Salesforce Service Cloud
One of the greatest benefits of the increasingly reliable and ubiquitous state of cloud technology is the removal of business silos and the consolidation of information flow, both in-house and on the road. This is of particular importance to the many different types of professionals whose work involves customer relationship management (CRM). Very often opportunities are lost due to client data being unavailable at the moment it is needed, the right solution lost in a pile of electronic bookmarks, or the fact that people simply cannot directly connect, resulting in telephone tag, delays and a marked drop in customer satisfaction.
Numerous organizations have striven to improve the CRM experience, both for the customer and company agents and representatives, but few have attained the degree of seamless execution that is apparent in the new Salesforce Service Cloud, from San Francisco-based Salesforce.com; an application that succeeds in pulling together all of the disparate elements of CRM into a single dashboard, which also happens to be whichever dashboard you happen to be sitting in front of: in your office, in your car, or on your smart device.
When a company has the reputation that Salesforce.com enjoys – as an organization that has established itself as a leader and an innovator in numerous sales and client management techniques, the expectations for an impressive rollout are high, and Salesforce.com delivers.
“The Salesforce Service Cloud offers a platform that essentially transfers the traditional contact center into an engagement center, fulfilling the mandate of the modern social media culture to not simply deliver information, but to fully involve the client,” says Michael Chou, Director of Product Management for Salesforce.com.
It achieves this in a number of ways including an essential one-touch approach to integrating customer histories and tasks into a single location, and then augmenting that by enabling additional inbound information such as Facebook likes or Twitter feeds to add to the profile. This same social media connection ensures that when customers are talked to, it is on the platform they prefer, whether that is traditional phone or email, or through a preferred social media channel.
Adding to the growing benefits of crowdsourcing, collaboration and wikis, the Salesforce Service Cloud places high priority on “swarming,” in which additional agents can be brought in online, to fully address the specific needs of a customer, to provide access to case histories and solutions and to escalate immediately when necessary.
Real-time knowledge about a customer is provided by a 360 degree view (items such as product purchase history, service/help requests, latest tweets, or FaceBook interests) which can be displayed on a multi-monitor setup, to allow a CRM agent to deliver a type of air-traffic control for every individual.
A degree of added coolness is delivered through its dynamic knowledge base structure. Salesforce Service Cloud encourages and then taps into conversation communities in which customers interact and converse with each other as well as with company reps, discussing experiences, sharing stories and offering specific solutions. These are then collected and added to a knowledge base alongside any relevant data located through Google-style web searches, to create a dynamic and easy-to-use wiki.
Naturally, this technique is KCS certified.
Although Salesforce is far from the only fish in the CRM sea, they are certainly a big fish, and they have not let their size or relative age slow them down. The Salesforce Service Cloud platform, which has been developed and refined over a number of years, demonstrates a degree of agility, innovation and pragmatic adoption of new age technologies that appear to offer a powerful solution to the double-edged sword of CRM: clients who expect but do not receive satisfactory service, and agents who are hamstrung by time, resources and caseload. “With the Salesforce Service Cloud, we are finally in a place where problems, solutions, customers and agents can meet and communicate in one place, and drive the business relationship forward, which is the goal of every company,” said Chou.
Additional information about the Salesforce Service Cloud including demos and trial offers are available.
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By Steve Prentice
Steve Prentice is a project manager, writer, speaker and expert on productivity in the workplace, specifically the juncture where people and technology intersect. He is a senior writer for CloudTweaks.