Salesforce Service Cloud is the market leading customer engagement software for customer engagement centers (Gartner). Service Cloud enables agents to provide service across many channels. Supported channels include phone, chat, email, social, video, and online communities. With Service Cloud, service channels can be embedded across a variety of customer experiences such as a website, online forum, or mobile app. Typically, Salesforce Service Cloud is implemented in the context of the Service Console, a robust agent desktop that enables agents to get a 360-degree view of the customer all on one page.
Service Cloud provides the bulk of channels and technology necessary to serve the modern customer right out of the box. For online chat channel there is LiveAgent, an online chat tool that can be easily launched by a customer from an embedded chat button on a website, forum, or mobile app. Salesforce offers a tool called SOS for video where the customer can initiate a video session from an embedded button much like LiveAgent. In Communities, a community manager can easily escalate a question to a service ticket to be included into the agent’s service queue. Alternatively, agents can answer questions directly in the community. Email service tickets are straightforward with Salesforce’s Email-to-Case feature where agents can email back and forth with the customer right from the Service Console. Salesforce’s social monitoring features allow pre-defined rules to create service tickets from certain phrases, as well as, allow a social media manager to escalate certain social posts.
As a result of the ever-expanding number of channels available to customers it is critical that agents have the capability to have their work prioritized in a straightforward manner. With so many channels it is easy for a support agent to feel like they are “getting hit from all sides.” Thankfully with the introduction of the Omni-Channel feature in Salesforce Service Cloud agents (or their managers) can manage their availability and workload across channels. The result is a seamless customer and agent experience regardless of the service channel.
In comparison with other service channels Salesforce takes a different approach with the telephony. Salesforce relies on computer telephony integration (CTI) specialists such as InGenius® to integrate phone systems with Salesforce. InGenius Connector Enterprise provides voice integration with the Salesforce Omni-Channel widget to ensure that cases from other channels such as emails or chats are sent to blended agents during breaks in phone activity.
Traditionally, agents have had to set the status of their availability to accept phone calls in the phone widget. With InGenius Connector Enterprise 4.0, agents no longer have to actively set their status, but can rely on InGenius to ensure that their telephony and Omni-Channel statuses are kept in sync. For example, if an agent is on a call, InGenius informs Salesforce Omni-Channel, and the Omni-Channel widget prevents other cases from being sent to the agent until they have wrapped up their phone call. InGenius works closely with Salesforce Omni-Channel to prevent work items from being pushed to an agent on a call, so that the agent can focus on the customer voice interaction. When agents are not on a call, InGenius notifies Salesforce Service Cloud so that weighted, non-voice work can be pushed to the agent via the Omni-Channel widget.
Because InGenius is connected directly to the phone switch agents will automatically set to ready or not ready as their Omni-Presence status changes and they interact with other channels!
Let’s take a look at a blended customer service use case with Omni-Presence and InGenius in action. A blended agent logs into Salesforce for the day, and is pushed service cases through the Omni-Channel widget. When the blended agent receives a phone call, InGenius pops the Salesforce customer record and changes the telephony Agent State to “On the Phone.” InGenius informs Salesforce that the agent is on a call and as a result, the Salesforce Omni-Channel Presence state is changed to Unavailable. This allows the blended agent to focus on the telephone call without the distraction of emails, or chats being pushed to her.
When the call is concluded, InGenius logs the call in Salesforce and the Omni-Channel status automatically reverts back to Available, showing that the agent is available for the next work item such as an email, chat, or a phone call.
All of the time spent in these various Salesforce Service Presence states are automatically stored in Salesforce. This allows management teams to use the powerful Salesforce reporting to see how each agent spent time during their shift, without needing detailed reports from the phone system.
With InGenius and Salesforce Omni-Channel, agents benefit from a well-managed workload, managers get a complete view of agent productivity, and operations teams drive a more efficient call center by optimizing agent usage during phone downtime.
About Paul Fischer
Paul Fischer is an experienced Salesforce consultant who has worked with Fortune 500 companies on their customer relationship management (CRM) needs. Since 2012, he’s helped clients improve by focusing both on strategy and technology to create frictionless and delightful customer experiences. Paul is a Functional Architect for Magnet360 and has previously done consulting work with Tata Consultancy Services, RelationEdge and GearsCRM. He currently holds 9 Salesforce certifications and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia, where he was a Presidential Scholar. Paul loves learning about new features of the Salesforce platform, particularly the Lightning Experience and computer telephony integration (CTI). He is an active blogger with content published on No Jitter and guest blogs on Salesforce-related sites. He has also presented at Dreamforce, the annual user conference hosted by Salesforce, on driving sales productivity.