ServiceNow User Research

Think of a time when a company asked for your feedback as a customer? Perhaps it was an airline for booking a reservation? Or your internet provider after you pay a bill? Or even a coffee company on a receipt after purchase?  

Few people may take advantage of this opportunity, and if they do, the type of survey or intake process may be overly simple, overly complex, or not worth the user’s time. What if companies simply had the ability to ask their users how they feel and if they had any suggestions to make their product or service more pleasing to use? Thankfully in a work community such as the Office of the Chancellor, this was a possibility. 

ITS Service Management sought to conduct user experience research in partnership with Cal State Innovate into ServiceNow to better understand diverse user perspectives and to prioritize opportunities for improvement. The researcher conducted focus groups with staff from eight departments at the Chancellor’s Office that use ServiceNow, considered the experiences of two primary categories (requestors and fulfillers), found a set of common challenges, and lastly suggested recommendations and longer-term goals for ITSM to consider. Users shared challenges that span a lack of timely training and consistent processes, form interface and design issues, and inefficient communications. Users also shared a range of recommendations, including assistive tools, streamlined processes and notifications, and other hinting features that would improve the user experience for both fulfillers and requestors. 

The researcher compiled a comprehensive report ultimately recommended that ITSM further investigate ways to streamline processes and be more consistent across departments, establish a governance structure that represents various ServiceNow stakeholders to advise on improvements, and leverage change management resources and approaches to improve acceptance and adoption of any changes implemented to the broader ServiceNow community. 

The biggest takeaways that the researcher gleaned from this project were:

  • Some are eager to share feedback- they just aren’t given the opportunity​
  • Feedback is useful no matter how big or small
  • You don’t need to tackle change all at once 

In some focus groups, participants were grateful for the opportunity to candidly share feedback, demonstrate examples of their frustrations, and share what features were most useful to them. They came with suggestions and ideas as well, excited to be a part of the solution.

Since receiving the research report, the ITSM team worked expediently and intentionally to address users’ concerns and ideas for improvements. During strategic planning sessions, the team created an optimization timeline to help realistically prioritize enhancements and changes. The team quickly garnered positive feedback from users who noticed immediate changes that were “quick wins” to implement. Some of those recent improvements include:  

  • Partial search on Assignment Groups on incident forms so that users can search for groups using keywords as opposed to the full group name (i.e. “Windows” instead of “Infrastructure – Windows”  
  • User display values now include a campus abbreviation to address the confusion of duplicate names or requestors having more than one campus persona.  
  • Improvement to Global Search consistency so that search query results would be consistent and not omit certain criteria.

Paraphrased from ITSM’s Knowledge Base

To publicize their recent improvements, ITSM revitalized their Knowledge Base on ServiceNow to document updates and keep users informed. Look at what they’ve done so far! 

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