Salesforce Service Cloud Implementation Best Practices


Service Cloud, from Salesforce, is the customer service software and support application that empowers companies to manage all customer information and conversations in whatever channel – phone, email, chat, and more.

It Starts With Customer Experience

Customer experience is the key to an organisation’s success. According to this report by Forrester, organisations that lead in customer experience outperformed laggards on the S&P 500 index by nearly 80%. The pillars for good customer experience is customer, brand, product and employee experience.

Whether you are a B2B or a B2C organisation, the experiences that your customer has can be tied up to each of these pillars. Your contact centre is the single place where all these experiences are delivered. Therefore choosing your contact centre software becomes extremely important as that can have a direct impact on your profitability.

Therefore, while implementing your contact centre, it is imperative that you do it as flawlessly as possible. As a Service Cloud expert, we can recommend some best practices for implementing your Salesforce Service Cloud. These cover both strategic and tactical actions that you can take to ensure that your investment has an ROI, both in terms of revenue and customer experience.

In addition, we also recommend a few high level decision making that can support your Service Cloud implementation as well.

Service Cloud Implementation Best Practices

Below are 6 best practices for Service Cloud implementation that will help
you launch on the path to providing better customer experiences.

Understand & define your processes

This is normally the first step in any project. However, it can be surprising how many projects do not start with an understanding of the various organisational processes. The Service Cloud operations impacts different departments (silos?) within the organisation. Each may specific processes beyond the organisation level processes. Understanding them individually and their inter-dependencies will help the service team. There might be instances of outdated process which would need to be updated. Sometimes, they would also need to be revamped. Doing it the right way at the beginning of the implementation will save a lot of time and money later on.

Get stakeholders buy in

This practice along with the first one may seem very obvious. However, given organisational politics, not doing this can derail the Service Cloud implementation. Sometime, it may not be politics but simply a matter of priorities. One of the best ways to address this issue is to clearly highlight the benefits of the implementation both at an organisation level and individual level. This is not an easy step. However, stakeholder buy in is a good first step.

Take advantage of the platform features

Generally, technology implementation is driven by business processes. However, when the technology is as powerful as the Service Cloud, it makes sense to reverse this. Thousands of organisations across different industries use Service Cloud. What this means is that the functionalities are optimised based on real feedback from real users.

The processes defined earlier should be adopted to take advantage of the Service Cloud features and functionalities. There should be a symbiotic relationship between your processes and Service Cloud functionalities in order to deliver the best value for your customer. This may require dismantling some old systems and setting up new. A good implementation partner (like Techforce Services) can help you guide through this painful but important step.

Adapt automation sensibly

The Service Cloud makes automation real easy. The defined processes can become much more efficient if they are automated. However, using all automation capabilities, though very tempting is not optimal.

The automation setup should be in alignment with the needs of your customers. Some customer segments prefer a high touch point communication. In that case, automating the front end will impact the experience negatively. Alternately, your agent will spend more time with your customers productively if the case workflows are automated.

Leverage Service Console

The Service Console is your agent’s best friend at work. It will make her interactions with the customer extremely efficient. The Service Console is a unified view of all of the customer’s information. It is highly customisable with layout options, the list views, knowledge, history, all intertwined into the service console. Combining the Service Console with the Case Feed and Chatter will get you an effective toolkit to address the issues faced by your customers.

Enable relevant analytics for agents

As an important cog in your business operations, the service function should have key performance metrics well defined. These help you understand the level of service your customers receive. Service Cloud has strong reporting and dashboards functionality. The metrics should be easily accessible to the service team as well so that they can understand their performance and take steps towards improvement.

Service Cloud Implementation Best Practices - Policies

The above best practices are directly related to the implementation of Service Cloud. In order for a strong implementation, you should also look at making some strategic changes in your service department. Here we make three recommendations:

Train for customer empathy

In today’s environment, empathy is more needed than ever. In the service context, it means understanding the emotional needs of the customer and responding to them appropriately. This is a challenging task. The agent normally does not get to build a relationship with the customer. She is moving from one customer to another with different experiences. If she is provided with the proper tools and learning resource, she could be more empathetic.

Vision based hiring

Having a defined vision at an organisation is an important step, but it is just the first step. Your customer service ethos will flow from the vision. Your service standards will flow from this ethos. The experiences of your customers will be determined by the standards you deliver upon. It is, therefore, essential that the hiring you do is aligned to this vision, ethos and standard. Correct hiring will go a long way in delivering this vision.

Link remuneration to customer experience

This seems obvious but is more difficult to implement than it seems. On one hand, having such a policy, especially across the organisation leads to goal alignment. On the other, the service team in order to achieve the scores might cut corners impacting either the customers or the profitability or both. The way around it is to have clearly defined metrics with regular checks.

The Service Cloud offers a wide array of functionality to help organizations build out successful service centres. These operational and strategic best practices can serve as the foundation on which your organization can provide a consistent and engaging experience for each and every customer.

What are some of the best practices that you think are important for implementing Service Cloud?

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