Achieving true efficiency via Salesforce Omnichannel

Solution Architect Paul Hardy discusses how omnichannel technology is crucial to the smooth running of contact centres...

One of the core challenges we see with every contact centre is how to get the right work to the right agent, at the right time. The ultimate goal must be to put the customer first whilst maintaining an optimum use of resources and adherence to SLAs. 

How do we achieve such nirvana in a world where customers expect real-time interactions via the channel which takes their fancy at that particular moment??

‘Omnichannel’ is Salesforce’s answer to this conundrum. This powerful feature debuted in 2015 and has been growing in sophistication ever since. Omnichannel consumes ‘work’ from any channel you care to mention and intelligently routes it to the best available agent based on criteria you define. 

There are some important points to note here. The term ‘work’ has been used intentionally because omnichannel is not just about routing support cases. You can route live chats, phone calls, SOS alerts, text messages leads or a custom object using Omnichannel, to name but a few. 

When work comes in it is assigned a relative size and priority, before being held in a queue until an agent becomes available. The size is important because each agent will have predefined capacity which dictates how much work they may take on and prevents them from becoming overloaded. For example we would typically assign a chat a heavier ‘weight’ than a standard case (given it is a real-time channel) and therefore an agent can handle fewer simultaneous chats than standard cases. 

As with most Salesforce features Omnichannel continues to evolve and new features are regularly being added. As of the Winter 20 release we now have the option to utilise skills based routing. As the name suggests, we can now automatically match the work coming in with the skills of agents. Not only that but we can define a skill level which can also be used in the routing logic. Issues which are complex or require specialist knowledge can now be sent straight to the most appropriate agents. 

So far so good. But how do we manage all of this? Fortunately Salesforce has given us the Omnichannel Supervisor feature. Here your contact centre managers will see a real-time overview of their agents, queues and work. Wait times, work in progress and requests for assistance can be monitored. Omni supervisors can ‘whisper’ advice to agents without being seen by the customer. They can also make quick adjustments to agents’ queue assignments or skills to respond to the ever changing service environment. 

In summary then Omnichannel is indeed a powerful tool which should be leveraged to achieve maximum efficiency for your service teams. Some advice based on real world experience. 

Firstly it is critical to understand the change management implications. Will your agents respond well to having their work assignment full automed, or is it better to leave some element of choice? 

Secondly, there is always a balance to be achieved when working out how to map the work coming in to the skills of your agents. It is better to start simple and introduce additional sophistication over time in order to manage the compromise of granularity vs maintenance. 

To learn more about Omnichannel or Service Cloud please reach out to our Service Cloud Practice Lead Tye Barnes at [email protected]. You can also learn more about makepositive’s own Service Cloud Accelerator by watching our webinar Supercharge your customer service experience on the topic with customer speaker Visioncall.


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