Customer service management is the orchestration of tasks between customers, customer service, and other teams to quickly resolve issues and requests.
More specifically, CSM refers to the orchestration of activities between customers, customer service, middle-office staff, operations teams, back-office departments, and IT groups to rapidly and fully resolve customers' common and complex problems and requests.
It’s no secret that customers are essential to the success of business. What may be less obvious is how businesses can effectively inspire loyalty in their customers. In a recent survey of 18,520 customers from more than 20 different countries, it was discovered that, next to product quality and value, high-quality service is the most important factor in ensuring that customers become dedicated brand evangelists (source: KPMG). At the same time, 73% of consumers are likely to switch brands after having a negative customer experience (source: The Northridge Group). But how can businesses help ensure that their customers are happy, and that their needs are being met?
One vital aspect is ease of communication. Customers want a
holistically positive experience from a company—this means reliable
service across the channels that they choose to interact with. They want
to work with agents who are knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly,
regardless of whether those interactions occur via chat, telephone,
text, email, etc.
Companies should provide self-service options for customers to find answers and receive assistance without interacting with an agent or outside of business hours.
Most importantly, customers want their requests to be resolved as quickly as possible and with minimal effort on their part. This means that a company should set realistic expectations and be transparent about the time to resolution. An organization requires more than just agents in contact centers to fulfill these requests. It often means that people outside of contact centers need to be involved. This is where customer service management comes in.
At first glance, customer service management (CSM) and customer relationship management (CRM) may seem like the same thing. But the truth is that CSM goes beyond CRM. CRM is designed to generate sales, and may be an effective solution for managing sales and marketing efforts. But CRM is a reactive approach to customer service—it tracks cases and helps manage relevant customer information, but struggles to provide a complete, end-to-end solution to customer problems. While CRM is typically effective at engaging customers across multiple channels, it has limitations once teams outside of customer service get involved in issue resolution. CSM lifts these limitations.
One example of CSM going beyond CRM functionality is in providing a service catalog. Customers are able to quickly request the products or services that they would like. The catalog is linked to digital workflows that automate the request and greatly reduce the need for human touchpoints, and can be used to initiate fully-automated processes, such as resetting a customer's password, changing products or services, or requesting a copy of a statement by mail. A reliable service catalog also provides agents with predefined options for making requests on behalf of customers. The requests kick-off service processes, which can include internal teams outside the contact center.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of CSM’s service catalog is its
ability to improve customer engagement. While some CRM products are
capable of offering forms of customer self-service, providing an
integrated desktop for agents, guiding agents along solutions, etc.,
they don't solve the challenge of when the customer's need requires help from parts of the organization
outside customer service. The service catalog assists customers in
making these requests without having to interact with an agent, while
also allowing agents to initiate requests on behalf of customers.
Customers expect a seamless journey from engagement to delivery, and they want their requests or issues to be resolved within a timeframe that they consider acceptable. CSM makes this possible by uniting every relevant team so that problems can be quickly identified and solutions implemented, looping in outside departments when necessary.
It is important to streamline customer operations by breaking down
silos and automating processes across frontline, middle, back office,
and field teams, to create a better customer experience. By empowering
customers with personalized, automation-enhanced self-service options,
organizations can provide a consistent experience across every
interaction. For those customers who require or prefer live assistance,
agents can be available to help provide an experience that accurately
anticipates customer needs, while also reducing customer effort.
CSM systems allow you to create workflows that route tasks directly to middle office, back office, or field teams, bypassing the contact center when necessary, to increase efficiency.
With a service management approach, customer service is connected to support operations on a single platform, giving them visibility into the health and operational status of customer-facing digital and connected products and services. This enables faster issue resolution and more proactive customer service. You’ll also be able to preemptively address customer issues while building trust and fostering loyalty; easily reach out to customers when issues arise, let them know that it is being addressed, and provide an estimated time to remediation.
CSM solutions empower you to manage customer projects effectively, including customer and product onboarding, and more complex, longer-running projects with multiple tasks. At the same time, CSM allows organizations to scale customer operations, handling more issues, cases, and support tasks, without demanding more resources.
CSM systems give you end to end case resolution data on a single platform. With this data, in-platform analytics helps companies identify opportunities to increase efficiency and automation by analyzing current and past performance. This data also helps you identify bottlenecks and optimize processes, reducing overall resolution time.
While CSM has nearly limitless applications, it can be helpful to consider a common example of CSM in action. Imagine that a client has lost a credit card. By automatically starting a workflow to gather vital information, routing the case to the proper department, and assigning it to an authorized agent, businesses create a set of steps to provide a seamless and positive resolution.
ServiceNow delivers powerful customer service solutions for businesses of all sizes. Improve service operations and engage customers with digital workflows. Solve customer problems by bringing front, middle, and back offices together. Proactively address issues and automate common requests. Scale to meet growing customer needs. Above all, improve the customer experience, and connect and optimize teams with intelligent automation solutions.
Go beyond standard customer service; ServiceNow Customer Service Management creates a fully unified system for providing exceptional, seamless service, across your entire organization.
Results-driven solutions to help your company reach its full potential.