Customer Service Management

ServiceNow Customer Service Management (CSM) is a relatively new application from ServiceNow.  It was released on May 18, 2016, and is already gaining market share from its competitors.

The ServiceNow Customer Service Management application enables you to provide service and support for your external customers.


ServiceNow Customer Service Management (CSM) is part of the ServiceNow "Service Management" suite of applications.

  • IT Service Management
  • HR Service Management
  • Field Service Management
  • Facilities Service Management
  • Legal Service Management
  • Finance Service Management
  • Marketing Service Management
  • Security Operations
  • Customer Service Management

Read the complete promotional materials about ServiceNow Customer Management here:

Why change?

Coming from an ITSM background, I didn't immediately understand the significance of this. Big deal, it is just a new application right? However after doing a few implementations of CSM, I now realize the benefits.

If your company already has a Customer Relationship Management application like Salesforce Service Cloud or similar, why rock the boat and go to ServiceNow instead?

One Platform

By using ServiceNow CSM, you will be connected to all other ServiceNow applications without integrations.  You will be on one platform with those benefits.

  • Combined platform for Customer Service, IT, and other departments
  • Shared Knowledge Base
  • One Employee Service Portal
  • One Customer Service Portal
  • Only Javascript to support

Innovation AND VISION

ServiceNow is hungry in this space and is taking dramatic steps to build a market-leading CRM application.

With the power of the ServiceNow Platform (and development funds) they are really improving and building this application.

I have experience with the first version of ServiceNow CSM and the latest version of CSM. ServiceNow has listened to our suggestions for improvements and made them.  Everything I have asked for was added to the latest version! They want to sell this and their efforts show.

Other CRM applications have not changed in years. Their product development ended as they had the functionality built and are not focused on innovation. 

LOWER Functionality Overlap

If you continue to use an existing CRM application, you will build similar functionality at times as in ServiceNow. Same integrations, SLAs, fields, notifications, etc. Systems have different architecture, and have to design and maintain functionality in two systems.

Why build the same thing twice?

If you use an existing CRM application, that often has a portal.  You just spent time/money to build the ServiceNow Service Portal as well. If you have any Customers in ServiceNow, it gets confusing for customers.  

What site do they use to submit their issue?

Using one platform lowers confusion, saves time, and more importantly costs less.


As CRM and ServiceNow Incident Management often overlap, you will be paying for user licenses in both systems. Users will sometimes have to swivel chair between systems. Users of course hate that.

This all depends on your licensing agreement, but often ServiceNow can be cheaper.

I did mention the cost savings from eliminating licenses on your old system?  That can be a tremendous cost savings.


You may know about the multi-tenant vs. multi-instance debate. What you may not know is that is a major part of the power of ServiceNow. Use a multi-tenant application with its limitations, and you'll understand that the tenancy of a platform does matter...a lot.


One of the great competitors to ServiceNow Customer Service Management (CSM) is ServiceNow Incident Management. These ServiceNow applications are so popular that they compete with themselves!

Yes, ServiceNow CSM and ServiceNow Incident Management are similar, but are different all the same. They have different functionality, different process, and do things in their own way.

Although they are different, they both can use the same functionality that other ServiceNow applications have. Knowledge Management, Asset Management, Configuration Management, etc. That is the power of the platform.


1. New Application

When installed, CSM will be a new application in your system, with new functionality.

2. Case Management

Cases and Incidents are different.

In CSM, a case may be open for a long time.  Customers may ask for many items, but they don't always receive it.  

For example, a customer requests that a field be the color purple on an application.  Some of the other customers may want that, but others want it to stay the same.  Just because one customer wants it, doesn't mean the other customers agree.  So often the case stays open until agreement, or until is verified that they will always disagree.

In Incident Management, the ITIL incident management process ensures that normal service operation is restored as quickly as possible and the business impact is minimized.  Incidents don't stay open long periods of time, at least they try not to do that.

That separation between Incident Management and CSM also allows CSM specific features and doesn't impede on Incident Management processes.

Cases have Customer-Specific Data

  • Accounts - Account information about customers and partners. Each account contains details such as contacts, Locations, casts, assets, contracts, entitlements, releated accounts, relationships, and team members 
  • Contacts - Contacts are the people tied to the accounts
  • Entitlements - An entitlement is kind of like an SLA.  It indicates the type of service the customer paid for and is tied to the contract.
  • Service Contracts - the contract the customer has for service.
  • Install Base - All the products the customer has installed

3. Portals

CSM includes two portals for usage depending on your business case.

Customer Service Portal

The Customer Service Portal home page includes the following features:

  • A header with buttons for creating and viewing cases, viewing assets, and managing users.
  • A search feature that customers can use to search for information from several repositories.
  • Links to information sources, such as the knowledge base, the community, and customer support cases.
  • This is the B-B Portal

Customer Service Portal

Consumer Service Portal

The Consumer Service Portal is a web interface that your company can use to provide information and support to consumers. 

The Consumer Service Portal is based on the ServiceNow Service Portal application. Consumers can use the portal to search for information, get their questions answered by other registered members, or request assistance from a customer service agent.

This is the B-C Portal

Consumer Service Portal

4. Special Handling NOTES

Use the Special Handling Notes application to create notes that bring important information about individual records to the user's attention.

Great idea to really catch attention for visibility.


The Targeted Communications application provides the ability to create and send communications with optional email notification to internal and external customers.

This didn't exist in earlier versions of CSM, and it something users from other CRM applications have been looking for.  


Create powerful matching rules with scripting to assign agent resources.  This can be based on case attributes and details in the case to execute the routing.

7. Knowledge Product Entitlements

The Knowledge Product Entitlements application enables administrators to designate the knowledge bases and knowledge articles that customers can view from the customer portal.

This a product-based way to show KB articles, much more powerful than standard user criteria on KB articles. It is something that CRM users expect in a CRM application.

8. CTI Softphone

Use a CTI soft phone to take and receive calls without leaving the Customer Service app.

9. Connect Support

Chat with customers and create cases directly from a chat.

10. Assignment Workbench

The assignment workbench enables customer service managers to assign tasks to agents efficiently and intelligently. The workbench uses configurable criteria, such as skills and availability, to evaluate the agents in a selected group and provide an overall ranking. Managers can view these results and click one button to assign a task.

Assignment Workbench

12. Performance Analytics 

Special PA Dashboards and indicators for Customer Service.  Use the Context Sensitive Analytics for Customer Service to open context sensitive Performance Analytics dashboards in customer service forms based on UI actions.


Here is an additional video on Customer Service Management

Also read more about CSM on the Customer Service Management wiki