Salesforce reimagines service cloud to transform customer service from anywhere

New Service Cloud innovations give organisations the technology they need today to support  agents working from home, in the field or in a hybrid model – all in one system.

Salesforce introduced the next generation of Service Cloud — technology to support changing customer  service expectations and provide connected, personalised service from anywhere on one digital engagement platform, the CRM company announced on 22 April.

As parts of the world are beginning to re-open—53% of U.S. consumers plan to fly on a plane by the end of this year, and 97% plan to shop inside a store, Salesforce believes that reopenings will also introduce a  slew of new questions around updated policies, protocols, and safety measures: 82% of consumers expect to continue contacting customer service at pandemic-level rates yet just 36% of service professionals feel fully prepared to handle a surge in service and support cases.

“We are on the cusp of a great reopening of society, and companies know they need to move quickly to seize the moment,” said Clara Shih, CEO of Service Cloud, Salesforce. “While  customers and companies alike are eager to return to in-person experiences, digital behaviours  we learned and grew accustomed to during the pandemic are here to stay.”

According to a Forrester report authored by Kate Leggett, VP Principal Analyst, Forrester,  “Customer service leaders must stay abreast of three megatrends in 2021 as they weather the storm: AI-fueled digital experiences underpin great customer service, modern agent desktops empower agents to best serve customers, and customer service technology enables resilience and sustainability.

Salesforce also announced key updates to Service Cloud Voice, Workforce Engagement, and Visual  Remote Assistant, among others, all applicable across industries from retail to manufacturing:

Modernizing the contact centre

Service Cloud Voice brings together phone, digital channels and CRM data in one central view for service agents, and offers the agent real-time call transcription and AI-powered guidance on recommended next steps. For the first time, customers can connect their existing phone systems into Service Cloud Voice with Service Cloud Voice for Partner Telephony, creating a unified agent and digital channel experience to deliver faster, smarter and more personalised service.

Service Cloud Workforce Engagement is a new workforce planning product that uses artificial intelligence to help service leaders predict how many requests will come into the contact centre,  and on which channels — including phone, email, web chat, text and social. Service leaders can intelligently plan staffing needs, matching agents to work based on their skills, availability and shift preference. Agents have a single workspace that integrates data, as well as real-time coaching and on-demand training from anywhere with myTrailhead, an online learning platform integrated directly into Service Cloud.

Automating digital service

Eighty-one percent of service decision makers report that they are accelerating digital initiatives, and in the past year Einstein Bot conversations surged 706%, while service channels like chat,  messaging apps and video support saw double-digit adoption gains.

Einstein Bots are intelligent chatbots that simulate human conversations and can quickly resolve common issues like processing a return or checking flight status. In doing so, they empower agents to devote more time and resources to complex problem-solving and customer interactions.  In just a few clicks with Salesforce’s low-code capabilities, customers can deploy a new chatbot by leveraging Pre-Built Einstein Bots to assist with service requests.

Scaling field service

Office buildings, sports stadiums, and malls will need to ramp up to address throngs of people excited to be back together in the community again. Sectors including food service,  manufacturing, sanitation, and utilities in particular are increasing their use of Salesforce Field  Service to prepare for the surge in infrastructure and servicing demands– everything from elevator maintenance, lights and air quality systems as people return to work, to concert and sports venues, airports, and museums. These indoor spaces have largely sat vacant for the last 12 months and require checks and maintenance before they are ready for prime time.

As companies continue to limit in-person interactions and prioritise employee health and safety,  delivering trusted and effective visual support will remain important. Mobile technicians can reduce time on site by using Visual Remote Assistant, which allows technicians and agents to see what the customer sees through video support, so they can resolve complex issues from anywhere.