salesforce Service Cloud – why does it matter?

According to Gartner, 75% of customer interactions are with customer service. If I take my own, recent experiences with customer service departments of various companies, a lot of them are not great, seriously not helping customer satisfaction. What is salesforce’ Service Cloud providing to make those interactions count?

salesforce is rolling out improvements to their Service Cloud solution this year – what are the important ones and how do they help to increase customer satisfaction of your end customers?

The first key area of improvement I noticed is the ability for end customers to get to customer service more easily. With the launch of the salesforce 1 platform, salesforce has increased the number of APIs tenfold, enabling companies to not only connect to the Service Cloud via a web site, social media or smart phone applications, but directly from physical products!
I believe this is a big deal: More and more people are connected via social media and using their smartphones to engage – and people have less and less patience to wait for service! How often have you tried to cut through the endless voice prompts, trying to get to a live person? People are likely to research other products while they are on hold, waiting to get to customers service! The ability to get to customer service directly, from a button in an application, by sending a tweet or even a physical button in your car, on your camera or other connected device is a marked shift from endless hold on the phone or forced browsing through self-help articles!

Another area of improvement is the application of predictive intelligence to analyze customer support cases. Most support organizations are set up and incentivized to handle cases efficiently and close them quickly! I know from personal experience how hard it can be for customer support with those incentives to spot trends of recurring issues and drill to the root cause of them!
Leveraging algorithms to analyze cases, show similar cases and surface knowledge experts to solve them faster can be a differentiator for a customer service organization. The future will have to show just how good those algorithms salesforce has developed are…

As always, vendors provide proof points for the successful use of the solution. salesforce is making a good case for Service Cloud by highlighting the implementation by HP: They have 15,000 service agents in 70 global contact centers, handling 85,000 cases a day. HP managed to go live within 18 weeks and simplify and standardize their processes during the project. That’s a stunning achievement for any company of this size and certainly highlights the agility that can be achieved with cloud solutions!

While salesforce is rolling out 100s of improvements to the Service Cloud with the new release, I believe the embedded service, predictive intelligence and the scalability are the changes that will provide the greatest benefits to customers in the long run!

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