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Improve self-service with ServiceNow

How to create effective self‑service channels and increase consumer adoption

BEFORE YOU START, YOU NEED:

  • General knowledge of ITIL
  • Knowledge of configuration management methodology
  • An understanding of the features and functions supported by the CMDB

Although this paper focuses on self‑service for internal employees, the insights are equally applicable to improve self‑service for external customers (end users), partners, and prospects.

Service consumers

Service consumers – For this best practice, we consider service consumers to be internal employees and ServiceNow customers who need to request services from the organization’s internal support groups, such as HR and IT.

Service Portal

Service Portal – The ServiceNow Service Portal is an alternative to content management systems and a simple way to create a mobile-friendly self-service experience for end users. It provides a unified, intuitive way to access all applications, including the service catalog, knowledge base, communities, and chatbots.

Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management – The ServiceNow Knowledge Management application lets you share information in knowledge bases. It helps you create, categorize, review, and approve articles. Users can search and browse articles as well as provide feedback.

ServiceNow Communities

ServiceNow Communities – This app is available for customers who have ServiceNow Customer Service Management. The ServiceNow Communities application lets customers connect and engage employees, customers, partners, and prospects so they can get quick responses to their issues by posting questions, reviewing blogs or videos, and searching for previous discussions. Our Kensington release includes advanced features like Gamification, Knowledge Harvesting, and case discussions.

Service Catalog

Service Catalog – The ServiceNow Service Catalog is an end-user application that service consumers can browse and use to request individual goods, services, or information.

Introduction

Self‑service. It sounds easy, right? Surveys routinely point to customer and employee preferences for self‑service channels, and because the cost benefits of self‑service, relative to other channels, can run 80% or higher, you’d think it would be a no‑brainer. So why, despite this convergence of interests, does increasing the use of self‑service channels remain a conundrum for enterprise leaders? The answer is simple: Many organizations still lack smart, effective approaches to the design, implementation, and maintenance of their self‑service channels.

This best practice guide will help you improve self‑service by:

  • Targeting the right opportunities for self‑service improvement
  • Designing an effortless self‑service experience
  • Making self‑service success an organizational priority
  • Building momentum for self‑service adoption

Self‑service fundamentals

Before you get started, familiarize yourself with these self‑service fundamentals.

Self‑service defined

Self‑service is the ability of a service consumer to resolve their issues and needs without having to call support. Self‑service solutions can include everything from using simple FAQ pages, knowledge base articles, and the Service Catalog to complex humanlike chat sessions.

With the advancements made in IT and business process automation, self‑service has expanded from simply sharing knowledge with consumers to conducting complex, automated operations, like password resets, without any human interaction.

Self‑service benefits

Accustomed to the conveniences offered by technology today, customers demand immediate, relevant, and effortless solutions to their requests. Self‑service is an effective way to make this happen. Forrester Research indicates that 72% customers prefer using self‑service to resolve their support issues rather than picking up the phone or sending an email.

Additionally, organizations can save millions of dollars if customers and employees choose to self‑serve. Also, according to Forrester Research:

  • A typical self‑service interaction costs less than $0.10
  • A phone interaction averages $6–$12
  • Online web chats and email responses can cost up to $5

Why does self‑service fail?

Self‑service success isn’t just about making the technology available. Organizations have to take a programmatic, customer‑centric approach that looks at how people work and where self‑service can deliver the greatest gains in satisfaction and productivity.

This approach requires organizations to:

  • Understand the productivity needs of service consumers
  • Encourage consumers to adopt self‑service solutions
  • Monitor self‑service usage and needs
  • Update solutions as needed

Figure 1 shows a complete root cause analysis of why organizations struggle to make self‑service successful. 

Service consumers

For this best practice, we consider service consumers to be internal employees and ServiceNow customers who need to request services from the organization’s internal support groups, such as HR and IT. 

Service Catalog

The ServiceNow Service Catalog is an end-user application that service consumers can browse and use to request individual goods, services, or information.

Figure 1: Root causes for why self‑service fails

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