The quality of your external customer service is directly proportional to the success of your business.
Customer service, satisfaction, and experience are on top of the mind for every business, irrespective of their industry.
Statistics show that 54% of customers have higher service expectations today as compared to a year ago. Gartner predicts that 89% of businesses are supposed to compete on the basis of customer experience alone. According to Microsoft, 96% of consumers rate customer service as an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand.
#ITSM has been a venerable tool to help progressive organizations to support and manage their internal technical services. Many organizations also believe that ITSM can be used for managing customer service as well. However, that’s probably a big mistake.
The Challenges with Customer Service Management
With customer service becoming a business differentiator, organizations need a dedicated tool for customer service management that allows them to offer elevated and seamless customer service experiences.
Streamlining and personalizing the service management process, delivering omni-channel support to manage the entire customer satisfaction sphere, and enabling a single-window clearance for any sort of service issues are important contributors to deliver elevated customer service.
However, some of the common issues coming in the way of robust customer service management are:
- High volumes of service requests delivered across multiple and disjointed engagement/communication platforms
- Time and effort wasted owing to manual processes and disconnected systems
- The inability of customer service teams to promptly locate issues and effectively resolve them
- Lack of relevant insights on why customers are reaching out to customer service and lack of data to interpret and measure performance
#ITSM cannot help you address these. You need Customer Service Management (#CSM) Solutions.
While ITSM tools might seem to offer similar functionalities, they solve the internal needs of the organization right from troubleshooting to provisioning.
#CSM tools, on the other hand, are entirely customer-focused and become more competent soldiers to help organizations win the customer service battle.
Let’s see how.
A Centralized Database for Better Service Interactions
The customer today wants a seamless and high-quality experience when interacting with the customer service team. With CSM, all customer service agents gain access to the full history of logged customer interactions. Since the customer information is available at all times, customers do not need to repeat issues or explain their situation – irrespective of whether they call the service desk or tweet about their complaint.
While ITSM also has a centralized database, that is primarily for the IT teams to solve specific types of issues. It does not provide the kind of detailed inputs that customer service agents need to drive high customer service experiences.
A Dedicated and Living Knowledge base to Enable Better Self-service
ITSM provides a centralized repository that can be regularly populated to ensure that the most up-to-date information to reference and attach to an incident is always available. However, this is an internal knowledge base that can be used to track incidents and understand their root cause.
With CSM, the information provided is to help customers solve their problems so that they do not need to call the customer service team.
Self-service is emerging as the best form of customer service, especially as 67% of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative. Customers also want to find answers themselves, and reports show that 91% of customers would prefer to use an online knowledgebase if it was available and tailored to meet their requirements.
Self-service in CSM allows the customers to be in the driver’s seat, especially when it comes to case management and troubleshooting. They can access the portal to find answers on their own or submit a request and track cases and communicate easily with support agents.
Given the high level of automation and low reliance on manual processes, CSM also helps agents locate issues and resolve them more accurately and efficiently and faster.
The CSM solution from ServiceNow also provides a Field Service Management tool that allows customers to schedule appointments with field service technicians themselves by simply accessing a calendar with available time and dates. Calling and scheduling appointments then become a thing of the past.
Build Customer Communities
Extending the point about self-service, CSM solution becomes essential for businesses that want to create thriving communities of their customers and users. Communities offer businesses an opportunity to connect, engage, and collaborate with their customers, employees, partners, and prospects.
By creating communities of experts and peers, businesses can offer their customers an integrated and highly personalized experience and build long-term relationships with them. Through such communities, customers can share their experiences and connect with other users. Apart from offering a self-help experience for customers, such communities also provide valuable insights to businesses into customer behavior.
All of these processes and the CSM tools ecosystem make way for reduced ticket volume over time. This consequently gives support agents and analysts more time to dedicate to higher-impact activities like root-cause analysis or enabling proactive customer service.
Organizations now need to look beyond traditional customer service management solutions and look at solutions designed to meet the new age requirements of the new age customer.
Customer service teams now need seamless information access and intelligent case management abilities. They need automated root cause identification and resolution capabilities along with actionable insights into customer experiences. We also cannot ignore the importance of real-time collaboration and omnichannel engagement.
CSM solutions enable a 360-degree view of the customer, provide real-time visibility into the health of customers’ products and systems, enable intelligent case categorization with predictive intelligence, and provide robust performance analytics to improve service quality. With these features, organizations can completely transform customer service and deliver a ‘wow’ effect every single time.
ITSM for external customer servicing falls short on the range of capabilities that CSM has on offer.
Having worked with many organizations to implement their ITSM solutions, I cannot emphasize enough on moving to a CSM solution to improve customer experience.
ServiceNow CSM allows organizations to connect their CSM with all other ServiceNow applications without worrying about integrations. By moving to ServiceNow CSM, organizations use one platform for Customer Service, IT, and other departments and reduce confusion, save time, and lower costs while delivering exceptional customer service. It’s a win, whichever way you see it.