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ServiceNow ITSM vs CSM

Prior to the Istanbul release, the only option for serving external customers with ServiceNow was to engineer the ITSM platform for that purpose. This worked okay, but it was time-consuming both to design it and maintain it, and this method opened customers up to myriad risks.


But with Istanbul came the Customer Service Management (CSM) module, finally a dedicated solution for external service. Now, as we’re two releases past Istanbul with the new London release looming this fall, ServiceNow’s answer to this problem should be irresistible to anyone still using ITSM for external-facing customer service.


CSM is designed specifically to serve external customers. It’s a dedicated, intuitive way for customers to engage with agents, access a library of knowledge articles, and take action on their cases.


Despite all this, we’ve noticed a number of customers are still using ITSM to serve their external customers. While ITSM and

CSM provide a similar functionality suite, there are significant features and limitations of each, depending on the audience you’re leveraging them for. So if this sounds like you, we put together some of the key differences between ITSM and CSM and the circumstances in which you’ll want to use each:


Provide a Centralized Database

ServiceNow ITSM:

When your employees have issues or need assistance with their technology, they log a ticket in your ITSM portal. These tickets are centralized so your analysts can track, manage, and report on these incidents. With all this information logged, you can leverage the robust analytics and reporting tools built into the platform to uncover trends in your data which facilitates an operating model rooted in continuous improvement.


ServiceNow CSM:

ServiceNow CSM also creates a centralized hub of incident information, allowing for the excellent reporting and analytics inherent to ITSM. But it does this without the risk of your customers accessing proprietary information. On top of that, CSM allows all your customer service reps to access the full history of logged customer interactions. This eliminates the doctor’s office effect: the frustration your customers feel when they must explain their situation multiple times to different agents as their case escalates.


Looking for more ServiceNow CSM Information?

Click here to learn how ITSM and CSM can provide a next-level customer  experience.


Create a Living Knowledge Base 

ServiceNow ITSM:

With a centralized database comes the ability to create a living library of knowledge base articles. With ITSM, your help desk agents can add, modify, and retire articles to ensure they always have the most up-to-date information to reference and attach to incidents. This helps you turn IT problems into math problems by standardizing resolutions and tracking incidents to establish the root cause of the problem.


ServiceNow CSM:

The knowledge base you are sharing with your customers through the CSM platform will be different from your internal knowledge base. These are usually designed to provide information about common incidents to help your customers resolve their issues before they even need to call your support team.


Plus, you can automatically filter articles for your customers based on their assets and entitlements. Let’s say a customer has purchased 3 of the 5 products you sell. When they access the knowledge base they won’t get bogged down with articles related to the 2 products they don’t own.


Enable Self-Service Options

ServiceNow ITSM:

Self-service options can do more for your business than just letting your end-users reset their own passwords. It’s a mechanism by which you empower your employees to work smarter and faster while keeping them within your defined list of approved technology. The service catalog in ServiceNow ITSM automates workflows and approvals to enable organizations to improve the customer experience, accelerate service delivery, and reduce operational costs.


Ready to build your Service Portal?

Click here to check out our Self-Service Implementation White Paper


ServiceNow CSM:

Self-service in CSM lets your customers take the reins when it comes to troubleshooting and case management. They can find answers to their questions and issues and attempt to find a resolution on their own. Or, they can access a portal where they are able to submit and track cases and easily communicate with your support staff as needed.


Field Service Management is included as part of the CSM suite, which allows your customers to schedule appointments with a field service technician when they need it. Your customers and technicians will no longer need to spend time on the phone to create an appointment. Now customers can access a calendar with available dates and times and schedule it for themselves.


Reduce Ticket Volume Over Time

In both ITSM and CSM, all of these processes lead to reduced ticket or case volume, which gives your analysts and support agents more time for higher-impact activities like root cause analysis and proactive customer service. By giving your end-users and your customers the right tools, when and where they need them, you’ll be able to increase employee productivity, customer retention, and make a positive impact on your bottom line.


Find What Works for Your Business

Every company is different and employs their technology in different ways to address their business needs and the needs of their customers. But one thing rings true for all organizations: you want to provide a superior product and service to your customers. And leveraging the tools designed with both you and your customer in mind is the perfect next step on that journey.



Learn how to use your ServiceNow data to better shape customer experiences.

Slicing-the-Watermelon-inviteTo truly delight customers today, organizations must provide experiences that are personalized, proactive, and always improving. The only way to achieve that level of service is to look beyond what you see in superficial data and address what’s really going on below the surface.


Find Your Hidden Red

Nick Gustafson
Nick Gustafson
Nick is a content marketer with a passion for helping people work smarter, not harder. He is able to distill the technical aspects of new technology into relevant content and best practices around holistic solutions for people of any technical background.

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