ServiceNow and Qualtrics progress partnership with new tool that puts experience and operational data side-by-side

Derek du Preez Profile picture for user ddpreez June 24, 2022 Audio mode
Summary:
ServiceNow announced its partnership with Qualtrics at the beginning of last year, with a priority to bring experience data into its workflow platform.

Business people join puzzle pieces in office. Concept of teamwork and partnership. double exposure with light effects © alphaspirit.it - Shutterstock
(© alphaspirit.it - Shutterstock)

ServiceNow and Qualtrics have announced the latest progression in their ongoing partnership, with a new tool that aims to give IT and customer service agents a single view of employee and customer experience data, as well as operational data, side-by-side. 

The Qualtrics Embedded Insights app intends to help service desk agents and managers better understand not only how quickly they are solving customer/employee issues, but also how they feel about their experiences when engaging with a service desk. 

The announcement provides a taste of how we can expect the partnership between the two vendors to evolve, but also ties into how ServiceNow is thinking about its current strategy. Rather than just providing the mechanism by which work flows through an organization (workflows), ServiceNow is seeking to go deeper by either addressing process blocks, via its partnership with Celonis, or by adding additional contextual data, as we can see here with Qualtrics. 

ServiceNow announced its partnership with Qualtrics in April last year, where CEO Bill McDermott said that “empathy at mass scale is the business differentiator of the 21st Century”. McDermott oversaw SAP’s acquisition of Qualtrics when he was previously CEO at the vendor - but the company has since been spun out of SAP, at a higher valuation. What’s clear is that McDermott sees value in the data that Qualtrics can deliver. 

Commenting on the new app release, Matt Schvimmer, SVP of products and service management at ServiceNow, said:

The IT architecture is now the business architecture, and service agents are under tremendous pressure to scale with the demands of our digital-first world.

Arming IT and customer service agents with the most important information on issues and interactions in real-time and in one place, ServiceNow and Qualtrics are helping agents deliver proactive, seamless and personalized employee and customer experiences that help create lasting loyalty and boost organizations’ bottom lines.

Qualtrics Embedded Insights, the new tool, provides pre-built configurations that aim to allow organizations to see their experience data - how people think and feel - and operational data - such as number of cases resolved and the time to resolution–in one centralized view within their ServiceNow Workspace. Qualtrics Embedded Insights also aims to allow IT and customer service teams to identify opportunities to automate tasks through a few clicks, not code. Agents can then, according to the two companies, provide personalized service within ServiceNow for priority and complex issues.

Qualtrics said that the tool should make it easier to understand what customers are thinking and feeling, helping agents take more immediate action within ServiceNow to improve the overall customer service experience. For example, managers could initiate in-the-moment service agent coaching based on feedback within their ServiceNow Workspace. 

Jay Choi, Qualtrics EVP and Chief Product Officer of EmployeeXM, said: 

Technology has become central to employee and customer experiences. A single poor experience can have lasting impact as people decide where to work and which brands to do business with. 

Our integration with ServiceNow makes it even easier for organizations to provide excellent experiences from the start, helping employees be more productive at work and customers feel more heard when issues arise.

Research

Qualtrics and ServiceNow also released new research this week, where a study of 1,000 IT professionals at companies with more than 1,000 employees found that four in give (81%) said that they waste more than 10% of their work days on process and technology inefficiencies. 

And in a separate study of more than 3,000 customers, more than two-thirds (69%) said they switch between two to three channels in order to fix an issue, where they frequently have to repeat the same information multiple times. 

The research found that long wait times (56%) continue to be the most frustrating customer service issue, followed by taking too long to resolve an issue (28%), and the inability to reach an actual human (23%).  

Customer Jon Cheatwood, senior technician at the University of Notre Dame, commented on the integration between Qualtrics and ServiceNow and said: 

Technology plays an integral role in the classroom, giving students and faculty the tools to enhance learning, communication and collaboration.

The Qualtrics and ServiceNow integration has played an integral role in automating our preventative maintenance process. We are now more efficient, effective and transparent in supporting classrooms, saving over 3,000 work hours across the Audio Video Technologies team in support of our learning spaces during the eighteen months since implementing the integration.

My take

During recent conversations with ServiceNow executives, including CEO Bill McDermott, it became clear that the company isn’t thinking about employee and customer experience as two separate agendas. Its viewpoint is that the two are inextricably linked. 

ServiceNow’s gambit is that if it can improve employee experience directly within the workflow, either by providing contextual data or by applying process fixes using automation, then this will enable employees to spend more time in high value areas - such as improving customer experience. Equally, it is applying the same thought process to the workflows that directly touch the customer. 

Given the macroeconomic climate, with inflation soaring and fears over the ‘Great Resignation’, vendors that can boost employee productivity, add value in the workplace and improve customer retention should fare well. 

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