In an exclusive interview, Andreas Heckmann, executive vice president and head of Customer Success Services at SAP, explains the fundamental evolution of the company’s award-winning customer support and services strategy.
The newly-formed Customer Success Services team remains part of the SAP Digital Business Services organization, while uniting SAP Enterprise Support, SAP Preferred Success, and SAP MaxAttention with one vision for customer success.
Here, Heckmann shares how SAP is “Qualtrifying” support and services for the Intelligent Enterprise, embedding metrics for continuous improvement along with artificial intelligence (AI) to anticipate and answer customer questions as never before.
Q: As SAP transforms into an intelligent enterprise in the experience economy, what does that mean for customers?
A: We’re committed to helping our customers become the most intelligent version of their enterprise. What’s so exciting is that this transformation is happening in parallel with SAP’s own intelligent enterprise journey. We’re fundamentally evolving Customer Success Services to help customers meet their individual IT and business challenges.
Customers are moving ahead at their own pace with solution landscape changes to meet their unique business objectives. We understand that requires a seismic shift in the experience we provide.
What does this highly personalized, self-service model look like?
Customers will be able to obtain important system data and expert help with the push of a button, at any time. In the past, SAP Enterprise Support customers received historical, paper-based reports covering preset intervals. Or, they booked time with experts to solve issues reactively. We are replacing those time-consuming processes with the SAP Enterprise Support reporting cockpit. Customers will receive information in real time, at their request.
In addition, the new AI-infused SAP EarlyWatch Alert workspace dynamically anticipates customer needs, making predictions and issuing alerts and recommendations based on continuous data collection and analyzation. The customer is not only in complete control, but able to get more insights faster. They can decide what drill-down data is most relevant to them, view it at their convenience, and get further support as they need it. Also, we’re connecting all SAP programs, so customers can immediately see past and current support interactions — including delivered services — for a more seamless experience.
How does the Qualtrics acquisition align with your organization?
We will “Qualtrify” Customer Success Services, delivering continuous improvements based on customers’ actual experiences. This doesn’t mean countless surveys; rather, we’ll embed opportunities for customers to share immediate, one-click feedback as part of their interactions with us.
Just as ride-sharing services have incorporated ratings into their apps, we will measure our customer’s experience in the moment. We are already using SAP Qualtrics offerings to measure the experience of SAP Preferred Success customers.
What kind of feedback are you hearing from customers about Qualtrics?
Customers at a recent user group conference agreed that the experience economy redefines success. In every industry, consumers have more choices and less brand loyalty. The latest research revealed a huge gap between what CEOs believe their companies provide and actual customer experiences. Companies know they have to deliver differentiating, delightful customer experiences.
Do you have any updates on the new industry standards for support that SAP is introducing this year?
Since we’ve gone mainstream with AI-based support and services, it’s transformed everything we do. Incident Solution Matching is a great example. Customers receive real-time recommendations as they type in questions on our website, significantly speeding up problem resolution. In many cases, customers receive answers before they send the issue to us.
Now we’re exploring role-based predictive support. People would receive alerts and notifications relevant and critical to their specific position. We’re defining use cases to help deliver experiences that address specific job mandates, such as tech-savvy users or business-focused experts.
Also, we recognize that customers are adopting more cloud solutions, which is why we’ve introduced SAP Cloud ALM. Currently evolving, this public cloud-based platform for application lifecycle management (ALM) is ideal for cloud-only and cloud-centric organizations. For customers that have SAP Solution Manager, there’s no need to change.
What can customers expect from Customer Success Services moving forward?
We’re transforming the entire support and services experience, becoming real-time and predictive across our offerings. Customers will interact with us when and how they choose, in a very personalized way. They won’t see irrelevant data or engage in time-wasting interactions as we embed support into more SAP cloud solutions.
We are reworking everything in Customer Success Services from mission-critical support to the tools we provide for real-time insights and fast action. This is what it takes to become an intelligent enterprise in the experience economy.
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