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How to navigate your customer experience during the cost of living crisis

Simon Morris Profile picture for user Simon Morris January 25, 2023
Simon Morris of ServiceNow discusses why investing in customer experience during tough economic times is not only doable, but should be a top priority.

Rising cost of living. inflation financial crisis background © Ink Drop - Shutterstock
(© Ink Drop - Shutterstock)

Take a moment to think about how the cost of living crisis is affecting you.

You’re likely trying to use your heating a little less, being a bit more vigilant about turning off electronic devices when not in use, and maybe you’re even looking to cut back on the amount of ‘extras’ you pay for — be it dinners out, subscription services, or something else entirely.

At least, that’s certainly the case for me.

And just as rising prices are forcing us to re-evaluate how we run our households, enterprise businesses must also look to consolidate their spending and reassess any processes that are the corporate equivalent of keeping all their lights on at the same time.

So how can businesses look to save where necessary, while still ensuring their all-important budget is spent where it really matters?

Protecting customer experience in tough economic times

First, let’s take a moment to think about how customers make their purchasing decisions.

Despite today's difficult financial environment, it's not simply a matter of cost alone.

Take my example above. If you’re looking to get rid of unnecessary streaming subscriptions at home, you’re going to weigh up price, value for money, and the overall user experience to determine your favourite. And the way your customers make these same decisions — the ones that directly impact their spending with you — is very similar.

Put simply, in tough economic times, the customer experience is more important than ever.

It’s what differentiates you from your competition, drives loyalty, and gives you the best possible advantage at a time when customers are doing everything they can not to part with their cash.

And customers are quick to recognize great — or poor — experiences. In fact, research by Broadridge Financial Solution shows the percentage of consumers that feel companies need to improve their overall customer experience jumped from just 35% to 65% in the past three years.

What’s more, Verint research shows consumers are 88% more likely to make a repeat purchase after having an excellent customer experience with a company.

With this in mind, it's clear to see that ensuring the overall customer experience remains protected and unaffected during times of economic hardship is a good idea.

Providing a top-tier experience while saving money

The good news is, it’s entirely possible to boost your customer experience while simultaneously saving money. And it all comes down to efficient technology.

Just as problems in our homes would cost us money — a leaky pipe, or an old, problematic boiler — small inefficiencies across your business can quickly add up to be a significant drain on resources.

When our customer BT recognized that older legacy technology was not only costing them unnecessary budget to maintain, but also failing to provide digitally-native customers with the seamless online experience they required, they turned to us.

BT is standardizing its processes across its global organization, consolidating a variety of legacy service management applications onto the ServiceNow platform, and is pursuing a ZeroOps strategy in order to improve both employee and customer experience. BT has said that the project should deliver £25 million in savings by 2027.

The company’s Digital Unit, which is operating a service-focused Center of Excellence (CoE), is focused on allowing global teams to adopt the Now Platform in ways that are best suited for employees and customers. The federated model means that the CoE looks after the core platform, whilst freeing up agile teams to build what they see as critical to being an experience-led organization.

The telecommunications giant is currently in the process of consolidating more than 50 service management platforms onto ServiceNow, with ‘experience’ at the core of its ambitions.

Alex Bell from BT Group, said:

Like each year you take your car for an MOT & service, ensuring it’s in good working order and has had a service and oil change. We have to consider the ‘engine’ of our enterprise organizations in the same way.

If we leave the oil filter to get clogged up, we won’t run as efficiently or as cost-effectively, and that will impact not only our employees experience, but the service we provide our customers.

The transformation work with ServiceNow is similar, cleaning up the processes, providing a common experience & giving transparency of information for everyone, just like that properly maintained car. Replacing our legacy systems ensures that we have a single car to MOT and service - reducing the cost, complexity and effort for the business.

Longer term, we’re focused on the AIOps stage of this transformation, enabling proactive and predictive analytics to improve the customer experience.

ServiceNow was able to slot a flexible, simplified infrastructure on top of their existing systems with minimal disruption to business. And the benefits from this investment stretched far beyond its monetary cost.

With ten thousand transactions automated across 180 countries, the company has revolutionized its customer experience, and reduced the amount of money used up by costly, inefficient legacy technology.

Investing in the right tools

Investing money into technology for your business at this time may sound counterintuitive — after all, we’re trying to save budget, not spend it. Yet, anything that drives customer loyalty at this time shouldn’t be considered a luxury, but a necessity.

Just like BT, we all rely on our customers to survive, so doing everything that you possibly can to improve their overall experience, boost their satisfaction, and keep them close is money well spent.

To find out more about this kind of technology, and how it could help you boost your customer experience, visit our website.

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