14: Syncing with ServiceNow: Top 3 priorities to enhance customer experience

Mar 31, 2023

The retail, banking, telecom, and tech sectors have been trying to prove their love of customer experience (CX) for years. But the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need to elevate those vital customer relationships.

German shoemaker Adidas is a case in point. In November 2020, it reported strong quarter-over-quarter performance. CEO Kasper Rørsted told Seeking Alpha that a great deal of the company’s success stemmed from using digital channels to woo people into enrolling in its membership program, which had tripled from 50 million to 150 million during the prior 12 months. Members shop more and spend more on each transaction, resulting in a lifetime value 2.5 times greater than non-members.

[Ready to enhance customer experience? Read IDC’s Spotlight, sponsored by ServiceNow.]

Digital has changed the CX tune

The COVID-19 pandemic has turbocharged the migration from physical to digital channels. And expectations are high. The “app for everything” mentality is rampant. If one app—or product or service—doesn’t work, we can easily switch to another.

The pressure is on for customer success leaders to set priorities that turn things up to 11. According to an IDC-ServiceNow survey conducted in Europe in late 2020, these are the top three priorities for customer leaders:

Host: Andy Whiteside
Co-host: Kristin McDonald

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Andy Whiteside: Hello, everyone! Welcome to episode, 14 of seeking with service. Now, i’m your host, Andy White Side today is March 20 seventh 2023. Happy to be on here with Kristen Mcdonald. Kristen. How’s it going?

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Kristin McDonald: Doing all? How are you?

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Andy Whiteside: I am Good! Good! It’s. Did you move yet?

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Kristin McDonald: I did. I’m officially in San Francisco. So what i’m looking at on the screen there, that’s your whole house. No pretty close to it, but not quite a little bit more. So tell me how the move went.

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Andy Whiteside: It went really well. It took a couple of weeks, still working out a few things getting settled in here, but you know that’s how moves go. So.

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Andy Whiteside: without saying too much that you don’t feel kind of with. Where did you move from?

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Kristin McDonald: Oh, I moved from East Tennessee to the Knoxville area. And how long had you lived in East Tennessee? Oh, goodness! 6 years, I think right

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Kristin McDonald: before that it was New Orleans

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Kristin McDonald: before that Dallas in Tampa, and grew up in Texas. So all around the South. So California is a pretty big change. So you moved to a whole different world. Yes, I did. And what’s been the most noticeable change so far.

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Kristin McDonald: Oh, everything is walkable. I love being in a walkable area right now, so that i’m looking forward to.

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so that that is a good way for us to right. So, my!

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Andy Whiteside: I’ll see if I can, if I can have any way i’d have a

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Andy Whiteside: I’ve had a I have a condo at the beach condo in the mountains

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Kristin McDonald: a double-wide out in the country somewhere

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Andy Whiteside: with a big garage, and let’s see what else. And I would love for all the places that I live most of the time, except when I was out in the country to be extremely walkable, like if I didn’t have to get in the car for like a month.

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Andy Whiteside: I’d be okay with it.

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Kristin McDonald: Yep.

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Kristin McDonald: I hear you. I hear you, My, we clean out the garage yesterday. Oh, my God! But clean up the garage! And then we rode bikes to a local brewery.

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Andy Whiteside: I’m just sitting there. This is so nice just to ride a bike somewhere, and

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Kristin McDonald: I love it.

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Andy Whiteside: and and I grew up on a gravel road somewhere like it couldn’t get anywhere. So the the first 22 years of my life I was. you know I was a I was a 20 min drive to get the grocery store for the first 15 years.

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Kristin McDonald: Yeah, I hear you. I’m a member of the Gravel Road Club.

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Kristin McDonald: So which part which

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Kristin McDonald: yeah, you don’t you haven’t lived till you grew up on a gravel road? Absolutely. It’s also kick. You corkly when you grow up on a gravel road. Very true. That’s yeah. Can’t have a black car. No, not even close. Yeah. Well, let me share my screen here. But the blog that you brought for today is from November of last year, and it says 3 benefits of digitizing

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Andy Whiteside: the customer experience. Oh, I think that goes without being said, but needs to be said. These days.

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Andy Whiteside: Gotta make that customer experience something that’s.

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Andy Whiteside: you know, real time and on demand and digital friendly while still keeping the human touch all at the same time.

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Kristin McDonald: Absolutely.

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Kristin McDonald: Yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: Okay. So regarding the the intro paragraph, why did you think this was a good topic for today?

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Kristin McDonald: So we Haven’t talked much about a service now customer service solution, but they do have what they call Csm or Customer service management, which is a very, I would, I would call it an exceptional tool set for customer service. It’s very, very feature, rich, very easy to use.

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Andy Whiteside: It has a lot of great features, so it’s something I think it would be worthwhile to discuss.

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Kristin McDonald: Correct if I wanted to change the service to success, customer, success, management, would everything we’re going to talk about. Still apply?

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Kristin McDonald: Yeah. So if you’re serving the customer, then you’re on a path to success and maintaining success. Blah! Blah, blah!

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Andy Whiteside: I I love that. And I I kinda wonder why

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Andy Whiteside: I wonder why service now didn’t call it customer success management. I guess I don’t know why you think that this

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Kristin McDonald: I think customer service management was an industry term. So I think they kinda pulled from what’s been there, what’s legacy and what people are used to seeing for? Csm: yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: Yeah, I was I’m. You’re thinking, Could they just take the word service and and not replace it, but add to it Customer service, slash, success management. the story. But okay, let’s figure out what to me. So first section here says increased

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Kristin McDonald: inner departmental efficiencies.

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Andy Whiteside: this module.

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Kristin McDonald: So this actually goes back to what we’ve talked about with it before in terms of service now, and Hr. And some of the other applications and and teams.

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which is you’ve got a single system of record with service. Now you’ve got a platform that can handle it. It can handle. Hr: it can handle your customer service teams so because it can handle all of these disparate teams and have processes and features and functionality specific to those teams.

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You’ve got them all on one platform where they can talk to each other, they can share tickets across organizations. So, having that single platform of record, regardless of what your team is working on.

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Kristin McDonald: really does increase the efficiency, and really also include improves the the customer experience. Yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: now is is that because of this magical thing that I hear you talking about all the time, which is the Cmdb. Is that where all this data magically lives.

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Kristin McDonald: so Cmdb is definitely a big component of it, and Cdb. Does tie into Csm. As well as its but it even goes beyond seem to be because Cdb. Covers the devices so you can track your customers, assets and devices that you’re supporting for them.

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but even the tickets can be shared. So the tasks or tickets that you’re working can be shared across the account. Information can be shared across your contact information. You can look up at a glance and see what partners and vendors that customer is approved to work for what’s on their contract. It’s just a full service view of that customer. And when you’re working tickets that are customer facing, even if their it tickets it’s so helpful to have that information at your fingertips. Yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: So I guess it makes sense to me now. They’ve got this this centralized platform that has all these different workflows that can come out of it, but

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Kristin McDonald: it all probably centers around somewhere in the mix either device or the user Umhm. That’s where they the 2 platform. The platform starts to come together to be able to service that device or that, user no matter whether they’re internal or external, even

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Kristin McDonald: absolutely. Yeah, absolutely.

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Andy Whiteside: Do you have a example of.

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Andy Whiteside: and you kind of alluded to some just now. But you have a specific example with the customer where you’re able to take 2 different departments and bring them together through service now.

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Kristin McDonald: Oh, absolutely yes. So my personal specialty is working with managed services, providers and particular technical service providers. So I’ve worked for aerry electronics, their Si systems, integration, division for converge one and Cdw. And of course, we’ve covered. I’ve worked with via as well.

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Kristin McDonald: So these are all technical service providers. So they’re providing customer service to their customers in a technical contact context. So they’re actually doing device, support. They’re doing change management. They’re doing incident, resolution and monitoring for their customers.

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So service now actually is a great platform for those types of customers, because you have both on the same platform, and they talk to each other. So even if you’re getting a case from a customer

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Kristin McDonald: for technical support that can go over to its, it can hook into the monitoring tool set. It can hook into the change Management workflows seamlessly.

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Kristin McDonald: and you can also support non technical tickets. So if they have a billing question or any other type of question that may be non technical. You can support both types on the platform. So it’s very, very powerful for those types of customers. Yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: that makes sense.

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Kristin McDonald: The next category here is consistent service and rapid engagement.

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Kristin McDonald: sure. So you have so many different ways that customers can engage with you on surface now. So the first sentence here just says, You know, 51% of people will hang up if they’re left on hold for more than 10 min.

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I think we’re all used to being in these holds and waiting for for service, and and to the point where we even have call backs on these customer support lines. So you don’t have to sit there on the line and wait for service. But with service. Now you have your customer portal

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where users can go. They can submit a ticket instantly. They can interact with your team, or even the virtual chat BoT there on the website to get more information. There’s a lot of self service that’s available through the Chat BoT, or just through searching the website.

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So you’ve got your knowledge based articles there that can help customers with self-service. You also have community features, so your customers can actually support each other it’s very much like a quora. But for service now. So customers can ask questions. Other customers can answer. They can interact in a community for own type environment. So

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it really increases the speed to response for your customers. Yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: I I had an experience like this today, and I don’t know if service now is behind it. I bet it was where I filled out a form with my information, and what my question was, and it popped up like 4 or 5 potential answers, and it’s it that help. I was like, no, not really. And it’s say, what would you like to speak to someone I was like, Well, yeah, and then, like 30 s later somebody called me.

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Andy Whiteside: That was awesome, and it was a major major, Major, it company, but it was a very minor piece of their business. I expected to be in, like, you know, customer forums for ever trying to find the answer, and within 30 s the subject matter expert called.

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Andy Whiteside: He already had my information. What I was trying to do. he verified. It was me, it says, Have you done this yet? I said, no, he said, do that. I did that it was done

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Kristin McDonald: is customer service is such a differentiator, and and we really are at a place right now where so many companies just really struggle with that and service now can just really really improve that customer service. The quality of it, the speed of it. It it’s a great tool set. Yep.

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Andy Whiteside: Alright, and then the final one says, Elevated employee and customer satisfaction. This goes back to my conversational. I’ll go around. This should really be called customer success. I realize it doesn’t necessarily tie into the legacy concept here. But the service success my mind kind of similar. They go ahead. And then why is it important that we

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Andy Whiteside: attack this space with a workflow in the service now platform.

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Kristin McDonald: So I I would say both employees and customers these days really expect a streamlined experience. You know, we’ve we’ve gotten used to technology that makes lives easier. That’s easy to use that

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Kristin McDonald: responds quickly. So, both from an employee and a customer standpoint. You really have to have both components there so particularly with the customer success piece. Customers expect quicks or they desire quick service.

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They expect easy user interfaces. They expect real time updates, and those are all things that service now can facilitate. Yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: so it’s got a couple of numbers here. It says a forster study reported 33% in employee satisfaction.

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Kristin McDonald: Yeah. And customer success. I even did it. Customer Service management was in play

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Andy Whiteside: automation integration can reduce phone contacts by 40 an email contacts by 80%,

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Andy Whiteside: and then finally down the bottom aggregated data in the Forster study revealed that an organization can re-app our E. Ap. Up to 170 of

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Andy Whiteside: roi in success management over a 3 year period.

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Kristin McDonald: Yeah, absolutely. There, there’s so many features that are just ingrains that come out of box with customer service management that really make lives easier for your employees

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that can templatize things that they’re doing that can streamline responses to customers, so the efficiency improvements are are fantastic there. Yup.

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Andy Whiteside: how about this comment? So i’m i’m old. I’m. Almost 50. But i’m also a technologist. However, in most cases I don’t want to talk to a chat by. I don’t want to go look at forums.

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Andy Whiteside: but if it’s efficient, what I learned in the day is, I will if it makes sense. For many years. It was not very efficient. Next generation. I could be like me, and they’re gonna just, you know, want to call somebody and get an answer? Or do you think they’re gonna self serve themselves?

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Kristin McDonald: I think we’re gonna see a lot more self service with the upcoming generations. You know, they were raised on the Internet You know. I I remember when the Internet showed up at my home I was a a young teenager at the time.

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Kristin McDonald: but these kids they’ve grown up their entire lives with the Internet with mobile phone smartphones. So I think they’re a lot more comfortable with that. However, it the quality has to be there right. And I think you know, especially with things like Jack Chat gpt coming up.

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Kristin McDonald: We’re gonna see AI step into that space a lot. In fact, we have an upcoming podcast where we’re going to talk about AI and machine learning and how that ties into service now.

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Andy Whiteside: So I think the message for companies out there listening is, You may not love this automated digital customer service world.

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Andy Whiteside: but you better get it done, because the next generation is going to expect them.

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Kristin McDonald: Yeah, absolutely.

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Kristin McDonald: Yup.

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Andy Whiteside: And and they’re also gonna be good about like. For example, I was doing something

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Andy Whiteside: digital putting in digital locks in my house, and

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Andy Whiteside: and I like frustrated at 30 min trying to figure out. I couldn’t figure it out and hand it to my daughter, and she took the props on the screen, and she read them differently, like she. She took up through her brain her way. And then she said, okay, that is fixed. I’m like.

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Andy Whiteside: what’d you do? Because I just read, I just read what it’s correct. I did what it said.

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Andy Whiteside: and the truth was, and I went back through it. I overthought it, and had I not tried to translate into my head to what I used to think, and if I just would have read what it said.

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Andy Whiteside: I wouldn’t have wasted 30 min.

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Kristin McDonald: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, these generations coming up their digital native. So they they speak the language of computers, and I hope to count myself among that as a technologist

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Andy Whiteside: i’m the same way. But at some point. I want to turn it off

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Kristin McDonald: all day.

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Kristin McDonald: Yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: And I just want to pick up the phone call from my head as my answer. I think those people are going away, and it’s gonna replace with solutions like this, which is where it really needs to go for the future. Well, Kristen, thanks for picking this blog and cover it with me. Anything that we did not cover that you’d want to.

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Kristin McDonald: No, I think we covered it all. Thank you.

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Andy Whiteside: I guess, really happy to have your team on the team, because this customer service thing, which you have a background in and made it Service provider, which you’re helping us with. We can fit for your skill. Set.

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Kristin McDonald: Yeah, Absolutely

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Kristin McDonald: happy to be here alright, and well, that’s great to ask about you at the service. Now. Summit tomorrow, and Charlotte, but I guess not. But we’ll see you soon, i’m sure. Yes, absolutely thank you.