Salesforce.com Launches Service Cloud Updates



Salesforce.com today strengthened its Service Cloud offering to enable companies of all sizes and industries to power personalized customer service interactions at scale. Among the updates are configuration tools designed to help accelerate Service Cloud deployment and customization times; an improved Service Console, designed to stimulate productivity and efficiency; and the Service Cloud Mobile app, built to empower support agents on the go. 

According to Keith Pearce, vice president of product marketing at Salesforce.com’s Service Cloud, today's "consumers expect more from companies, in terms of service—specifically, they expect personalized service." Businesses that meet their customers' high expectations tend to outperform competitors. The reality, however, "is that very few companies can deliver at scale the kinds of personalized experiences they need to." 

Top customer service organizations, Pearce notes, are defined by three key characteristics: (1) their ongoing investments in platforms that allow them to get to market quickly with innovative approaches to service; (2) their ability to equip customer support agents with a means of being more productive and efficient; and (3) their proficiency with mobile technologies and an aptitude for providing service in the environment of the customer's choosing, whether a physical or digital setting. 

For those companies that are struggling to keep up, "part of the challenge and limit is that they've had to make some trade-offs around those three areas that have impeded them on their way to delivering personalized customer service," Pearce says.

The next generation of Salesforce.com's Service Cloud, built on the Lightning framework, aims to offer a remedy to these challenges, with upgrades in several key areas. 

The Service Cloud now includes setup tools that promise to have companies up and running with their service centers "in less than a day," Pearce states. Case management functionality has been baked into the updated Service Cloud, and non-expert users can configure support integrations with email, Twitter, Facebook, and knowledge systems from a customer community. The vendor has included in the product workflows and wizards "so that someone can go through a very logical sequence of steps, operationalize email customer service support, and test that literally in a matter of minutes," Pearce says. "They don't need to be an admin, or a coder, or an IT person."

The updates also aim to make it easier for firms to customize the system to meet their needs, as it allows them to connect AppExchange partner components into the Service Cloud console. With the Lightning App Builder, companies can drag and drop one of the service Lightning components—such as a knowledge sidebar or related record—into the Service Cloud interface. Companies can also attach commonly used apps via the AppExchange marketplace, to enable asset tracking and mapping and customer satisfaction surveys, among other capabilities.

Salesforce.com’s Lightning Service Console has been padded with capabilities designed to maximize agent productivity, while helping them resolve customer cases faster.

The Case Kanban view is a visual dashboard designed to help users better see what work is required of them to move a case through their queue, as well as the order in which the work must be completed. "This is a big improvement over somebody having to look at a list view and scroll down to find those different categories," Pearce says. Instead of a list view, they are now presented with a "tile effect."

The Community Agent 360 tool gives employees the ability to see what knowledge articles a customer has already accessed while trying to solve a problem, thereby preventing agents from wasting time in recommending resources users have already tried, for instance.

With Federated Search capabilities, users can retrieve relevant information from within Salesforce, or from outside sources such as YouTube, Dropbox, Box, and Confluence. For instance, Pearce explains, there are many situations in which an agent has been forced to leave the console to watch a training video or access a customer record. Federated Search allows them to view helpful resources within a contained environment, while navigating through fewer clicks and screens.

A Macro Builder tool enables agents to create reusable macros for specific customer service scenarios that agents can easily pull up if an issue arises more than once.

The Service Cloud Mobile app for iOS and Android allows agents to provide personalized customer service when they are out and about. With the native mobile app, employees can triage, manage, and resolve cases from their handheld devices. Push notifications allow agents to stay informed regarding status of their cases, making it easier for them to respond to customer queries in a timely manner.  

"Every company recognizes the importance of providing good customer service.  But for smaller companies, setting up a new contact center is often overwhelming and for bigger companies, they are often constrained by old, legacy systems," Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of Nucleus Research, said in a statement. "With today's announcement, Salesforce is making it much easier for companies all sizes to provide differentiated service."

Related Articles

Salesforce.com today launched Service Cloud Einstein, an intelligent customer service platform connected to CRM data across sales, commerce, marketing, and more.

Posted February 13, 2017

Deeper integrations between the vendors' contact center solutions aim to help agents improve customer experience.

Posted February 16, 2017

Contact centers need to adjust their approach to technology, customer engagement, and employee motivation.

Posted July 05, 2017