Providing Consistent Customer Service When Everything Else Is Up In The Air

April 21, 2020 Monika Burchfield

With Service Cloud, your CX team can meet customer expectations, even when working remotely.

Video conferencing customer and employee

Business isn’t easy for anyone during the COVID-19 crisis. Those of us fortunate enough to still be operating are coming up against new challenges. This is particularly true when it comes to customer service. As everyone deals with uncertainty, call center volumes are up to unprecedented levels. This has been especially true for businesses like airlines, banks, and insurance companies.

In response to the crisis, many employees are being asked to work from home. This is exacerbating the challenge of surging call volume because not all call centers are integrated into a computer system (CTI) that will allow agents to work remotely. Fortunately, our clients who have Service Cloud have more options.

Service Cloud allows users to automate processes, streamline workflows, and support agents with crucial information.  With a solid foundation of Service Cloud, you can build on what you have to provide the level of service your customers expect, even in a time of uncertainty. Here are the various channels to consider and how you can act quickly to get these solutions up and running. 

Phone 

Are your teams using 3rd party phone systems like Amazon Connect, b+s Connects for Cisco, Five9, or NewVoiceMedia? You can integrate your call center operations and let your users feel like they never left the office. 

Web Forms

Have a company website? Set up a form to create cases to help manage the inquiries and issues that you may be seeing. 

Email 

Collect inquiries via e-mail and turn it into a case with a bit of thoughtful design. 

Messaging

If your organization is already Lightning enabled, you can set up SMS Text Messaging, Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp to respond quickly and efficiently to customers. Setting up keywords can help you route the inquiry to the correct agent and keep response times low.

Chat

Maintain the human connection through chat via a web browser. Your teams can answer questions, provide standard responses, and stay connected across markets 
Websites / Mobile Apps
You can embed Service Cloud features into your website or your mobile application to meet your customers on the go. 

Social Media 

With this feature enabled the increase in posts can stimulate leads and cases. 
Through your Customer Communities 
If you have a community that allows customers to collaborate with each other, you can give them the ability to submit questions to a customer service representative, when they can’t find the answer on their own. 

Guided Help Center

Your visitors can search and view articles and contact you with a web form without the use of a Community. This is easy to get up and running if your organization has knowledge articles enabled.

It is both tempting and, thanks to Salesforce’s “Clicks not Code” way, technically simple to enable your teams with these features quickly BUT it is important to remain intentional in your design considerations. Here are some important things to think about before asking your IT team to flip the switch:

Customer Experience

  • What will customers find when they try to find an answer to a question or reach a person? 

Security

  • How will we protect the privacy and security of customer data?
  • What information should agents have access to when working with our customers? 

Training

  • How will I train my users who are working from home for the first time? 
  • What’s the best channel to use to provide training for a remote team? 

Collaboration

  • How will front line agents work together or escalate issues when they need support? 
  • What support can I provide supervisors? 

Communication and Branding

  • What can I do to maintain the standards of our brand? 
  • How do I ensure that agents deliver a consistent message? 

As you proceed, we are ready to help. We have accelerators in place - bits of code, enterprise implementation experience and a team of experienced guides to help you overcome these hurdles in a short amount of time. We look forward to helping you deliver consistent customer service, throughout this crisis and beyond. To learn more about who we can support your transition to the next normal, get in touch.

About the Author

Monika Burchfield

Monika Burchfield joined Appirio after nearly 20 years of professional practice as a nonprofit executive. Over her career, she's raised millions for education, youth programs, and health and social services. In 2018, she earned her CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive) designation and holds a Masters and Bachelors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Over her career, she’s volunteered to develop reporting, database training, and user adoption efforts at every opportunity.

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