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ServiceNow and Qualtrics today announced they are working together to integrate sentiment data captured using surveys within workflows running on the Now platform. The feature will become available sometime in the second half of this year.

The two providers of software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms will integrate their offerings for managing both IT and customer service.

The goal is to create a feedback loop within those workflows that will enable organizations to better optimize workflows over time, said Michael Ramsey, vice president of product management for customer workflow products at ServiceNow.

In some cases, that feedback loop will be created by manually reviewing survey data, while in others it might be automatically integrated with workflows that could be dynamically adjusted based on the feedback captured by a Qualtrics survey, Ramsey noted.

“It’s about making feedback actionable,” Ramsay said. “We’re enabling a modern digital experience.”

ServiceNow already has a similar relationship with SurveyMonkey to capture survey data. But Qualtrics is evolving into an experience management platform that makes it possible to, for example, trigger escalations within workflows based on feedback gathered, Qualtrics chief product officer Jay Choi said.

As organizations embrace digital business transformation more aggressively in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of them have no way of knowing whether customers and end users are viewing these changes in a positive light, Choi noted. SaaS platforms such as Qualtrics provide a simple way to capture that feedback at a time when many organizations are relying on online processes to engage customers. “There’s an experience gap,” Choi said.

In the last year, many organizations have accelerated digital business transformation initiatives out of necessity. But in the rush to roll those processes out, many of the organizations didn’t have the time to properly vet them. As the pandemic eventually subsides, most organizations will need to revisit digital processes that were hastily created to simply stay engaged with customers.

At the same time, internal IT teams created self-service portals for employees working from home to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of those internal IT teams, however, don’t have any direct feedback from end users on the value of those efforts. Following the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations, employees will be split between home and the office, depending on their personal preference and company mandates. Internal IT teams will once again need to adjust the IT services they provide to those end users — hopefully, with more input this time.

Organizations have been launching customer surveys for decades. Platforms like Qualtrics and SurveyMonkey simply make it easier for certain types of businesses to launch them without having to contract a dedicated customer research team. Of course, the feedback any organization collects is only as good as the questions asked, so savvy organizations will still need to ask questions in a way that doesn’t bias survey results.

In the meantime, a lot of organizations are about to discover just how well-received their digital business transformation efforts actually are. A digital business process might be more cost-effective for organizations to deliver, but it’s not uncommon for end customers to resent the level of data entry that has been shifted their way to enable that process. In fact, as organizations are increasingly judged by the online experience they provide as much as by the products and services they sell, many are about to discover to what degree online experiences negatively impact customer loyalty. But the first step toward determining what customers think is capturing their sentiment at the point where those digital services are being consumed.

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