Is your Business Investing as Much in Serving Customers as Selling to Them?
Allen Debes currently serves as the Integrator, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Sales for Aeritae with a focus on delivering exceptional value and customer experience. Prior to joining Aeritae, Allen served in an executive leadership role at Magnet 360, a Salesforce.com consulting firm, as well as Accenture, PWC, and Solutions Consulting. Allen has also spent nearly 10 years on the client side serving in IT senior executive leadership roles for two Fortune 500 companies, including tours of duty across App Dev, EPMO, shared service centers of excellence, Business Partner, and IT/Business Relationship Management.
The Customer Experience Imperative
Let’s be clear up front, the term “experience” is about more than customer service, more than sales and marketing, MORE than relationship management—it encompasses the full customer lifecycle with a given brand. And there’s a clear need in the market to support that imperative with a true “Customer Experience Enablement Engine.”
Large enterprises today spend billions annually on CRM solutions that manage the customer sales relationship and support the sales pursuit. We know that an existing customer is worth roughly 7X the value of a potential new customer, but investment in the service phase of the customer experience is still just a fraction of the typical CRM spend.
What customer experience leadership is coming to realize is that to remain competitive in the “era of the customer” business paradigm, it’s simply not enough to hyperfocus on sales intelligence anymore; businesses must apply the same obsession to customer success and delivering positive, memorable service experiences.
Additionally, non-tech centered businesses are increasingly offering digital products or services requiring complex technical support. Not only are these offerings not well-supported by traditional call centers, they represent a huge missed opportunity to offer proactive services with the potential to truly delight customers.
To get the full picture of your end-to-end customer experience, you need that Customer Experience Enablement Engine: the power of a CRM platform like Salesforce paired with ServiceNow’s CSM platform which provides cohesive visibility into the customer service lifecycle.
So how do you know where Salesforce should end and ServiceNow begin?
What’s In a Name?
When we look at Salesforce and ServiceNow side-by-side, it’s clear that they are both best-in-class at achieving the objectives they were initially designed to focus on. Salesforce was originally designed as a cloud-based customer relationship platform for sales. ServiceNow was originally designed as a cloud-based “platform as a services”, including a set of configurable and/or customizable building blocks to manage and automate complex business processes.
If you’re charged with delivering customer experience for your organization, it’s likely that you’re already aware of the value of Salesforce as a CRM platform to track and manage your customer’s lifecycle from a sales and marketing perspective. (In the early days of cloud, Salesforce(.com) was one of the first key SaaS players—subsequently, they have become a massive force in the customer relationship management and marketing automation world.)
As a relationship management platform, Salesforce does what it does best hands-down—managing a potential customer from marketing lead generation all the way through to the close of a sale. But while the out-of-box Salesforce CRM functionality is second to none, the platform was not originally built for custom app development.
ServiceNow, on the other hand, was created by software engineer Fred Luddy in the early 2000’s, and from the very beginning, was envisioned as a cloud-based platform for automating workflow, managing and fulfilling complex service requests, and developing custom applications—encouraging customers to innovate on the platform and tailor it to their needs. (In fact, Luddy’s initial platform concept was so flexible, his ServiceNow business partners weren’t sure how to sell it. The overlay of IT Services was employed as a sales and marketing tactic to help create a target customer.)
The highly customizable nature of the ServiceNow platform overall is what has allowed it to easily expand to other areas of the business and offer the same automated workflow magic that has made it so successful as an IT services platform.
As a customer service management (CSM) solution, ServiceNow has that same wiring for custom applications. We often see that when compared head-to-head for the purpose of custom application development, ServiceNow developers are able to spin up the same solutions in a few hours that take Salesforce developers days or even weeks to create.
Introducing the “Customer Experience Enablement Engine”
Because the modern Customer Experience function needs to be equally concerned with attracting customers and serving them, our most innovative clients are using a combination of Salesforce and ServiceNow as their Enablement Engine.
Salesforce is used to manage the customer relationship pipeline and for front-line customer support; ServiceNow is leveraged for complex service management where work needs to be routed through multiple departments in order to get issues solved—or to provide clients with real-time solutions and service for digital offerings. The ability to integrate these two best-in-class platforms provides a truly holistic, single pane of glass view into the full customer experience.
Again, the service component of customer experience should absolutely not be an afterthought. Marrying CRM & CSM functionality is the optimal way to arrive at a comprehensive picture of what your customer is truly experiencing. And businesses must be positioned to understand, engineer and protect the integrity of their end-to-end customer experience moving forward.
By allowing these two platforms to do what they do best, clients are revolutionizing their customer experience—and applying true service innovation to better serve their customers and their business.