Get More Value from Your ServiceNow Deployment in 2019

By Pat Calhoun • January 2, 2019

ServiceNow has focused on transforming IT back-office processes, including a ticketing system that has helped service desk agents be more productive. Paying a premium for ServiceNow makes sense given the breadth of the platform and the opportunities it presents. Once deployed for IT, though, customers want to increase the value of their ServiceNow investment by making it relevant across the enterprise. They try to achieve this by embracing a self-help capability – generally in the form of an employee portal. Interestingly, most report service portal adoption between 10-15% with less than 1% of service desk calls being deflected. Why is that the case?

ServiceNow is complex – and there is a reason for that. IT is complex. Much of the work in getting ServiceNow deployed is to adapt the tool to the processes and particulars of your enterprise. The challenge is that this level of complexity is generally also exposed to your employees when they use the portal. When service portals do not live up to the consumer-level expectations your employees have in their personal lives, they prefer to simply email or call the help desk for assistance. As a result, enterprises are not able to realize the full potential of the digital transformation promised by ServiceNow.

Integration Matters

Just as the market has chosen ServiceNow for its flexibility and breadth in helping customers automate work, delivering exceptional employee self-help experiences requires a platform that was designed to deliver that. Recently, chatbots and virtual support agents (VSAs) that claim to lower help desk call volume by helping employees get immediate answers to questions or resolution to problems have become all the rage. However, the only way they will be able to help you maximize the ROI on your ServiceNow investment is if they have a deep integration into your ServiceNow platform.

What does this mean? Let’s look at how the level of integration can make a world of difference:

Light Integration. Many chatbot vendors fall into this category. Their approach is to integrate with many ITSM tools to maximize their available market, using the lowest common denominator, rather than helping you get the most value from ServiceNow. If employees have a question or want to create an incident, they use the chatbot to get an answer or open a ticket as needed. Employees then need to shift to another communication channel to interact with the help desk to get their issues resolved. Further, if employees want to create a service request or purchase an item from the service catalog, they need to go to the portal.

In essence, lightweight integration has limited value, and creates an environment where employees need to use multiple “apps” in order to interact with IT.

Deep integration. A VSA with deep integration provides a single place for your employees to go and leverage all of the capabilities of ServiceNow—which maximizes your investment. With deep integration, the VSA is aware of the various tables in ServiceNow (e.g., Incident, Service Request, HR, Facilities) and uses AI to create the ticket in the proper table. Once opened, the VSA invites an agent from the help desk into the conversation. Even though the agent is actually interacting via the ServiceNow form or live chat, the employee thinks it is all happening within one platform, thus providing a seamless and immersive experience.

Deep integration also means that the VSA takes advantage of workflows created in ServiceNow. For instance, if an employee opts to purchase an item, all of the correct artifacts would be created on ServiceNow and the fulfillment workflow would be executed. If someone in IT needs to interact with the employee during the fulfillment process, they can do so from the ServiceNow form, but the employee will continue to interact from the same employee experience platform (i.e., the VSA).

Research shows that consumers embrace apps that are intuitive, accessible, and provide them with value. Any solution that pushes the employee to multiple places for various tasks is unlikely to garner high adoption rates, and will instead lead them back to picking up the phone for help.

Integrated Learning vs. Knowledge Base Articles

Most solutions on the market require your help desk team to create new knowledge base (KB) articles in order to learn new information. Once these new articles are created, the administrator can kick off a new learning process. While interesting, CIOs consistently tell us that, despite best efforts, their help desk teams are so busy dealing with the constant inflow of tickets that they do not have time to create content – significantly limiting any KB-based solution.

Now imagine a deeply integrated solution that monitors the interaction between the employee and your help desk agent that simply learns as tickets are resolved. This solution gets smarter as your team does what they do every day – provide employees with resolutions. There is no additional work imposed on them to create knowledge base articles, which is important since they don’t have the time anyway.

With Employee Self-Help, It’s All About the Employee Experience

What we reviewed today is the importance of deep integration in ensuring you deliver an employee self-help solution that will maximize employee adoption and the return on your ServiceNow investment. This is particularly important since, without employee adoption, you will not achieve your goal of reducing service desk call volume.

With Barista, our AI-based VSA, you will be be delivering exceptional employee experiences with a native app that is both intuitive and accessible across Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, and MacOS, as well as through a browser. Barista ensures employees get immediate, personalized answers to their questions, and help resolving issues and completing tasks like password resets. You will also be furthering your digital transformation initiative while improving the perception of IT across the enterprise, leading to better NPS scores.

If you want to get the most out of your ServiceNow investment in 2019, click here to learn more.

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