In today’s world, the lines between employee and consumer are increasingly blurry. At May’s Knowledge16 conference, ServiceNow muddled those barriers even more. The organization, traditionally an enterprise cloud company offering operational technology service management, announced the launch of its Customer Service Management (CSM) system. This new platform will offer a seamless user experience for both customers and employees throughout the resolution process.
Although the match may seem unlikely, the addition of a customer-centric option is a natural extension of ServiceNow’s current PaaS options. For nearly two decades, thought leaders have argued that employee experience should resemble customer experience. Employees have much closer, and more frequent, experience with their company as a whole, making them influential brand advocates (or detractors). The financial payoff for businesses is indisputable, as employee engagement is correlated with decreases in absenteeism, turnover, accidents and defects - and increases in customer service response, productivity, sales and profits. Operational efficiency, which can lead to decreased paperwork, limited bureaucracy and fluid collaboration, is a valuable tool in driving both employee satisfaction and the bottom line.
Unfortunately, efforts to optimize the employee experience have been lukewarm, and operations often remain siloed and out of date. As ServiceNow CEO Frank Slootman explains, “You’ve got young people going into these companies and they’ve got to go back in time to learn how to work there.”
ServiceNow offers a solution to many of these problems internally, in departments like IT, security, human resources and legal. Its holistic and dynamic concept has allowed the company to grow from a $100 million to a $1 billion business in only five years. Now, this innovative firm has entered the realm of customer service.
The new CSM system blends ServiceNow’s proven architecture with key features of customer-centered applications like Oracle and Salesforce. Holly Simmons, ServiceNow’s senior director of product marketing for customer service management, describes the difference: "Traditional CRM tools stop at customer engagement. Our new cloud-based offering proactively engages departments across the enterprise, as well as infrastructure and workflows to track and fix the root cause of customer issues and prevent these from arising in the first place." Anyone who’s ever called a 1-800 number has experienced the frustration of being transferred between departments, only to re-explain their issue to a new representative. This new system will provide customers with increased transparency and give company reps greater insight into their own systems throughout the support process.
While most companies are still working to bring their employee management up to par with customer experience, ServiceNow has cut ahead of the pack and is bringing successful innovation in employee experience down to the customer.
“We leverage our existing industry-leading capabilities and apply them to the existing broken customer service process," explains Simmons. “There are many areas of the enterprise that need to have a systematic approach to the way work gets done.”
With ServiceNow’s CSM disrupting the industry, there’s no telling which direction its competitors will go. One thing is clear though: operational efficiency is no longer about employees; it’s about user experience.