CSM Trends 2018

A Visionary in Customer Service Management, ServiceNow Steps Ahead of Competitors in Overall Trends for CSM

“ServiceNow has always been a visionary and leader in their innovative SaaS and PaaS Service Management offerings. With Customer Service Management, customer service centers are transformed to provide a proactive, connected and effortless experience, enabling agents to turn your customers into your brand advocates. ServiceNow provides you with new ways to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction, while reducing costs and making it easier for your support teams.” 

So says Acorio’s Customer Service Management (CSM) Practice Lead, Ajay Gautam.  

Why all the excitement about ServiceNow’s Customer Service Management platform? Last week, after less than two years in the market, it was recognized as a Visionary in Gartner’s latest magic quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center. ServiceNow is the only vendor in the Visionaries portion of the quadrant.  

For Acorio’s Gautam, this recognition from analyst firms such as Gartner is not surprising, ServiceNow is providing new ways to improve customer satisfaction and efficiency, while reducing cost and making it easier for support team – something we are seeing across the board as customers go-live with Customer Service Management and begin to realize the value of the platform. 

ServiceNow’s focus on serving the customer comes at an interesting inflection point in the Enterprise Service Management space. In 2016, CEOranked customer strategy as the 2nd priority in the strategic business priorities list, up from 4th the previous year (Gartner research)It’s clear that now is the time where major executives are prioritizing customer-oriented, technology-related investments at the top of their agendas, which comes as no surprise given that poor Customer Service results in unhappy customers abandoning intended purchases 

In fact, an estimated $62 billion was lost in sales due to poor customer service in the US in 2015, according to Forrester 

Even worse?  This is a 51% increase over the previous two years, which means the problem is only getting bigger.  

The Bigger Customer Service Issue

So what can companies do to keep their customers satisfied? According to a 2018 Forrester Report on Customer Service trends, 66% of US online adults said that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer experience. For the third year in a row, self-service interactions have surpassed all other channels, which makes sense: why call and be placed on hold to speak with a Customer Service Agent when you can find the answer to your question online? 

“Great customer service is not just about cutting costs or making operations more efficient. Instead, it’s a systematic reinvention of established technology, data and operations — leveraging automation, data, and agents together to exploit each of their unique strengths. Customer Service organizations must be agile enough to react to customers’ changing expectations for service.” –2018 Forrester Report on Customer Service trends  

With 46% of global contact center decision makers projecting their contact centers to expand by 5% to 10% (based on the number of agent seats) in the next year, Forrester observes that this approach is not economically sustainable. Meaning that firms must reimagine their operations with a focus on automation and AI (think: automated answers, automated conversations, automated agent guidance and automated end-to-end processes). 

This is where a modern approach to CSM can make or break a business. As Forrester notes in its report, “Automation and intelligence quell the headcount increases. They will free agents from working on low-value or repetitive tasks, as they will only have to address highly complex customer scenarios or exceptions to standard operations. This also enables them to focus on building connections with customers to garner their satisfaction and loyalty.” 

Adapting Customer Service to the ‘Age of Digital Business’

Last year, Gartner identified the 10 Habits of Customer-Centric Organizations in the Age of Digital Business. We couldn’t help but notice that ServiceNow already had processes to support each of the items on Gartner’s list, most notably:  

  1. Sharing knowledge internally and externally with customers.  ServiceNow’s online self-service options with Integrated Knowledge Management and Communities make it easy for your users to ask questions and find answers.  
  2. Acting systematically to improve the customer experience. ServiceNow’s Customer Service Management reduces service costs and drives efficiencies by automating tasks for common customer issues with the Service Catalog. Less time spent on tasks that can be automated, means more time helping customers and keeping them happy.  
  3. Acting proactively to anticipate needs. ServiceNow’s Customer Service Management monitors service patterns, allowing firms to identify trends and proactively respond to issues.

CSM Trends Gartner

In its CSM Magic Quadrant, Gartner noted ServiceNow’s strong technical support case and incident management, and its easy configuration and modification. The firm also emphasized the high scores that reference customers rated ServiceNow’s workflow and business rule automation, user interface, and out-of-the-box functionality for technical support.  

With key strategies for customer-centric business already identified, the question for enterprises is no longer how to improve and maintain their Customer Service, but rather how to react to the rising pace of innovation and the explosion of devices and channels.  

So just what CSM developments should we expect to see in the rest of this year and beyond? Forrester predicts thing to move a lot faster, get a lot cheaper, and become a lot more human 

Forrester CSM Trends

As we continue to see Customer Service Management’s prioritization rise within Enterprise organizations, Acorio holds steadfast to our belief in ServiceNow’s ability to transform, optimize, and modernize the businesses of our clients. In the future, we can only expect ServiceNow to remain leading the way in envisioning the future of Customer Service Management. If you’re interested in learning more about leveraging ServiceNow to optimize your CSM, you can download Acorio’s Customer Service Management whitepaper here.  

Ready to take your Customer Service Management to the next level? Partner with a ServiceNow Top 5 Global Partner to bring your business into the future.  

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