Once a business stars using Salesforce, it’s rare that they look elsewhere. It’s been such a boon for organisations of all sizes for customer relations management that you’ll wonder how you got by without it. While it’s mostly used for managing data collection, examining marketing strategy success and other business tools, it can also help you streamline your customer support experience and deliver customer satisfaction.

See Customer Service as an Important Investment

Customer service is an investment and Salesforce has proven to deliver a better customer experience for most users in most areas. It’s usually the case that customer service managers shy away from such investments in keeping customers as either prohibitively expensive or unnecessarily costly. However, this does not tally with customer expectations and what they are willing to pay. Most customers in a variety of industries in a report released in 2011 say they would be happy to pay more if that money were to go on improving customer experience and guarantee a better service. 78% said they had cancelled a company’s services due to bad customer support and poor dispute resolution.

Are You Neglecting Social Media in Your Customer Service?

No organisation, no matter the size, should bypass social media as a customer outreach tool today. Customers can and will share their negative experiences with you and about you to whoever will listen. One bad review is potentially far more damaging today than it was before the rise of social media and certainly before the internet. There is a positive side to this too though; customers who had access to social media sites were generally more satisfied and spent more money on average (20-40%). The question is not whether you can afford social media outreach, it’s whether you can afford to ignore it. Also, ensure you answer all social media queries promptly.

Respond to Feedback

Nothing is more vital to customer service than a response (although the type of response is also important). Without customers, your business would not run and their feedback is vital to your continued trading. Good feedback and bad feedback are equally valuable and should be treated as such. In 2010, ClearAction reported that 70% of the best-performing companies in terms of positive customer experience were proactively using their findings from customer feedback to drive improvements in customer support.

Salesforce Customer Service

Salesforce Provides the Correct Tools

A friendly approach and availability are no longer enough in delivering customer satisfaction. For the best customer support, they are looking at how you handle problems and most importantly, fault resolution – and to improve those, you need to harness the right data and channel it through an effective CRM solution. The biggest obstacle to customer support is inefficiency created by disconnected and disparate systems, obsolete and inefficient user interfaces, and applications that do not work together. If your approach to these issues has so far been one of papering over cracks or shifting responsibility to another service agent, then your organisation is not delivering the best customer support experience and that will cost customers in the long run.

Salesforce Allows you to Measure Customer Service

We’ve already established that good customer service almost certainly leads to repeat or continued business. In not measuring these metrics, businesses aren’t making the best use of their customer data. Some choose to use proxy measurements such as customer satisfaction surveys or NPS (Net Promoter Scores). The former provides individualised scores while the latter provides an aggregate. But these are often insufficient. Salesforce uses a much wider range of customer service metrics through broader, faster and more comprehensive data collection. What the CRM won’t do is interpret these results; however, it does provide you with a fuller picture on which to make decisions.

Salesforce First Contact Resolution

This is where it’s important to have multiple contact streams, including social media outreach. The more avenues of approach and the more responsive you are, the higher the chance of a resolution at the first time of asking. Salesforce comprehensive CRM system offers cross-platform data acquisition, permitting you to track such information across multiple areas. The higher your score, the higher your customer satisfaction. Secondly, working to improve this ranking also means less strain and workload for your team.

Salesforce Average Handling Time

Another useful metric of the Salesforce CRM is AHT. It shows how long each agent on the system has spent working on a case, essentially working to calculate the efficiency of your customer service team. By using the right CRM such as Salesforce and applying the metric effectively, you can calculate how long each agent spends timewise per customer. This will help you address those issues and find ways of reducing the AHT to a much more efficient level.

Salesforce Deflection Rates Metric

A more recent approach to measuring customer service is using something called the Deflection Rate. This is the number of enquires that customers enter and find the answers to through your customer services web content such as an FAQ, user forums, chatbots and virtual agents. This is a cheap and effective way of providing them with answers, much cheaper than having a human contact answer all queries. It’s important to provide a human face and voice, but the ultimate aim is to provide query resolution. When you harness this data through your CRM, it will reduce pressure on sales and customer service agents.