Nitin Badjatia, Head of Product Strategy for ServiceNow’s Customer Service Management operation, focused on the importance of making customers the core mission of any business.
“I’m going to talk about where customer service is going and why loyalty matters,” stated Badjatia at outset of his thought leadership presentation at the 2019 Customer Experience Leadership Forum: Beyond Satisfaction, Building Loyalty, which was held on March 12 in New York City. “We’re about a half a decade into the digital transformation taking place at the large corporate level. Legacy businesses are beginning to digitize at scale. Sixty percent of the global GDP will be digital by 2022, according to IDC,” he said.
“What does digital mean? It means the revenue generated by businesses and economies is connected, and connected revenue and businesses behave differently. This has a significant impact on how customer service functions. The last half decade or so has been reinventing the core—how to embed digital into the thinking of your existing business. The future is all about where we’re going as a business. It’s about the transformation of the lines of business, new products, and the behaviors that will be instilled. It’s a significant shift. For example, subscription businesses are growing five times faster than the S&P 500,” Badjatia pointed out.
“Loyalty in this world is extremely important, and switching costs are extremely low. But what is loyalty? It’s not having a card, nor is it the sum total of your transactions with a company. A great example is Trader Joe’s, which drives loyalty in a fascinating way—80% of their products carry a Trader Joe’s label, so it’s an end-to-end process. They understand the depth of need and interests of their customer base. They don’t advertise, for the most part. Part of the reason is they have fiercely loyal customers, and they achieved this by asking customers what they wanted. Trader Joe’s finds a product the customer wants and brings it on board or creates that product and brings it on board. Loyalty is based on delivered outcomes, and it’s at the core of digitized business,” he stated.
“Customer service must adapt. It’s not a reactive part of the business. It runs to the core. Being able to engage at the customer’s point of need is an expectation. The end goal is to build out an end-to-end, customer-service management approach that connects the dots from the point at which a customer has an issue to solving the core problem,” said Badjatia.
“You begin by giving customers a place to connect—an app, a physical location, or something like chat or email. When the customer connects with an employee or agent, that employee or agent needs to be able to connect with the rest of the enterprise. This allows a rapid fix of problems or communicating customers’ needs.”
The transformation agenda should hinge on three points:
- An effortless customer journey that personalizes customer engagement and self-service. “This begins by designing for the beginner’s mind, because we’re living in a world of becoming. Everything changes every day.”
- Connected service excellence that removes department, process, and system silos to completely resolve customer issues. “Design an environment that’s built for playing catch not ping pong. You want to capture customer needs and trends.”
- Proactive service experiences that identify service trends and take action to preempt customer issues.
In summary, Badjatia stated, “Customer service has historically been considered an activity or a department. In a digital environment, where loyalty is key, serving customers is the core mission.”
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