Solutions

  • Products
  • Use Cases
  • Industries

Platform

  • REPORT
  • Gartner: ServiceNow a Leader
  • 2018 Enterprise High-Productivity Application Platform as a Service Magic Quadrant

Customers

  • SUCCESS CENTER
  • Your Strategic Resource
  • Discover best practices for every phase of your ServiceNow journey

Explore

  • WHY SERVICENOW
  • Thanks to you.
  • You're why we're #1 on the Forbes World's Most Innovative Companies list.

Make improving self-service an organizational priority

Self‑service enablement is not a one‑time activity, and it’s certainly not just about making the technology available. For sustained growth, tailor your organizational processes and incentives so they drive self‑service success.

Key insights

  • Clarify employees’ roles and responsibilities in driving self‑service success and align with their performance incentives with self‑service goals.
  • Create knowledge management practices that let everyone easily solicit, share, modify, and consume knowledge.

Although self‑service capabilities improve support desk efficiency and lower costs, support staff and service process owners may not invest in them. Many organizations still incentivize “firefighting” performance, using criteria that encourages support staff involvement, such as the volume of incidents closed, rather than case deflection.

Instead of firefighting, create an environment where support staff, service fulfillers, and process owners make self‑service adoption a priority.

Step 1: Build line‑level incentives and KPIs around improving self‑service

It takes a village to create an effortless self‑service experience—it’s not just the responsibility of the process owner or UX team. Often, service support staff don’t understand how they can help or what they’re responsible for in driving self‑service adoption. Instead of simply asking them to contribute, clarify their roles and responsibilities so they’re actively geared toward self‑service awareness, adoption, maintenance, and enhancement. The RACI chart below shows how you can do this. In this chart, “A” stands for “accountable,” and “R” stands for “responsible.”

Support reps Given that support reps are the first point of contact with service consumers, they play a critical role in building, maintaining, and driving awareness of self‑service capabilities. Here are some examples of support rep activities that can help improve self‑service:

  • Proactively participate in highlighting service consumer pain points during design and use case prioritization discussions.
  • Document and share knowledge with service consumers and support staff peers in an actionable, consumable format.
  • Actively market self‑service capabilities through email signatures that highlight the advantages of self‑service or during conversations with service consumers.
  • Provide in‑the‑moment coaching to service consumers on how to use self‑service capabilities by doing a demo or walking them through your service portal.

Service process owner – Process owners are primarily responsible for driving self‑service success for their service. They oversee the entire self‑service lifecycle, like a product manager, and are required to have a good understanding of consumer needs. They can make sure the self‑service experience is effortless and that service consumers frequently use self‑service.

Service marketing – This could include staff in employee communications, IT communications, or external marketing depending on the service type. This group is primarily responsible for making consumers aware of the benefits and features of the self‑service experience.

Self‑service champions – Identify and engage self‑service champions among your service consumers. The self‑service champions are accountable for making consumers aware of the benefits of self‑service (often by highlighting their own experience) and discovering consumers’ adoption pain points. The self‑service champion community can be a solid source of insight into why consumers like or dislike self‑service.

Even with roles and responsibilities clearly defined, service staff may fall back on old behaviors (like maximizing their individual support call volume) if they don’t have the incentive to focus on self‑service improvement. To avoid this, tailor your service staff goals or management by objectives (MBOs) and performance metrics to align them with self‑service success. The table below provides several examples.

Performance KPIs

MBOs or goals

Who is it applicable to?

Case deflection rate

Ensure 80% of requests are self-served.

  • Process owners
  • Service marketing
  • Self-service champions

Customer effort score

Maintain a customer effort score of less than 2 (see Measuring customer effort in Stage 2).

  • Process owners

% of positive responses 

Ensure relevant and comprehensive support across self-service channels (knowledge base, catalog, etc.).

  • Process owners
  • Support reps
  • Self-service champions

% of outdated information

Remove outdated knowledge articles.

  • Process owners
  • Support reps

Number of outages

Ensure 99.9% availability of the self-service solutions.

  • Process owners

Self-service abandon rate

Minimize breakage in the self-service user journey.

  • Process owners

% of repeated users

Maintain a high volume of repeat users.

  • Process owners
  • Self-service champions

% of consumers who are aware of self-service

Promote self-service availability.

  • Service marketing
  • Self-service champions
  • Support reps

% decrease in support calls per year

Reduce the number of support calls to increase service desk efficiency

  • Support reps
  • Process owners

Table 6: Example MBOs and KPIs

ServiceNow recommends you create service platform usage dashboards to track details like the most common search terms on the portal. Doing this will help you make informed decisions to update catalog items, knowledge article descriptions, and meta fields based on how well users are able to find what they need. Other graphs, like view counts, can be useful for determining what content to feature most prominently across applications.

Figure 15: Service Portal usage dashboard with page popularity, common search terms, catalog, and article views (Kingston release, out‑of‑the‑box)

 

Step 2: Create a knowledge‑centered service delivery focus

Knowledge is a key asset that enables self‑service. Unfortunately, documenting knowledge is often treated as an overhead, administrative activity that gets in the way of service reps closing additional tickets or requests. Knowledge Base articles may be heavy in technology jargon, incomplete, or inaccurate, or they may have multiple versions. Solutions to known issues and requests often exist largely as tribal knowledge among support reps.

Instead, take a more disciplined approach to knowledge documentation and distribution.

First, build a knowledge management team. Give the team clearly defined roles and responsibilities to manage knowledge content creation, distribution, and maintenance.

Role

Responsibility

Knowledge author

Draft
Edit

Knowledge reviewer

Review submissions
Review articles
Retire/cancel

Knowledge manager

Final review
Publish
Retire/cancel
Recover from retired or canceled

Knowledge admin

Delete articles
Train, troubleshoot, and support
Direct and track defects and requirements
Develop

Service desk agents

Consume knowledge
Submit knowledge from Cases
Provide feedback on knowledge

Employee community

Consumer knowledge
Provide feedback on knowledge

Table 7: A ServiceNow customer’s definition of its knowledge team roles and responsibilities

 

Knowledge management doesn’t necessarily require a full‑time team. Many ServiceNow customers have communities of practice for knowledge management with members who take on knowledge management maintenance responsibilities in addition to their regular tasks.

The Now Platform allows you to configure multiple different knowledge management roles to maintain knowledge content.

Second, templatize your organization’s knowledge to make it consumable. Using predefined templates for knowledge articles not only helps build consistency in the knowledge base—it also makes things simple for the service rep (the knowledge creator) and the reader who knows where to look for what, without having to read everything. The best templates focus breaking the content into bite‑sized messages for the reader.

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 GamificationKnowledge Harvesting, and case discussions.

Figure 16: Predefined knowledge article templates on the Now Platform

 

Third, declutter the knowledge base. A knowledge base can so get bogged down with multiple versions of similar solutions that finding the right answer can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Use these best practices to declutter your knowledge base:

  • Define knowledge categories and topics  Instead of having consumers search through the entire database, create categories and topics that enable efficient search and also help declutter the page.
  • Version articles cleanly – Make good version management part of the knowledge management workflow.
  • Seek feedback on article quality – Let your consumers tag articles as helpful or not helpful and flag them when they’re incorrect.
  • Proactively retire knowledge articles  Use the feedback and SME advice to proactively retire knowledge articles when they’re no longer relevant.

The role of knowledge communities in increasing case deflection

The role of knowledge communities in increasing case deflection

We rely on our friends to help us resolve our day-to-day issues. Today, relying on others for help is even easier. When you have a question, you can access the knowledge, expertise, and experiences of not just those within but also those outside your social network. Knowledge communities are online social platforms where users and expects can ask, respond to, and rate questions and provide access to crowdsourced knowledge through discussion forums. According to experts, 50% of customer support interactions will be digitized and occur in online communities before 2018 is over. Make enabling on-demand, crowd-sourced knowledge access through online user communities a critical component of your self-service strategy. ServiceNow deflected 70% of support questions to the community in 2017 and have targeted 80% as our goal for 2018.

The role of knowledge communities in increasing case deflection

We rely on our friends to help us resolve our day-to-day issues. Today, relying on others for help is even easier. When you have a question, you can access the knowledge, expertise, and experiences of not just those within but also those outside your social network. Knowledge communities are online social platforms where users and expects can ask, respond to, and rate questions and provide access to crowdsourced knowledge through discussion forums. According to experts, 50% of customer support interactions will be digitized and occur in online communities before 2018 is over. Make enabling on-demand, crowd-sourced knowledge access through online user communities a critical component of your self-service strategy. ServiceNow deflected 70% of support questions to the community in 2017 and have targeted 80% as our goal for 2018.

Tools and resources

Explore additional phases

Plan

You want to be sure everything is in place for a smooth, successful deployment.

Deploy

You want to be sure you’re following best practices during implementation.

Optimize

You’re up and running and want to get the most from your investment.

Extend

You’re ready to extend ServiceNow into other areas of your enterprise.

Thank You

Thank you for submitting your request. A ServiceNow representative will be in contact within 48 hours.

form close button

Contact Us

To hear about upcoming events, new products, or services via email/phone, I agree to data processing by ServiceNow or partners. I understand I can withdraw consent any time or manage my preferences via email. Privacy Statement