Building brand loyalty in a competitive age through connected experiences

ServiceNow enables employees to be more productive by automating repetitive tasks and helping to manage workflows

Paul Turley, country manager, ServiceNow: ‘We allow the staff to be more productive and more satisfied with their work, and therefore they drive better customer experience’

Customer experience drives loyalty. It sounds simple, but in today’s world defined by the shifting sands of digital transformation on the one hand and high inflation on the other, getting customer experience right is no longer an option.

This is not just theoretical, either. ServiceNow conducted research, surveying 12,000 adults across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, including 1,000 in Ireland, and found that more and more consumers were seeking out cheaper alternatives to long standing brand choices.

The best way to fight back, then, is to provide a better experience. This is not always easy, however, as businesses can be held back by their internal systems.

“Where we at ServiceNow are coming from is that the customer experience has become even more crucial in these conditions,” said Paul Turley, country manager at ServiceNow.

Turley put the proposition simply, but starkly: “the experience people have when dealing with brands, drives their long-term loyalty,” he said.

A significant component of this, but one that can go unrecognised, is that the staff experience needs to be improved too, as ultimately the customer experience is downstream from it.

Making progress on meaningful tasks is one of the top motivators for staff, so internal systems and processes should support this and, in turn, this will allow staff to better support customers, Turley said.

“Staff who are spending a lot of the day doing work that is not very rewarding is a real problem. Someone in a large organisation recently said to me that they need to eliminate workforce toil. Indeed, if 50 to 60 per cent of your day is spent doing tasks that are not very meaningful, then that is a problem,” he said.

Untangling the messy middle

ServiceNow allows employees to be more productive by automating repetitive tasks and its digital platform is renowned for helping to manage workflows for enterprise operations.

“You have a circle of experience, running from staff to customers. We allow the staff to be more productive and more satisfied with their work and, therefore, they drive better customer experience by serving those customers better,” Turley said.

At the core of this, he said, is a mission to make the so-called ‘messy middle’ more integrated: the vast majority of enterprises have grown up over time and have crucial systems that cannot just be thrown out, or in some cases integrated to one another.

“What they need is something to make those systems better integrated so that the experience at the front end, which is often already good, can interact better with those back-office legacy systems,” he said.

The reality today is that, despite the need for digital transformation, enterprises are faced with the challenge of relying on complex legacy systems for functions such as a supply chain, finance and HR. Simply expecting organisations to change these is naïve as it takes time, results in lots of potential change management and often proves costly.

A more realistic strategy is to start off by integrating systems and enjoy the immediate return on investment. Indeed, as anyone in enterprise IT knows, large scale replacement programmes cost a lot of money, take a lot of time and often fail to deliver what they promised.

ServiceNow, in its mission to improve the complete or overall experience, instead helps businesses to streamline what they have, removing the labour-intensive roadblocks that cost time and money and frustrate staff and, ultimately, customers.

Turley gave an example of how complexity can be managed, improving the overall experience.

“If you make some acquisitions and end up with three ERP systems, in time you might need to digitally transform and replace all three with one, but in the short to medium term, the far more effective strategy is to make them work together.

“This works for the betterment of your employees, and your customers,” he said.

To see the full results of the research, please click here