Key Considerations When Implementing ServiceNow CSM For Mature

This whitepaper highlights the key considerations for different organizations to implement ServiceNow Customer ServiceNow Management (CSM).

Organizations considering implementing ServiceNow Customer Service Management (CSM) solution tend to fall into one of two buckets:

  1. Mature Organizations: These organizations already have a network of systems and processes that have been refined over time to support their CSM initiatives. These organizations typically consider ServiceNow CSM to assist them in either replacing end of life systems, or to develop customer self-service capabilities and assist with getting to the next step in their maturity model.
  2. Evolving Organizations: These organizations have a relatively newer CSM department and are considering ServiceNow to help them migrate from using manual processes managed through antiquated systems like Excel or homegrown applications.

This paper explores challenges and considerations that are unique to either category. While some of the considerations discussed here may apply to both types of organizations, you must evaluate which of these two types of organization you are.

For the purposes of this article, we are defining Mature Organizations as entities that have mature processes. They have collected customer feedback and are aware of the capability gaps in their organization. For these organizations, ServiceNow forms a part of their strategy to overcome them. It is entirely possible for large enterprise level companies to have evolving CSM organizations, just as it is possible for startups to be mature.

Mature Organizations

If you have determined that your organization is looking to move from mature systems, it is highly likely that your CSM systems started out as ticketing tools and their core strength is in opening, routing, managing and closing service tickets. It is likely that you have evolved from having call centers built around taking phone calls, and progressed over time to integrate emails and web chat sessions.

Typically, in these organizations, there is a system culture and inertia built around tracking customer responses. These systems are usually good at customer communication and one step further. These organizations are usually considering ServiceNow to help them evolve into an integrated world. For example, they are looking to enable Customer Self-Service, or integrate Customer Service ticketing to allow for a holistic approach to how their systems interact. It is likely that their incident categorization and everything in their CSM organization is tailored towards staffing and managing a call center, but there is a realization that it is more valuable to evolve towards resolving root cause.

Top considerations for these organizations are as follows:

Change Management

Due to the deep-rooted system culture, and potentially decades of doing things a certain way, following processes and plugging capability gaps through manpower rather than application enhancements has kept them reliant on tribal knowledge. End user and customer adoption are key success criteria for CSM implementations, and these organizations will need to be prepared to expend effort on change management.

Key Drivers

Another consideration is that you need a compelling event or driver that will energize the organization to make a change to a new platform like ServiceNow. It is highly possible that your leadership is considering ServiceNow CSM because its already being used for other parts of the organization like IT Service Management or HR Service Management.

It is key to understand and communicate that if these organizations don’t evolve from ticketing to a more integrated world, your customer service will continue to be a “complain management” organization. This has the potential to lead to strategic challenges such as:

  • becoming outpaced by competition, particularly with all the current emphasis in the marketplace on self-service and consumer driven service organizations.
  • losing the opportunity to use insights from customer service management to address root causes of problems.
  • the inability to generate efficiencies by automating workflows and coordinating activities between various departments.

Selecting the right implementation partner

Mature organizations usually require an implementation partner skilled in a broad spectrum of things from ServiceNow to Integrations to Data management. The partner needs to be able to understand the challenges and considerations that are unique to your organization and have the capability to balance these considerations with best practices. Your implementation partner will need to understand that you know a lot about your internal systems and already have deep-rooted processes. And that the focus is not just on platform enablement, but on configuring the platform in such a way that your existing processes can be supported.

Customer Portal

Mature organizations have a wealth of knowledge amassed over time resulting in a tendency to overengineer the self-service portal. Your organization has several well-versed employees but you need a partner who can pull knowledge from different people in different silos and assist with developing a comprehensive portal.

Requirements gathered in silos and platforms configured without taking the time to consolidate these use cases will result in a portal that detracts from user experience: redundancies, repetitions, complexity and confusion.

Stakeholder Commitment

It is key for Mature organizations to appropriately plan for people’s time for various phases of the implementation; including design, integration development, system testing and user acceptance testing. From the first consideration in this list, we know that there may already be a resistance to the platform. On top of that your key SMEs have core job duties. If their time is not planned effectively and their input incorporated in a timely fashion, you may end up with a system that won’t adequately support their needs and further their resistance to the platform.

Executive sponsorship and commitment from your leadership team, particularly with a compelling driver as discussed above; and a well-considered benefits case will help remove obstacles and result in a successful implementation.

Evolving Organizations

Typically, these organizations are planning on using ServiceNow to drive overall improvements and to take them to a new level. They recognize ServiceNow is built on ITIL and are recognizing that applying the same platform capabilities to Customer Service Management can help them accelerate their programs. These organizations recognize the need for change.

The top consideration for evolving organizations is simply to select the right implementation partner.

Evolving organizations need to be aware of a tendency to over engineer. Building too many assignment rules, workflows, processes, etc. can complicate the system. They should begin by recognizing that they are trying to solve a Customer Service problem. To begin with, it is important for these organizations to use the application out of the box as much as possible and start off with building foundational capabilities.

This includes activating ServiceNow instances, setting up core elements like users, roles and groups, setting up customer information, and configuring a Service Catalog. All of which defines the types of services your customers are likely to request. At first glance, this might look like a lot of effort. However, ServiceNow’s robust and highly configurable platform capabilities make the foundational step relatively easy.

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