Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)

Introduction

Computer Telephony Integration or CTI is a term that is used to describe the practice of tying your phone system together with your computer systems. It’s a practice that enables you to do a wide range of things that will improve sales and service including:
  • Identifying and routing incoming calls to the right person or department
  • Logging, recording and storing calls for quality assurance and compliance
  • Offering screen pops to your agents with information about the caller, their account, open cases or call history
  • Embedding a soft phone dial pad into your Salesforce interface so that calls can be made using VoIP (voice over internet protocol) or traditional PSTN (public switched telephone network)
  • Enabling agents to click-to-dial or auto-dial contacts
  • Monitoring and measuring key performance indicators like average handle time, first-call resolution, dropped call percentages and more.

Salesforce Call Center can be integrated with third-party CTI systems through Open CTI (javascript API which can be used by developers and partners to build CTI implementation)

Open CTI is supported for both Classic and LEX.

Benefits

  • Open CTI is a browser and platform agnostic.
  • Developers can create customizable soft phones and call-control tools that function as fully integrated parts of Salesforce and Salesforce Console.
  • Browser-based calling offers an integrated experience using a single user interface and eliminates the confusion caused by multiple windows or applications.
  • CTI helps service teams reduce call handle times and increase first call resolution rates by providing screen pops to agents with the information they need to resolve customer issues.
  • The productivity of Support agents increases because of key Salesforce CTI features as below
    • Click-to-dial turns telephone numbers into clickable links that are used to place outbound calls removing the need for slow, error-prone manual dialing
    • Automatic Dialing (dialer) allows creating lead/contact lists within Salesforce. Leads/Contacts can then be automatically dialed.
    • Screen-pop delivers customers information along with the inbound call so that agents get advanced warning of who is calling.
    • SoftPhone helps agents in making and receiving phone calls using a headset, computer and internet connection. Using a contact pad displayed from within Salesforce Interface, agents can place, transfer, park or conference calls.
    • Automatic call logging and Recording helps in logging and recording every call in Salesforce ensuring we get a complete view of activity while saving agents time.
    • Local Presence helps in enabling agents to call into any area and present a local number to the prospect/customer to improve pickup rates.
    • Voicemail Drop can be used to pre-record a voice message that can be left automatically if a customer does not pick a call.
    • Hot Desking allows integrating with existing phone system. Agent can input any phone number and have incoming calls sent to that number.
    • Interactive Voice Response gives callers options to route themselves to the right departments or provide them with self-service options.
    • Skills-based Routing gives the ability to create skills and assign those skills to agents. This helps in routing calls to right agents.
    • Intelligent Routing helps in routing calls to right agent using any data that is help inside salesforce.
    • Simple Authentication of the Caller will allow telephone numbers to act as authentication method making it simpler to identify and verify callers.
    • Centralized and Simplified Call Reporting: All of your important telephone data is inside Salesforce and is centralized and simple to create detailed reports for deep insights.
    • Inside View of Multiple/Global Call Centers: Operating on top of telephony platforms, cloud technology can easily sit across all the call centers that enables viewing of all data in one place, inside Salesforce.
    • Access to Market-leading Technology: The benefits of delivering technology from the cloud mean that the barrier of huge upfront costs has been removed granting access to great technology to all.
  • Offer Callers Simple Self-Service or the option to connect to a Live Agent.
  • Route calls from your toll-free phone number
  • Call Handle times are reduced.
  • Provides an ability to Monitor, Measure and Maximize Call Center Performance.

Implementation Considerations and Options

  • Managed Vs Non-Managed: Check if the chosen provider offers a managed or non-managed service its installation process. For example, NewVoiceMedia offers a completely managed package and admin has to grant only access to Salesforce environment and rest is done by them.
  • Provisioning: The fundamental starting point of any project involving telephony, knowing the telephone numbers you need or want and how to make sure it is all set up and available for your chosen provider to work with
  • Understand Technical Requirements:
    • You must ensure the network is capable of handling the increase in traffic as your voice channel moves to IP
    • What type of interaction will your chosen cloud provider have with your existing telephony and infrastructure? Does it overlay it and be completely system-agnostic or does it require extra downloads, patches, and integration work? This could be costly and have maintenance issues.
  • Access: Is the underlying system has ability to control access?
  • Routing and solution Design: Think about all the different reasons that your customers contact you, and then consider how you would want each of those calls to be treated as a starting point. From here, you can start to consider contextual circumstances and exemptions that mean your customers are handled differently. For example, a VIP customer may be priority routed, or a customer with an outstanding balance may be transferred directly to collections rather than their account manager.
  • IVR Options and Call Prompts: A major benefit of a cloud-based CTI platform for Salesforce is the introduction of intelligent IVRs. By connecting your communications platform with your data inside Salesforce you can start to offer your customers personalized IVR options based on anything that you know about that person.
  • Reporting: Salesforce CTI technology effectively plugs all your communications data into Salesforce, allowing for some pretty smart reporting. With such a wealth of data and reports now available, you need to think about how you are going to extract the data you need from your new platform in a way that is meaningful.
  • Testing: Ensuring that everything is implemented correctly and works as expected is a vital part of any project. Don’t skip or skimp on this stage; make sure you get what you were expecting and that it works as specified in your design phase.
  • Training: The technology is only as good as the user. So, book in plenty of training time to get the best return on your investment. Think about setting up more targeted and specific sessions with fewer attendees so your staff can get quality time with the product expert to run through their typical day-to-day usage.
  • Support: Finally, your support requirements. Your contractual agreement with your supplier will no doubt factor into your support – usually tiered depending on your expenditure. Think about what you will realistically need, and pick the service level that will best suit your requirements. Picking support based on the costs associated with it can be a slippery slope. Think about your support logically, are you likely to need hand-holding when you start or do you think you can be up and running quickly? What will your ongoing requirements be? For example, are you growing rapidly and taking on much new staff? What type of impact do you anticipate this to have on your support needs?
  • Do a traceability matrix across all the vendors who implement CTI using below and decide accordingly.
    • What phone systems do they integrate with?
    • What carriers do they work with?
    • Is it cloud or on-premise?
    • Does it scale?
    • Is it flexible?
    • Is it browser agnostic?
    • Is it OS agnostic?
    • Doesitincludephoneservice?
    • What are the upfront and/or ongoing costs?
    • What are the system requirements?
    • How long will it take to deploy?
    • Do they own their own code?
    • Is it multi-tenant / true cloud?
    • Is it truly global?
    • Does it need downloads or java?

 References

Communities and customer service

Introduction

Communities are a great way to share information and collaborate with people outside your company who are key to your business processes, such as customers, partners, or employees. Whether you call it a portal, a help forum, a support site, HR central, or something else, an online community is a great place to connect with the important folks in your life in a new and different way Salesforce community cloud allows creating customer service and self-service communities for a more personalized support experience for customers. Both Service Cloud and Communities can be integrated on a single Salesforce platform. Templates can be leveraged for creating branded and mobile responsive customer service with the help of lightning community builder. Service cloud Integration allows customer to access an agent via chat, submit a case online, or even be guided through a customer service process in the community.

Benefits

  • Customer service community provides a one-stop support experience to customers. Customers can not only be provided with access to Knowledgebase but they can also collaborate within the community, with service agents, and with partners. This helps in saving the time of customers to a much extent and gives them an awesome customer experience.
  • Customers can be connected to highly engaged customers who can help in solving the frequently asked questions to complex questions which reduces the calls getting into your customer service center way which further helps in reducing the cost.
  • Multiple support channels like the chat with a live agent, case creation through web-to-case and Email-to-case, posting a question in a forum and getting response from other members, accessing knowledge base, can be made available to customers
  • Customers can be provided access with their cases, orders etc so that they can easily track their status instead of reaching out to customer service.
  • Helps in increasing the call deflection and decreasing call volume.
  • Helps in reducing overall cost incurred in a call center.
  • Because of the Knowledge base and collaboration, the agents can concentrate more on the complex issues as frequently asked questions are self-serviced or helped by other highly engaged customers.
  • Products can be enhanced by including product developers with engaged customers for product ideation, feedback, and beta testing.
  • Helps in strengthening loyalty by having a stronger connection with customers
  • A stronger connection with a potential customer involves knowing more about them, their wants, their needs, their past purchases, their likely next purchases. You’ll be offering them solutions tailor-made to their needs so closing deals is more frequent.
  • The topics within the communities can be search engine optimized so that customers can search for these from the search engine.
  • Using communities
    • Using lightning community templates, companies get a community up and running quickly without additional IT resources.
    • Using Lightning community builder, companies can build a consistent, branded experience across all channels.
    • Using Visualforce, Companies brand communities with near-limitless customization
    • Using Personalization, Members’ experience is more relevant so they want to return.
    • Using Engagement feature,
      • Companies engage customers on shared interests and products to build brand advocates.
      • Members earn points and badges and appear on leaderboards to reward engagement
    • With Community Management & Moderation Tools, Community managers handle every aspect of the community with built-in tools.

Implementation Considerations

References

Field Service Lightning

Introduction

The future of business success relies on providing superior customer service. Customers are expecting personalized, connected service everywhere and service expectations have long evolved from the call center. Today’s businesses are not equipped to deliver what customers expect, particularly when it comes to on-site or field service management which is resulting customer experience gap. Field service management helps in numerous industries, particularly those that employ mobile workers or contractors. That includes public utilities and transportation, vending machine services, telecommunications, waste management, financial services, retail, professional services, manufacturing, child care, and so much more Field service management helps organizations manage work tasks of any kind that need to be performed on location. It is a collaboration between numerous parties, including:
  • An Administrator who Sets up field service features according to their unique business needs. This includes installing the Field Service Lightning managed package and Field Service Lightning mobile app
  • Customer who makes the service request or product that requires support
  • an agent who receives the service request and creates a work order
  • the dispatcher who ensures that the right work is assigned to the right mobile employee based on schedules, expertise, and location.
  • the mobile employee who receives the work order and makes the on-site visit to complete the job
With agents, dispatchers, and mobile employees all connected on one platform, operations can be streamlined across the entire service chain, and the customer experience can be more connected than ever. By eliminating friction and frustration for both employees and customers from moment to moment, you’re well on your way to developing a more personalized, predictive customer experience. Field Service Lightning is a set of Salesforce features that provides the tools to manage work orders, scheduling, and mobile workforce, which are essential for running a field service business. Field Service Lightning has three main parts that work together to give you a complete field service management solution.
  1. Core Field Service Lightning features
  2. Scheduling optimization from a managed package
  3. A mobile app for your mobile workforce
Once you enable Field Service Lightning in your organization, admins and agents can:
  • Set operating hours, skill sets, and standard appointment requirements unique to your organization
  • Enable the Salesforce app to provide mobile access to your mobile workforce
  • Track parts and van stock so your mobile workforce has what they need when they’re at a customer site
  • Report and analyze field service data
  • Plan, perform, and track all your field service work, from installations to repairs and maintenance
For additional scheduling capabilities, FSL Managed package can be downloaded. The managed package provides a customizable schedule, real-time map, and dispatcher console so you can get the right tech to the right job at the right time. When the managed package is installed, dispatchers can:
  • Optimize scheduling according to your organization’s work rules and scheduling policies
  • See a bird’s-eye view of appointment lists, scheduling actions, a resource availability chart, and an interactive map in the dispatcher console
  • Integrate and maintain scheduling policies, global actions, sharing tools, and optimization rules with the administration app
Although you can use the Salesforce app to connect with your mobile workforce on their phones, the Field Service Lightning mobile app even works without web access (no signal, no problem!). The Field Service Lightning mobile app is available for free on the App Store and Google Play. Mobile workers using the app can:
  • View their appointment schedule
  • Use Salesforce data to check on work orders, reach contacts, and verify addresses
  • Create and edit records to log work and create follow-up appointments
  • Use Chatter to collaborate with other mobile workers, managers, and dispatchers
  • Track updates with push notifications
  • View Knowledge articles to complete tricky tasks
  • Track service vehicle inventory and parts consumed to comp

Challenges with On-Premise Field Service that are solved by Cloud Solutions like FSL

  • Field service agent needs a 360-degree view of the customer so that he can resolve things efficiently and effectively.
  • Siloed teams out in the field
  • Poor resource allocation
  • Lack of mobile support
  • Lack of integration with CRM.
  • Lack of visibility across all customer touchpoints and insights.

Benefits

  • Create Work orders from any case, fast.
  • Optimize schedules and intelligently assign jobs.
  • Harness the power of Einstein AI to increase first-time fix rate.
  • Manage jobs from any mobile device
  • Make smarter decisions.
  • To Customers
    • FSL helps in delivering more personalized, and faster field service to the customers.
    • We can make sure that customers can get the right agent, with the right tools and parts, on time and every time.
    • Appointments can be scheduled/canceled/rescheduled from any device.
    • They can track where the technician is, what time he will arrive and how long it takes to complete the job.
    • With all the above the overall customer satisfaction, retention number and profits will boost.
  • To Dispatchers
    • Easy work order management
    • 360-degree view of the customer that includes a deep understanding of the products (and the competitor products they own) which allows agents to spot cross-sell and upsell opportunities as well as predict other potential service needs based on multiple parts that make up the product.
    • Helps in pairing the right job with right technician every time and track the service delivery in real-time.
    • Provides an ability to communicate with the technicians about alerts that arise for issues which require attention.
  • To Field Agents
    • Provides access to work orders and other key required information on the go, including real-time job updates, schedules, inventory and customer information.
    • Having all the required information at fingertips helps in raising the first time fix rate numbers.
    • In case technicians do not have answers to all the questions, they will have the ability to connect to right reports, resources and experts from anywhere at any time and avoids follow-up appointments.

References

 

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