“To keep a customer demands as much skill as to win one.” – American Proverb
Marketing and sales may bring in the customer but what makes them stay is great customer support.
‘Customer Support’ means exactly what it sounds like – supporting the customer, serving the customer. People are vaguely aware of its importance in the grand scheme of things but ensuring that you have best-in-class customer support can do your business a world of good.
A big part of this is to provide timely resolutions to your customers. That’s where service level agreements (SLAs) come into play.
Every business, today, realizes that being SLA-compliant is the key to customer success. So, most businesses have processes in place to ensure that they comply with the SLA availability guarantees.
And just having a talented customer support team in place isn’t enough to be SLA-compliant. You must provide the good folks on the team with the right tools to stay on top of customer conversations and provide timely support. One platform that enables your team to do so is Salesforce Service Cloud.
Let’s explore the role of SLAs in establishing a truly best-in-class customer support system and how you can power it with Salesforce Service Cloud, shall we?
The SLA Conundrum
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) between you and your customer defines how your relationship will work in the future.
This sounds simple, in theory. In practice, though, there could be several major challenges. For instance, in order to track SLAs, managers have to extract a ton of raw data, write custom queries, and build elaborate Excel formulas and reports. And even after all of this, it’s not a given that SLAs always align with their business priorities.
Another challenge that teams face is the flexibility in reporting, or the lack thereof. Even though there are many unique circumstances influencing SLA compliance, like how long it takes for a customer to reply to you, most SLA reports don’t simply account for them.
You either meet your SLA or you don’t. There’s no way to single out something in a report that shows why.
The Best Practices to Manage SLAs
Defining and meeting SLAs can ensure your support team complies with contractual obligations and can also help in increasing CSAT.
One way to do this is to create an SLA that stops tracking resolution time, while you’re waiting for a customer to respond. Support teams should be able to measure their own response times and effectively provide the best possible service.
There could be a case where customers are not quick to reply or there could be third-party escalations. So, one trick is to ensure that your measurement and reporting systems can accommodate these exceptions.
Another good practice is to break up large or complex SLAs. It’s better to use a series of smaller SLAs rather than creating complex ones. This would help you measure and report on the individual pieces of your workflow.
You should also set different performance goals on the basis of ticket priority levels. It’s essential to have the flexibility to change or edit SLAs easily to keep your team’s priorities completely aligned with changing business needs.
Salesforce Service Cloud – Augmenting Support Teams, One Customer at a Time
The core purpose of Salesforce Service Cloud is to foster one-to-one relationships with every customer across multiple channels and devices.
It enables users to automate service processes, streamline workflows, and find key articles, topics, and experts to support customer service agents. No doubt, Salesforce Service Cloud is the world’s top-ranking customer service platform.
Service Cloud users manage their SLAs with service contracts, entitlements, milestones, and assets.
By taking the power of Service Cloud and making it your own, you can be smart and effective with your SLA compliance. In the current landscape, there’s this incessant need to deliver more with less. And the only way to make it happen is – Automation!
Here are the high-level benefits that come with the right automation in Salesforce Service Cloud:
- Increased Execution Speed: There’s no doubt that automation works faster than people in terms of pace and speed. It also provides the ability for 24×7 operations when it’s used side by side with self-service and self-help capabilities.
- Extended and Enhanced Human Capabilities: With AI automation, you can do so much more than an average support rep can. AI especially works wonderfully with staff augmentation.
- Reduced Human Intervention: Automation doesn’t always need to replace human activities, it can also be used to augment existing automation-based activities.
- Greater Flexibility and Adaptability: It’s easier to change automation-based activities than people-based ones.
A few things that absolutely need to be automated in Salesforce Service Cloud are:
- Ticket processing and work progression
- Password resets
- Knowledge bases or content availability
- Self-service resolutions
Having said that, faster case resolution doesn’t mean that your customers are satisfied with your service.
For a support manager, it is crucial for you to continually review how your support staff is handling cases and if there is a need for more training. The key here is continuous improvement, measuring your metrics, fixing what is not working, and optimizing system workflows.
In Service Cloud, automate the process of reviewing your agents’ performance and implement algorithms that will help you stay on top of key performance metrics, such as the number of cases created and solved, average resolution time, call handling time, unattended calls/chats, etc.
The Bottom Line
Although Salesforce Service Cloud can win half the battle for you, putting the customer first and caring about them is sure to take you a long way in meeting your SLAs and making your customer experience a truly ‘best-in-class’ one.
By combining your ‘customer-first’ mindset and the magic of Service Cloud, you’ll definitely see your life getting easier, SLAs met, and in the long run, a better CSAT.
Wish to Extract the Magic of Salesforce Service Cloud? Let’s Talk!
The Salesforce Service Cloud wizards at Grazitti would love to pitch in. Just drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll take it from there!