Winter is coming!

Posted On by Frisine Heyvaert

Prepare your customer service together with Salesforce for the coming period.

What does your customer hate the most? Having a question or complaint about a product/service or that this means that he or she will need to get in touch with your service department(s) to discuss the issue(s)? Both not so good situations, but the latter more controllable than you might think.

All consumers have experience with the common frustration of trying to call a company (maybe even yours) in order to get a question answered or problem fixed. Sometimes the trouble already starts before even talking to a service agent. Automated self-service lines or the automated questions a customer needs to answer can be confusing at times:“If you call for A, press 1. If you call for B, press 2, …”. Needing to provide basic information about their customer profile or repeat their story when their case is being transferred to another agent, service line or in the follow-up.

To customers it seems obvious that this info is available to the agent and doesn’t need repetition. It only wastes valuable time when it isn’t. Having all this info ready is key to good customer service and should be evident for the agent and service organisation in a whole as well. That is why companies are constantly investing in new technologies to increase this availability and usability of customer and case info in order to increase the efficiency of contact centers (via an efficient IVR, skill-based routing, CTI) and at the same time provide customers with multichannel options for reaching out.

Not every client is built the same way so channels like telephone, chat, email, webforms and several social media platforms offer great alternatives for interacting with your customers. A seamless and consistent service to the customer regardless of the channel being used is the most important thing to remember when implementing a multichannel customer service approach. The customer can be active on different channels at the same time, but he sees only one company in front of him. That is why he expects the same service regardless of the platform.

By consolidating all customer service activities & information across multiple channels in one system, you are one step further in the right direction. In its Winter’17 Release Notes it’s clear that Salesforce is also putting many efforts towards this goal. Mainly by optimizing their existing service features and introducing new or extended ones.

New channel updates

Let’s first take a look at the extended multichannel features of Salesforce Service Cloud. It supports seamless integration of the different contact channels (e.g. via live chat, e-mail, phone through CTI integration, web). Since 2015 integration with social media was added via Social Customer Service, it was already possible to let posts from a Facebook or Twitter account generate cases in Salesforce. With the Winter’17 release Salesforce has added Instagram as extra social medial channel. What are the possibilities with this? First of all, you can now manage your companies Instagram account together with Facebook and Twitter: answer questions and feedback from one spot. Or capture posts that are not directed (@mention) at you, but do concern you like when customers use “#yourproduct” or “#yourlocaloffice”. You can now easily create a rule in your Social Hub Account to receive posts in which your company’s #hashtag is mentioned. You can sync this to your social customer service allowing agents to respond directly.

Telephony integration

Nevertheless the rising importance and competences of service via social media, traditional telephony service is still very important. Salesforce illustrates this with its Open CTI, allowing Salesforce (and all of its data in it) to integrate with Telephony (PABX) systems. This integration makes it possible to answer a call directly in Salesforce via a pop-up screen while at the same time having a 360° view on the customer. Using Salesforce information in your dynamic IVR application ensures a good, simple to use and efficient IVR systems. Even better in the Winter’17 release Open CTI is now also working in the newer Lightning Experience. Bringing this functionality also to their even more user friendly interface, which doesn’t only benefit your company and your customers but also your service employees. It’s now even more intuitive to use.

Do you want to fully prepare your contact center or service departments for the coming winter? You can read all about the new Service Cloud features in detail in the Winter’17 release notes.