Research has shown that customers are less loyal than ever. With an abundance of choice, goods and services are no longer the sole USP that customers use to determine value. Shockingly, over 70% of customers say experience is more important than the price or quality of their actual purchase.
How can businesses prevent their existing customer base from fleeing for other options and build their brand at the same time?
In this article, we’ll share our ultimate Salesforce Service Cloud user guide. Salesforce is the world’s leading CRM, and Service Cloud is its flagship platform for all your customer service needs.
We’ll begin by outlining why customer service is so important, what Service Cloud can offer you, why it’s so powerful and where it can add value to your business.
- How can good service give my business an edge?
- What is Service Cloud and what can it do?
- Does my business need Service Cloud specifically?
How can good service give my business an edge?
Customer service facilitates your entire sales funnel and supports your brand.
Positive interactions at early stages can help cultivate a friendly reputation. Mid-funnel interactions can demonstrate the knowledge and skill of your staff, and post-funnel interactions promote retention and repeat purchases.
If done well, each interaction contributes to a cohesive experience that can set you apart from competitors — an especially important feature for sectors with limited market differentiation.
Yet, in an age of Yelp and Trust Pilot, the customer has more power than ever to undermine businesses. Bad reviews stick out like a sore thumb, even if they’re a small minority of your customer interactions, and only good customer service can protect you.
If it wasn’t hard enough already, data from PwC shows your timescale is tight. Although around 60% of consumers give firms the benefit of the doubt, nearly 20% of customers leave brands after just one bad experience — rising to a staggering 32% of brands they love.
The payoff is more than just brand
So far we’ve spoken as if customer service is solely capable of retaining your existing customer base, but you can also expect to see gains in other areas, with the right strategy.
42% of customers say fast and reliable service is important to them, so where you can demonstrate superior service from competitors, you’ll improve your customer acquisition.
Moreover, customers understand that service comes at a premium, so you could see your margins grow as much as 16% for your trouble.
Altogether, businesses must transform their infrastructure to meet the modern demands of customer service. Namely, using cloud-based platforms to centralise their systems and work in real-time at scale, without compromising on data security or capital constraints.
The complete Salesforce Service Cloud user guide
In this part of our user guide, we’ll break down what Service Cloud can do and how it improves your customer service capabilities.
Between social media, forums, live chats, email, and phone, you need to be everywhere your customers are — even if it’s just to be available on a platform without any marketing impact.
As a result, service teams are spread thin, causing two problems. Firstly, staff waste time managing feedback channels. If you find that your audience congregates on one platform, you may be hesitant to abandon others ‘just in case’. Unfortunately, all this practice does is make your service team inefficient.
Secondly, and consequently, cases sometimes slip through the cracks. Not only are customers overlooked in the short term, but your reputation could suffer if it becomes a regular occurrence.
The omni-channel feature on Service Cloud removes this burden entirely. Service Cloud allows you to centralise your entire customer service presence on one dashboard. Customer issues are routed from any online or phone system, allowing you to expand your service presence while simplifying your team’s workload at the same time.
Moreover, from a brand perspective, this enhanced flexibility means your business is more personalised. Not only can customers use their preferred method of communication to get in touch, but doing so also makes your business more inclusive to different types of support needs.
Around 80% of consumers rated speed and convenience critical in their customer service interactions. And although simplifying your service team’s workload is useful, what if you could automate it and free up talent for more complex problems?
Service Cloud comes with a wide range of tools to automate your service workflows. At a minimum, you can add auto-response features to handle routine enquiries. For example, if customers want to find out more about delivery, warranty or product information, you can set triggers to signpost to FAQ and blog content.
You can also automate the admin in between cases, using macros. Processes like returns can link with the data you have from your customer’s initial purchase and auto-populate the necessary fields, letting you issue refunds with ease.
Tools like these decrease your resolution times and increase your customer satisfaction, adding to your brands USP. However, you can go even further. Einstein AI integrates with Service Cloud and can analyse written and spoken language. Using its insight, you can automate queue management, allowing important cases to take priority and connect customers with niche questions with expert staff.
A unified customer view
It’s one thing to offer good customer service, but the question is how. The current reactive customer service model is outdated. More data means you can switch your strategy to being proactive in addressing customer issues; saving your customers from even needing to reach out in the first place, and building a problem-free brand.
Thanks to Service Cloud’s integration with other Salesforce technologies, you can achieve a 360º customer view under one system. You can access previous purchase history, delivery information and even previous cases associated with a customer, letting you tackle issues more effectively and put an end to recurring problems.
No two businesses are the same, so why should their software be?
Service Cloud is a completely customisable platform, allowing you to revamp the layout of your dashboard with quick drag-and-drop components. You can create menu shortcuts to ensure your team has everything they need at their fingertips and give your customer service an extra edge. No longer will your team have to pour through menus and folders, just to find the right item.
Service Cloud can also integrate with your business architecture through the App Exchange. With over 9 million plug-ins to choose from, you can find a combination that fits your existing tools and lets staff use familiar packages or build a unique solution to scale better with your business.
Businesses need to be more flexible to meet modern working demands from their customers and employees. Fortunately, Service Cloud comes with a variety of tools to help.
Firstly, Service Cloud is run on the cloud, allowing your team to work under one unified system from any environment. Individual staff can take calls or hand over cases just as seamlessly while remote working as in the office using straight-through data processing. If you’re looking for a more effective home working solution or are considering expanding your support to other languages, Service Cloud can readily meet your needs.
Secondly, you can establish case teams on Service Cloud, allowing you to assign issues to more qualified staff. For example, if a customer has a more niche enquiry or on-site requires verification, you can route the case to a staff member who can give the best answer.
Case teams also allow your staff to reach out to one another for advice. For example, you can establish read-only rules that let new staff join chats to learn about issues or write permissions that help supervisors take over when necessary.
Altogether, you can deploy the full range of talent across your business to take on any customer issue with ease and give your staff the autonomy they need to thrive.
A complete learning ecosystem
Service Cloud might seem like a lot to get started with at first, but Salesforce hosts a rich learning ecosystem on Trailhead to help you get ahead.
Trailhead is available, for free, to anyone looking to learn about Salesforce. Trailhead offers modules on everything from best practices and feature updates for developers, to modules on marketing and leadership. So whether you’re looking to appoint an administrator on your service team or let your IT staff familiarise themselves with Service Cloud before it goes live, Trailhead offers everything they’ll need.
Salesforce also has a network of partners to help you save time and access expert advice on Service Cloud. If you find that you want to expand your Service Cloud usage but aren’t quite sure how to get where you want, partners like makepositive can help.
Does my business need Service Cloud specifically?
Now that we’ve run through our Salesforce Service Cloud user guide, you may be wondering why your business needs the software specifically. Service Cloud is but one customer service platform on offer – why choose it over another?
Service Cloud is the best customer service platform because of its array of powerful native features and its unbeatable customisation and integration abilities. Combined, you can deploy a bespoke customer service solution that grows with the needs of your business.
Unlike other service platforms, Service Cloud assimilates across your entire business. As a result, you can simplify your team’s workload and expand your availability to customers at the same time. In the end, your business becomes more personalised and accessible, positioning your brand as more inclusive while helping your service team run more efficiently.
It’s because of benefits like these that Salesforce has been awarded the world’s leading CRM for eight years and running. Put simply, don’t you want the best for your business?
Enhance your customer service quality with Salesforce Service Cloud
Service Cloud provides businesses with a flexible platform and host of tools to resolve customer issues quickly and more efficiently than ever before.
Using our Service Cloud user guide, you can see where Service Cloud adds value to your business: by enhancing your customer service capabilities across your sales funnel, building an efficient team and cultivating a personalised public brand.
Learn more about setting up Service Cloud in your business in our dedicated guide and deliver industry-leading customer service today.
Unlock Service Cloud best practices with our expert advice
makepositive is a Platinum Salesforce Partner with a team of Service Cloud experts. We can help you unleash the full potential of customer support staff and workflows using our Service Cloud Accelerator programme.
We can help align your organisation and software to achieve the outcomes you need, and establish core Service Cloud channels to fully automated workflows and AI-derived insights.
Get in touch with us at email@example.com and learn where Service Cloud and other Salesforce solutions can take your business.