Mastering Social Customer Service with Salesforce Service Cloud

Posted on July 27th 2011

Mastering Social Customer Service with Salesforce Service Cloud
Learn how to make your cloud-based service efforts soar.

What’s the best way to marry your customer service operations with social networks?

Technologically speaking, the tie-ins only continue to get better. Notably, users of the Service Cloud, from salesforce.com, now have built-in integration between the cloud-based customer service application and Facebook, as well as Twitter.

But how are users of the Service Cloud actually rethinking their service processes to better support customers via social networks? To learn more, I spoke with Michael Peachey, director of product marketing at salesforce.com.

Before we dive into social media integration, can you detail for me the core functions of the Service Cloud, and why people use it?

Peachey: The Service Cloud is salesforce.com’s solution for delivering customer service and support. The challenge we’re seeing today in the market is that companies that invested heavily in on-premise CRM have systems that are built for the 1-800 contact center. They’re designed for picking up the phone, although add-ons would have addressed e-mail and other channels.

To solve customer service issues today, however, customers aren’t just picking up the phone. They’re using Google, Twitter, or asking questions on a company’s Facebook wall. But legacy CRM platforms don’t connect with those channels, creating a divide between companies and their customers. That’s where the Service Cloud comes in — it allows companies to bridgePhoto: Courtesy of Emdot/Flickr that gap.

How does the Service Cloud connect with Facebook?

Companies can now automatically bring posts on their company’s wall from Facebook into the Service Cloud and either open cases or manually have someone respond to it. That way, you can service those customers with the same processes that you would use for more traditional channels.

For example, KLM is using both the Service Cloud and Salesforce Radian6, the leading social media monitoring platform, as part of its service strategy. When the volcano erupted in Iceland last year, KLM’s customers got stranded at Schiphol airport and all of the traditional channels — phone, e-mail, etc. — were clogged. KLM turned to Twitter to connect with customers, and earned major kudos for doing so. That’s a real-world example of how social media really changed the game for customer service.

For these types of service initiatives, knowledge management is often a large component. How does the Service Cloud support that?

Absolutely, knowledge is core to everything we do across the Service Cloud, and what’s great is people can access or update knowledge base articles in real-time and share the articles inside the organization and with customers in self-service environments.

For example, if I’m a typical phone agent, when a customer calls in, I can access the Service Cloud console. As I type in my case, the Service Cloud can automatically suggest articles to help agents be more productive and solve problems more quickly. The agent can also share the article via e-mail, giving a customer access to any article in the public knowledge base.

For which particular use cases or sizes of organizations do you recommend the Service Cloud?

The awesome thing about the cloud is that it really democratizes software functionality and delivery. You can be a small business like AtHomeNet or large business like KLM, and have access to the same capabilities of the Service Cloud.

How do you address high-availability concerns? For organizations coming from the on-premise call center world, that’s often a big concern.

Salesforce.com’s uptime compares favorably with that of on-premise systems at far lower cost and greater flexibility.

Salesforce.com has nearly 100,000 customers, including more than 16,000 Service Cloud customers, that rely on salesforce.com every single day. Availability is very important to us, as is customer success — and we’ve set the industry tone for transparency, availability and performance and have a record to be proud of. That’s also why we were the first cloud vendor to launch a site such as trust.salesforce.com, where you can view up-to-date information about the performance of our site.

Vis-à-vis the Service Cloud, what’s some typical customer feedback?

We survey our customers every six months, and our most recent survey found a 95% satisfaction rating for salesforce.com and the Force.com platform. In addition, on average, our Service Cloud customers reported these improvements:

  • 41% increase in agent productivity, compared to on-premise CRM
  • 34% increase in first-call resolution
  • 35% increase in customer satisfaction overall
  • 85% indicated they now offer improved service and support

The Service Cloud really helps organizations connect with customers and meet the new social challenges on Twitter, Facebook and more. With the Service Cloud, companies can scale their operations quickly and easily to meet their current — as well as future — service requirements.

Learn More

To create a cloud CRM service program that excels, start by asking the right questions, about everything from case management to program measurement.

Likewise, improving your customer service program requires knowing which aspects of your program are already top-notch, and which need improving. Take our short quiz to see how your service program compares to best practices and industry benchmarks.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Emdot.

 

AdamHonig

Adam Honig

Adam actively guides the vision, strategy and operations of Innoveer Solutions, and helps the firm excel at providing services that achieve business objectives. Under Adam’s direction, Innoveer Solutions has achieved industry-leading customer satisfaction levels, won numerous awards and achieved a world-class reputation. Based on both his business acumen and CRM expertise, Adam has won the Boston Business Journal's "40 under 40" award and is a six-time judge of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. Quoted by leading publications in the United States and Europe, they regularly feature Adam’s perspective on CRM. He also writes a weekly blog focused on the CRM market, new trends and insights into successful CRM projects. Adam earned a Bachelors Degree from Cornell University.

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