There is no doubt that Salesforce’s Service Cloud offers many great features. In Gartner’s famous magic quadrant analysis, Service Cloud is way up and to the right. That means by Gartner’s analysis, Service Cloud has the most complete vision along with the ability to execute that vision in the industry, and it’s not even close. Yay!
But (and there’s always a but), Service Cloud is not a plug-and-play application. A great Salesforce Service Cloud implementation begins with a great customer experience strategy. A great strategy takes time and patience but is well worth the effort in the long run. The end result should be happy customers, employees, and a more efficient company.
But how do you even begin a customer experience strategy?
As a strategist, I like to start with two key efforts:
Think of your customer service experience as a big story. Who are the characters in your story? These are the personas. The purpose of defining the personas is to understand what motivates, frustrates, and inspires them. Your main personas should focus on your customers, but don’t forget your customer service team — the agents, managers, and executives who keep your customers happy. The key is to think about the user’s needs. Note that this stage of the project is not the time to start building solutions for these needs. That will come later.
2. Challenge review
Next, we come to the airing of grievances, as Frank Costanza would say. Build a comprehensive list of all the challenges your customers and workers face. This could be anything from spending too much time on hold to finding outdated solutions to problems. Questions to ask include:
- What keeps your employees from being as helpful and efficient as possible?
- What would make their job easier or (gasp) more enjoyable?
- What frustrates customers?
Don’t think of any challenge as too small — this is a great opportunity to get everything out there. After you make the list of challenges, it’s best to group them into related groups, and themes. All the activities involved in a customer experience strategy could take weeks or months depending on the size and scope of your firm. But regardless, you will then have the baseline to start designing future solutions.
Service Cloud: build efficiency — without killing your brand
Now that you have a great strategy, it’s time to go back to Service Cloud and find the features that address challenges and make your personas thrive. Of course, before getting too excited about solutions, don’t forget the basic data objects like cases, contacts, and accounts. Getting data in order can be a project in and of itself. But taking that for granted, here are five great solutions to think about incorporating into your strategy.
1. Omnichannel service
One challenge customers often face is the consistency of service. The phone call, the text, and the social media post all can get different answers and tones. Salesforce Omni-Channel solves that problem and is actually straightforward to put in place. The previous work you’ve done in strategy, however, will make sure you are hitting the right targets.
2. Customer self-service site
Having one simple site where customers can see a 360-degree view of themselves can defer many service agent calls. But a self-service site should do more than deflect calls. It should be a place to see all their transactions, check out warranties, and more. A useful customer self-service site can also be a great way to solidify your brand and increase customer satisfaction.
3. Two-way messaging
With two-way messaging customers can get help from agents using the messaging platform of their choice. On the other side of the conversation, agents can communicate with customers right in the service console, and even have many conversations at once. Putting this power in the hands of agents can improve your customer service experience. That said, it’s important to have a change management plan to ensure they handle issues in the best possible way.
4. Service Cloud Voice
I know this can be painful to some introverts, but sometimes, you need to talk. But don’t worry — you’re not alone: Einstein, Salesforce’s AI engine is there. As you converse with your customer, Einstein serves up the right knowledge articles to solve the problem you are working on. It’s a vision of the future of AI-human interaction, and it’s available now in one centralized location in Service Cloud.
The best way to ruin your customer’s experience is to inundate them with bots. If you’ve tried to get help from any large business, you may have run into a bot. Bots simulate a customer service agent. At least from my experience, while chatting with a bot might get me the answer I am looking for, the experience often feels artificial and cold. This feeling leads to a denigration of the brand. And I don’t think the answer is friendlier bots.
The key is in making sure bots serve a clear and distinct purpose in your customer experience strategy. Think of bots as extra helpers that give you scale to reach more customers than humans can alone. The easiest way to do that is to let chatbots handle your frequently asked questions. Let bots handle the mundane so your human agents can build the relationships that will take your customer service to the next level.
Ready to amplify your customer experience and succeed with Service Cloud in the process? Learn more about our Service Cloud services.