Though they run on the same platform, Salesforce built Sales Cloud and Service Cloud with philosophically different goals in mind. In what way? Sales Cloud is chiefly an internal tool that businesses can use to boost user productivity, promote collaboration and better track valuable data. And while Service Cloud does all of that too, it’s primarily an external tool that your support agents can use to field, address and answer customer communications more efficiently.
But none of that can happen if Service Cloud doesn’t… well… connect with your customer. This solution suite comes standard with email functionality like Email to Case, but research shows that customers expect the ability to reach your business in more ways than just email. Take a look at these stats:
- Companies with multi-channel service offerings retain 89% of their customers, on average, compared to 33% for companies without them.
- Aspect Software found that 91% of customers expect the ability to switch customer service channels and pick up right where they left off.
For better or worse, these industry trends put the onus on your company to connect your service suite with the multi-channel experience your customers desire. Luckily, the Salesforce AppExchange and broader ecosystem contain dozens of products designed to increase the connectivity of your internal platform. Here are our 5 favorite Salesforce Service Cloud add-ons that will help your employees seamlessly connect with customers to drive brand loyalty and higher retention rates.
5 Salesforce Service Cloud add-ons to better connect with your customer
1. Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)
Stay with me here! I understand the temptation to mentally shut down and glaze over when facing a phrase like “Computer Telephony Integration,” but CTI is hardly as complicated as it looks. It means tying your phone system to your computer and, in this case, cloud applications like Salesforce. In the service world, this benefits your employees in many ways, such as:
- Easy on-screen identification of who’s calling from where, with a potential “screen pop” of the relevant person’s or company’s information
- A built-in “softphone” within the platform so agents can dial out without leaving the application
- “Click-to-dial” technology that lets you start outbound calls just by clicking on an on-screen phone number
- Automatic call logging in the platform for more complete history tracking & better monitoring of customer service KPIs
Overall, these telephone integrations save your agents hours of time each week and promote better data accuracy and quicker call resolution time. The number of available solutions depends on your phone provider — some integrations are only built for specific systems. Others require you to replace your current phone setup. But products like TenFold and Ingenius let you keep your existing hardware.
2. Texting Integration
If you’ve spent much time around Millennials (like me), you know that we tend to rarely press the elusive “dial” button on our phones. In fact, Marketing Sherpa found that consumers from ages 18 to 34 prefer engaging with companies via text rather than voice calls.
Enter Salesforce texting solutions like LiveMessage or SMSMagic, which relate entire text conversations to Salesforce records and allow agents to drive multiple text conversations at once directly from Salesforce. That means fewer customers on hold and fewer support agents tied up on extended calls.
3. Social Media Integration
Your company’s social media pages have become the public face of your brand. That makes it critical to respond rapidly to customer questions and issues sent via social. Your marketing team could do that, but remember the stat above? Customers want a consistent experience across channels. If they have an issue, they want to reach your customer service team. But how can you filter incoming social posts so that they’re routed to your support agents only if they contain a problem?
That’s where Salesforce’s Social Studio is so valuable. When used together with Service Cloud and the right automation tool, it monitors activity across your social channels and searches for specific keywords and language to identify support needs and route them to your customer service team. From there, your agents can track the issue like any other service case and respond via any social channel the customer prefers!
4. Shipping apps
But despite all this talk about modern communication technology, the world’s oldest customer support channel is still relevant today. And until someone discovers a way to transport physical objects through Tweets, some support teams will continue to rely on mail and postage to deliver critical supplies.
If your business routinely ships to customers or partners, consider a Salesforce shipping app like Zenkraft. These third-party solutions allow support agents to track shipments and returns directly in Salesforce, so they can quickly schedule pickups, print labels for new deliveries or check shipment statuses as they engage with customers through Service Cloud.
5. Survey Integration
And when all is said and done, each customer connection presents an excellent opportunity to collect feedback. How are we doing, company-wide and within our service team specifically? Did we resolve your problem? Remember that customers typically only tell your support team about the single issue that’s bothering them at that moment — they might not share their full feelings about your company (good or bad) unless you ask.
So pair Service Cloud with a survey tool. Many options exist on the AppExchange, and some common solutions include SurveyMonkey, GetFeedback, Formstack and Simple Survey. While the specific features of each tool vary, all of them allow you to generate surveys quickly, send them to customers and automatically record responses. At the end of the day, any of these Salesforce Service Cloud add-ons offer you loads of customer data to analyze and act upon, bringing you closer to your clients than ever.
Looking for more ways to grow closer with your customer? Check out these 3 critical steps to becoming customer-centric.