Nitin Badjatia, Head of Product Strategy, Customer Service Management, ServiceNow, examined digital technologies and their impact on the customer experience (CX) during his presentation at the 2018 CX Leadership Forum in Dallas on Feb. 7. In his presentation, "Delivering Service Excellence in a Digitally Enabled World," Badjatia offered recommendations to help CX professionals use digital technologies to foster long-lasting customer partnerships.
According to Badjatia, digital technologies have transformed the way businesses and consumers interact with each other. No longer can companies ignore mobile devices, social networks and other digital tools. Instead, businesses must allocate time and resources to deploy technologies or risk falling behind rivals.
A wide range of software is available to help CX professionals simplify and enhance a company's customer interactions. Yet not all CX software options are equal. Professionals must deploy software that matches the needs of a business and its customers; otherwise, a company risks missing out on opportunities to build trust with its clientele.
"Software is beginning to touch every aspect of society," Badjatia said. "Software is powering the way that business runs."
Today, digital services play key roles in the way that companies operate. With the right approach to digital services, CX professionals can discover innovative ways to improve a company's customer service.
"Digital is not just a pie-in-the-sky idea," Badjatia stated. "A digital service is not just something that you buy … and the way you do customer service for [digital] is very different."
CX professionals must be ready to adapt to new technologies as they become available, too. By maintaining a flexible approach to technology implementation, CX professionals can help an ordinary business transform into an exceptional one, regardless of its industry.
"Transformation is not just happening in digitally enhanced worlds. It's also happening in traditional industries," Badjatia noted.
Meanwhile, today's customers use a broad array of digital technologies to connect to the world. This has created both challenges and opportunities for CX professionals.
"Customer service must move from something where you set up and prepare for things to happen to something that is much more proactive."
If CX professionals understand how to connect with customers across digital platforms, they can help their respective companies stand out from the competition. Perhaps best of all, CX professionals can use digital technologies to improve customer service both now and in the future.
"Customers are always on and they're always connected, and companies are always on and they're always connected," Badjatia indicated. "There is now a higher bar for the company … and customers know that."
Digital technologies empower CX professionals to take a proactive approach to customer service.
With digital technologies in place, CX professionals can instantly collect customer data from many sources. Then, CX professionals can quickly mine this information and obtain meaningful insights to bolster a company's customer service.
"Customer service must move from something where you set up and prepare for things to happen to something that is much more proactive," Badjatia said.
Furthermore, CX professionals can use digital technologies to provide customers with self-service options.
"Software is beginning to touch every aspect of society. Software is powering the way that business runs."
Customers can use self-service to address various problems on their own. At the same time, a company can offer self-service options to simultaneously lower its operating costs and improve its customer interactions.
"Customer service is not something that is historically set up in a way that enables customers to help themselves," Badjatia pointed out.
Digital technologies drive collaboration between multiple departments within a business. Together, these departments can learn about CX patterns and trends and tailor their day-to-day efforts accordingly.
"You need to be able to assign issues across an organization," Badjatia pointed out. "The ultimate goal is to eliminate an exception from an entire ecosystem."
Going forward, CX professionals must be ready to empower customers with the tools and information they need to succeed. But few CX professionals understand the true value of digital technologies. As a result, many companies fail to deploy digital technologies effectively.
If CX professionals take a proactive approach to customer service, they could identify new ways to work with customers and resolve problems. Thanks to digital technologies, CX professionals may be better equipped than ever before to use customer service to help a business differentiate itself from rivals as well.
"Everything needs to be effortless, and connectivity should not be to the customer but to all of the departments within an organization that can influence your customers," Badjatia stated. "Proactive [customer service] is going to be the bar."
Maintaining a constant focus on digital technologies is a must for CX professionals. If CX professionals frequently explore digital technologies, they may discover unique ways to connect with customers and provide them with unforgettable experiences.
"You need to be constantly monitoring and digitally connected," Badjatia said. "You need to understand the context of use."
Nitin Badjatia serves as the Head of Product Strategy, Customer Service Management, at ServiceNow. He’s responsible for driving the strategic roadmap, field enablement, and go-to-market for the product line. He’s a veteran of enterprise customer service vendors, having been at Siebel Systems, RightNow Technologies, and Oracle. Nitin also led business strategy at knowledge management pioneer Knova Software. In 2012, Nitin was awarded the Consortium for Service Innovation’s Innovator award for his extensive contributions to the industry at large. Nitin is a founding board member of Customer Commons, a non-profit spinoff of Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center, focused on privacy and identity in a digitally enabled world. He holds a Master of Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.