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Maximizing Customer Service Management within the ServiceNow Platform

We live in a world where touchpoints with our customers must be seamless. Companies today need a solution that can take your customer service all the way from issue to resolution. Our Principal Solution Architect, Sean Caron, and Customer Service Management Domain Lead, Carol Kratzer, share the importance of maximizing your customer service management strategy.

What are the main types of interactions ServiceNow Customer Service Management (CSM) is designed to support?

CSM is designed to support your external customers; this is what differentiates it from the other ServiceNow products which are designed to support employees or internal customers. CSM supports:

  • Customer service case/general inquiries
  • Knowledge for both your agents and customers
  • Order issues
  • Product information
  • Product support

What is the difference between CSM and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

CRM refers to all the ways business manages the data of their business relationship with customers; sales force automation manages the sales pipeline of your business.

CSM is a process dedicated to managing the work to provide ongoing value to your customers after a relationship is established or a sale is made.

Why do you think ServiceNow is the best platform for CSM?

CSM in ServiceNow is designed around best practice processes for delivering value by allowing your customers to engage your business in multiple ways and enabling the resolution of issues efficiently and with a clear focus on continuous improvement of your processes.

The real power of the platform is the ability to integrate all the processes you manage in ServiceNow. In some cases, there can be a fine line between a customer service team and a technical service desk. ServiceNow allows you to link CSM with ITSM seamlessly; for example, you can create an Incident directly from a Case when a customer issue requires a technical resolution.

Even if you are using CSM alone, there are several platform features that lend value to your customer service processes such as:

  • Service Portal – allows you to create a modern and easy to use branded website for your customers
  • Agent Workspace – provides a well-designed all-in-one space for your agents to pick up their work and create a new interaction for a customer and work multiple cases at the same time in separate tabs.

ServiceNow is constantly innovating. There are new features introduced in the most recent update, Orlando, such as the ability to more easily pull data in from other systems to create a single pane of glass view for your agents. They have also listened to their customers who are using CSM already and created new functions based on how these customers use CSM like Case Types and Customer Project Management.

How can organizations manage who has access to the CSM site?

If you are using CSM in a B2B model, supporting companies that are your customers, the CSM data model supports an account structure that allows you to set up an account administrator at your client. This person can set up new contacts for their company that allow more of their team members to use the CSM site to search for information, open a new case, or see the status of cases.

In a B2C model where you are supporting individual customers, ServiceNow has a self-registration process that allows customers who are new to your site to register for access.

CSM is a scoped application in ServiceNow which allows Administrators to control who can see customer service case data within your company using role-based security.

Can multiple business “crowd source” answers to product questions?

Yes! The Communities function of the CSM Portal allows customers to engage and share ideas with other customers as well as experts and specialists within your company. With an established Community:

  • Customers can get quick responses to their questions by posting them in the community
  • Other customers can chime in with their answers and experiences
  • An internal Community moderator can monitor the conversations happening here and answer questions by posting links to knowledge articles or engaging a product expert.
  • The moderator can also help monitor for inaccurate or inappropriate content to help keep the conversations positive and helpful.

What kind of product data can we make available?

As part of the foundational setup of CSM, you will identify the products your team is servicing. ServiceNow offers several different product models out of the box with common data points for products including Facilities, Hardware, Applications or Services. You can make this information available to your agents and customers.

Knowledge is also a great tool for publishing fact sheets, FAQs, instructions, or user manuals for your customers.

Is ServiceNow CSM just for product companies?

Definitely not. Many teams use CSM for all kinds of customer service needs. It is commonly used simply to record interactions with customers and managing the follow-up work from these interactions. The Product Model structure is available but optional, if this does fit your CSM use case, you do not need to use it.

How much effort is required to stand up CSM?

That really depends on how complex your processes are and how flexible your team is in adopting the best practice processes defined in out of box CSM. A simple case management process can be stood up in as little as 2-3 months. If you have complex foundational data sources, many integrations to other systems, or highly complex projects or workflows, the implementation can take longer or may be approached in multiple phases.

What are the channels I can use to access CSM?

ServiceNow Omnichannel allows customers to engage using several different channels including phone calls, chat, email, and even social media. The most common integration I see in CSM implementations is a CTI integration, enabling a ServiceNow screen pop with customer information pre-populated from your IVR or phone system. Second to that, many customers redirect emails from customers into ServiceNow to create a case, allowing customers to continue using the channels they are used to while at the same time, creating an organized and reportable case management process vs trying to manage incoming email in a shared mailbox.

Social media integrations allow your agents to communicate with customers through channels such as Twitter and Facebook – making it easy for customers to engage. In these examples, all the interactions are also tracked in the case.

Does CSM support Virtual Agent (VA)? Are there intent models available? How about Natural Language Understanding (NLU) models?

Absolutely, this is a powerful way to drive more self-service. The benefits are deflecting calls or interactions with your agents by answering customer questions automatically, keeping your agents available for handling more complex customer service cases. Common uses for VA are answering frequently asked questions, providing tutorials and how-to information, getting status on cases they have previously submitted, or performing diagnostics.

NLU models enable your VA to understand customer statements during these automated conversations. VA uses an NLU model to extract Intent from a customer question; identifying what a customer wants to do like submitting a new ticket or getting an update. NLU also identifies “entities’ which are the object or content of the question, such as a case number or a product, or even an employee’s name.

CSM can use ServiceNow NLU models created in ServiceNow Studio. They provide pre-built models for CSM and other ServiceNow applications. CSM can also use NLU intents and entities created in IBM Watson or Microsoft Language Intelligent Services.

To learn more about how you can take your customer service new a new level, click here.