Five Best Practices for Implementing a Salesforce Service Cloud

Recently, I had the chance to work with a client who has millions of customers. We implemented a Salesforce Service Cloud case management system. We delivered a robust solution which exceeded our initial expectations. This was an exceptional implementation due to a few factors.

  1. This was the first implementation of service clouds in an entire enterprise.
  2. It was designed to assist customers in the middle stages of their customer life cycle.
  3. It was not required by the deadline and there were no requirements.

It was crucial to provide the right solution that could be nurtured as the business reaps the benefits of the system. It was crucial to see beyond the departmental silos and consider how the platform could be used in cross-functional areas. This environment was key to the success of this business in customer service. These are five top tips to keep in mind when you implement Service Cloud in your organization for the first time.

1. Understanding your process

Although this may seem obvious, it is surprising how many departments or business units don’t know the details of the processes they manage. The SOPs could be outdated. Current employees may be doing things differently or taking steps that the management is not aware of. If your company is looking to improve customer service, you should take the time to evaluate the current process and identify the positive and negative aspects. This should be viewed from both the customer’s and employee’s perspective. Next, identify key functions or processes that are risky or wasteful. These data will be the basis for later evaluations of the success or failure of your implementation. Your process should be as important as their process. Whose process is it? Your cross-functional counterparts. How do you handoff between departments? What will the rest of the company do with a case management system? Are the customer’s requirements changing in different areas? These questions can help organizations plan the appropriate level of case model design, and make sure it is scalable across the enterprise. This step is essential to avoid costly rework later on and frustrated stakeholders.

  1. Be open to making changes as suggested by the platform

The following argument has been repeated many times. “Business process drives technology…no! Technology should drive the business process!” These should complement each other, even though they may have opposing views. Leveraging technology should have a mutually beneficial relationship to ensure that your customers are happy. However, it shouldn’t come at a price that is too high. Invest in the right platform, and then accept the limitations of that platform. Salesforce is incredible, but there are limitations. There are limitations. It is difficult for some to see a different way of doing things if they are in the “current state”. If you allow the platform to guide you, and keep it as declarative, you will reap the benefits of any Salesforce or appexchange product that you choose to integrate. The other part was not forgotten. The old system will be broken up. The end of a relationship, whether it was mutually agreed to or not, is the first step in seeing the process from a different perspective. Look back at the best parts of the relationship and see if they fit in the new world. If not, don’t be afraid or confused to try Salesforce. The right implementation partner (MST) will help you get the job done. You will be guided to the best solutions for your budget and timeframe. Although it may be difficult to change the way you do things initially, you will soon be able to assess the effectiveness of the process by collecting data and user feedback. There will be immediate ‘ahhs’ and “oohs” from customers and staff.

  1. Avoid automating too many things too quickly

You should be cautious about making automation insane right away. Salesforce makes automation simple. Salesforce makes automation easy. It allows you to automate certain tasks that may require more maintenance or limitations than others. Automate not for the sake of automation. Instead, find the essentials of a process and identify those that can be automated. For example, say your customer service model requires high-touch communication. It is best for them to be kept informed about their case regularly. A business unit might decide to send emails confirmations when certain triggers or actions occur in their case. There is no safer place than email to automate your customer’s case and give them that assurance. Communication of case status, outstanding actions, and other information can be a great way for agents to refocus their time and provide customers with intuitive, often real-time status updates. Task automation is another safe option. This is a good area to automate if there are certain processes that are consistent and can be done consistently every time. It is important to have a good meeting with both end-users and managers. Then, you can discuss automation points that will please everyone.

  1. Create and understand your data

Don’t be afraid of looking up at the sky when you want to learn more about your business, the people behind it, and the processes that make the experience memorable for customers and employees. You don’t need to create new fields just to have more data. However, it is important to first evaluate the core business fields and then to determine what kind of metadata may be useful. Salesforce is a great tool for data collection and analysis. It can identify customer behavior, detect seasonality, and help you align your workforce with certain case types. You may also be able to determine if a customer issue you are having is caused by an external factor that you cannot directly control. A business unit can use the analysis of written actions and business logic to identify important data points and trends that can then be reinvested in new logic, or modifications to existing logic to maximize benefits and costs. Understanding the status of your CRM is key to understanding your customers and improving your business process. You can make your data more useful by learning how to build reports and dashboards. You should identify the key metrics that your employees need to be aware of, and you should be able to answer any questions your executives may have.

  1. Always begin with the service console

It’s a simple decision for me. Although I don’t have anything against Salesforce Classic View, the console application allows users to be able to use it in a low-cost (minimal configuration), way that will allow them to become more efficient. This is especially true for users who had previously been required to use multiple systems. Do you remember the days when there was only one monitor on your desk? Remember the days when you only had one monitor at your desk? Think about having only one. This is because having two monitors was seen as a convenience, rather than a necessity. The number of applications needed to perform an action for the user increased with the advent of technology. This meant that there were 2-3, possibly 4, applications open simultaneously. Salesforce Service Console allowed us to combine an Excel spreadsheet, a separate eFax client and a customer information base into one point of interaction through the Service Cloud console. This gave us a powerful and intuitive view of all these interactions that could all be done from one monitor. I’m not suggesting that you do anything! Hardware these days is very affordable, right? We reached new levels of efficiency by combining the powerful console layout options with the list views, knowledge, and history into the service console.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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