In Salesforce’s 2018 State of the Connected Customer Report, a double blind survey of 6,723 consumer and business buyers, the CRM giant found that 80 percent of customers say the experience that a company provides is as important as its products or services.
The same report shows that when it comes to providing good customer service, the bar has been raised even higher with 67 percent of customers confirming their standard for brand journeys is higher than ever.
With customer service agents being held responsible for occupying a large portion of customer’s time compared to their sales or marketing counterparts, it’s become more critical than ever that businesses empower agents to represent the public face of the company and become a central asset in driving short and long-term business growth.
However, according to research from The Quality Assurance & Training Connection (QATC), the average annual turnover rate for agents in US contact centers ranges between 30 to 45 percent—that range is more than double the average for all occupations in the US. Without a combination of the proper technology and training, an agent’s ability to deliver service excellence becomes a real challenge. That’s where Salesforce Service Cloud comes in.
Here are five common customer service agent challenges and how to solve them through Service Cloud.
A service agent is only as good as their ability to operate autonomously, but in some cases agents lack an official resource library or have to jump from one platform to another to guide themselves through answering common FAQs or more complex requests. This culminates in a poor agent user experience and ultimately restricts agents from knowledge sharing, which slows down response times as a result.
Service Cloud Pro Tip: By integrating Service Cloud with Community Cloud, agents are better equipped with a user-friendly portal to facilitate knowledge sharing. In addition to an increase in support team collaboration, these portals can be tailored into an easily accessible customer portal to encourage customers to answer their own questions through FAQ resources and chatbot functionality.
Call transfers can be one of the tiniest but most essential actions an agent can take when in pursuit of meeting a customer’s need. Whether the baton is being passed from an agent to a fellow sales colleague or quality assurance counterpart, it’s certain that without streamlined cross-collaboration between neighboring departments, agents miss opportunities to build connected and seamless customer engagements. That tiny call transfer can often also feel like a major barrier to resolution for the customer on the other end of the call, which is why so many support centers monitor their first-contact resolution (FCR) rate.
Service Cloud Pro Tip: Service Cloud Voice allows support teams to design, build and embed complicated phone trees and unify them with social media communications, email channels and other CRM data without having to navigate between multiple screens or frantically dial a slew of buttons in order to provide a smooth handoff between teams. It’s simple and single pane. What more could an agent ask for?
There’s no doubt that emotional intelligence (EQ) is a key skill an agent must develop (yes EQ can be developed) to winover customer sentiment, but even the most experienced agents can struggle to de-escalate a difficult customer situation and then out of nowhere, a call gets dropped or a live chat conversation is prematurely ended because of a call center system glitch.
Service Cloud Pro Tip: Putting Service Cloud in place helps reduce the risk and probability of call center technical malfunction that typically puts the onus on agents to troubleshoot call center system outages in real time while still conversing with the customer. This way, agents can devote more time empathizing and leveling with emotionally charged customers and less time troubleshooting system crashes while on the line or live chatting with them.
Established customer service practices have the unique duty to cross-sell and upsell customers. In order to do either of those things, an agent needs to have a reputation for exceeding every customer’s expectations. The challenge lies with having unrestricted access to the right tools to do so.
Service Cloud Pro Tip: Not only can Service Cloud enable agents to function as pseudo sales reps by generating, qualifying and tracking the leads and opportunities, it also provides custom reporting dashboards that show how an individual agent’s day-to-day efforts are central to the growth of the organization and ultimately contribute to bottom line revenue. Having a transparent window into data that shows how they’re making a difference can be very empowering for agents, especially for those who are eager to climb the corporate ladder. It can be the determining factor for whether or not an individual chooses to stay and grow with a company long-term.
Let’s face it, multitasking is an idealistic skill, but it sure isn’t a realistic expectation for companies to use as criteria when evaluating the performance of their service arm. If an agent has multiple support tickets open, what can they do to prioritize them accordingly?
Service Cloud Pro Tip: The answer to the tale-as-old-as-time debacle of how customer service reps are supposed to manage their time and coordinate support ticket completion effectively is this—use Service Cloud’s predictive, omnichannel features to ensure workable support ticket caseloads and call volumes. Service Cloud is smart enough to pause requests coming through when agents are on the phone due to exceeded case load capacity without artificial intelligence features being thrown into the mix.
Wondering how to properly evaluate whether your team needs a custom Service Cloud implementation? Connect with our consulting experts here.
Jerad Tonn is Canpango’s Channel Manager for the Intelisys network. Utilizing his extensive knowledge of the Salesforce ecosystem combined with his willingness to create 360-degree CX solutions for companies of all sizes, Jerad is committed to helping his channel partners help their clients reach operational bliss through the combined capabilities of CCaaS, UCaaS, VOIP and their unique integrations with Salesforce.
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