Entering the era of great experience

2021 will be remembered as the era that adopted digital transformation to provide great customer experience.

I’m sure that, like me, you’re delighted by news of the ongoing global vaccination programme. Perhaps this new hope has also allowed you to start looking a little further ahead into the future.

As we start to look more closely at avenues out of the global pandemic, it’s a good time for us to stop for a moment and consider where we’ve been and where we’re going.

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on our society and our economy: the World Bank estimated a 5.2% contraction in global GDP last year, while McKinsey has seen the global numbers of employees working remotely increase fourfold.

For many industries, this massive disruption has put the existing challenges many were facing into context. The pandemic has shown that we need to reconsider how our industries and our economy function from the ground up, but it’s also proven that we are willing and able to effectuate that change.

For me, customer experience together with employee experience equals optimum experience: nirvana.

This is vitally important as we continue to see a fundamental shift in the role of the service provider. Whatever industry you work in, your customers both internal and external, and their wants and needs, must always come first.

Why experience must come first

It’s a bold statement—but here’s why.

Increasingly, it’s customer experience, not products, that differentiate brands. There is no such thing today as a good or a bad car, because consumers won’t accept that. Rather, it’s the purchase experience—and ongoing support throughout ownership or relationship—that makes the difference for customers.

For me, customer experience together with employee experience equals optimum experience: nirvana. One can absolutely help the other; for example, our customer DEFRA discusses the benefits of digitising their customer experience and that “ServiceNow CSM has been a morale booster. It’s shown what we can achieve in a short space of time” (Ben Davies, DEFRA).

I’m fortunate enough to talk to customers regularly and learn from them the experience benefits to either customers or employees, and in the more digitally advanced companies, the nirvana that can be created with having both great experiences and the happiness factor that can blossom between the two.

Those who are bold and disruptive will thrive; those who allow themselves to be disrupted will trail behind. This in turn means becoming agile and proactive.

Unlocking this agility and proactivity requires a less strict interpretation of what your business and industry is, and what it does. Businesses need to shift their mindset from being, say, a bank, telecom provider, or manufacturer to being a service provider that is backed with the digital smarts to provide what employees and customers actually want, not what you think they want.

After all, the future of work won’t roll out along the arbitrary lines and silos we’ve created in the past. The fewer restrictions you can place on your business, the more avenues and opportunities you have for growth.

Digital transformation is the catalyst for customer experience

We can only secure this agility, flexibility, and laser-precise customer focus if we turn to comprehensive digital transformation.

Simply dabbling in digital or turning to piecemeal adoption of new technologies and new systems here and there is not enough.

We at ServiceNow are delighted to be working with organisations like The NHS Scotland, BT, TSB, Nouryon, and DEFRA to do just that, speeding up digital transformation and boosting customer experience in the telecommunications, financial services, manufacturing and public sector industries.

You can read much more about how we’re helping these businesses in the rest of this guide, which we’ve designed to give you a clearer picture of how digital transformation is playing out across these four key industries. The guide also offers a range of advice on what needs to happen next, to move us well and truly into the era of great experience. I’ve also included a couple of news pieces from the last quarter in EMEA, including Brexit and our next platform launch: Quebec.

I really hope you enjoy this read,