Wharton. In Think Again, he encourages us to behave more like scientists—not to settle for the accepted way of doing things, but to test, challenge, and try out new ideas, to rethink in order to continuously improve.

I’ve been doing lots of rethinking recently about how to deliver great customer experience. As products become commoditized and choices infinite, organizations are competing on experience. It’s the new differentiator. Customers have high expectations. If brands don’t deliver, customers will vote with their feet in favor of an organization that does.

The need for a unified approach

A large chunk of digital investment has focused on improving customer-facing touch points—websites, apps, and chatbots. Those interactions are key, but on their own, they’re not enough to transform experience.

Below the surface, organizations are struggling to deliver the service customers demand and deserve. A sprawl of legacy systems that don’t talk to each other means agents resort to spreadsheets and swivel-chair between systems to chase down information and make sense of the black hole capturing their request.

Field service teams turn up on site without the customer history, issue insight, and equipment they need to fix the problem, resulting in costly return visits and increased downtime. When organizations don’t work in harmony, experience suffers, and customer-facing teams are left to face frustrated and angry customers.

You need to bring the power of the whole organization to better serve your customers. That means going beyond your customer-facing layer to connect your front, middle, and back office. When people and processes are connected, information flows freely, it’s easier to take action, and everyone has the visibility and insights they need to achieve more, fast.

Uniting people, processes, and systems

ServiceNow makes this happen. With one platform, one architecture, and one data model, it brings people, systems, and data into a single system of action. It simplifies case management by breaking work down into discrete tasks and ensuring those tasks flow across people and functions. It enables you to automate and optimize how work gets done.

The use of automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and other technologies opens the world of self-service so customers can access the information and support they need on their terms. Freed from routine and mundane tasks, employees have more time to do their best work and excel in their roles. This makes them happy, and happy workers make happy customers.

Sometimes the best kind of experience is no experience at all. People want things to happen as they should, smoothly and without interruption. We can help you predict and preemptively solve issues before they escalate into bigger problems.

You’ll see where storm clouds are forming so you can intervene and get in front of the downpour. In this way, you can either remediate issues before the customer notices or communicate clearly with customers who may be affected before they get in touch with you. When things do go wrong, you’ll be able to fix them fast, keep customers updated on issue status and resolution, and earn trust along the way.

Great things happen when an organization is connected, works in harmony, and is united in the goal of serving customers better. Experience soars, customers are more loyal, it’s easier to attract and retain talent, and the whole company sees significant improvement to its bottom line.

Find out how ServiceNow can help you improve customer experience in our Experience in action ebook.

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