CRM giant Salesforce’s Service Cloud is hailed as the world’s best customer service application that is designed on the SaaS (software as a service) model to help companies and their clients handle their customer information requirements using a single convenient platform.
Being on the cloud, this application can be accessed by anyone who has the internet connection, regardless of their location. This means that there are no hassles of deploying complicated systems to avail the benefits of this application.
On a first glance, Service Cloud does not look too dissimilar from other applications that are geared to offer self-service capabilities to the customers.
Its interface, usability, pricing and scope for upgrades are comparable to its established peers.
However, it is hard to argue with the ease, sheer user-friendliness, productivity and social repercussions, this product offers to medium-large enterprises.
To cite a practical example, agents can be connected to customers via the agent console to provide good customer service, regardless of the channel.
According to Salesforce, this application is intended to catapult the level of customer experience to a different level altogether by ‘socializing‘one’s call centre.
It also asserts that using Service Cloud, it is possible to augment your own network into a full fledged Social Enterprise while developing rich, communities.
This in turn provides team members with a helpful environment to contribute towards each other.
As a practical example, one can deploy the application to monitor and interact with colleagues, teams and even clients to work on a project while exchanging relevant technical information’s.
To that extend, Chatter is a real-time, practical example of the combined strength of Facebook, Twitter and blogging.
Salesforce regularly offers free applications from AppExchange which are typically built by external clients that are outside the purview of product development.
Service Cloud, along with its add-ons, provide a diverse array of cross-channel/cross-case management system in addition to knowledge management, and social media capabilities.
These applications, when used in unison, are specifically meant to address the evolving traffic of volume-intensive B2B and B2C call centers.
They can also be used for more intricate products. Within that context, the near-flawless case management capability of Service Cloud, in conjunction with otherKnowledge Management services offered by Salesforce, does add considerable value to any business proposition.
This is one of the more elusive features that are eagerly sought by many IT companies.
The new and upgraded framework of Service Cloud astutely places more importance on social media-backed customer activities supported by real-time feeds, 24/7 information sharing, problem resolution, secure communication and an innovative approach to perennial predicaments.
While it does not diminish the importance of knowledge management in anyway, the idea is to coordinate activities that focus on the customer.
In fact, it would not be farfetched to opine that Service Cloud is a visceral KM-based offering that prides itself on top-class case management activities.
It is for this reason that most CRM Software experts recommend companies to at least consider the application to address the growing requirements of their business’s KM, case management and social integrated needs that are so crucial to their long-term sustainability.
The application is offered as three distinct editions that are billed on a yearly basis.
This is meant for those who run a modest call centre group and need access to basic services like system racking, agent console,mobile access, email/internet case capture, etc.
Using this edition, you can also initiate a follower ship on Twitter about your company’s products and new offerings.
Notable Features of Professional Edition (Available for $65 per user/month):
This is a notch when compared to the Professional Edition.
It is the most popular of all the three versions not only because it achieves web integration via social medium; but also due to the fact that it addresses all the requirements of a full-fledged call center.
These include: A customizable portal to get better access to product related information, integration with Facebook, unparalleled Knowledge Base, Entitlements, and a seamless platform to expedite internal communication by the team members on various products.
Another great feature about this edition is that it accommodates many attributes of Force.com platform (workflow and approvals being good examples) to automate their own business process by achieving integration of their own systems.
The biggest USP of the Enterprise Edition, apart from obvious features like flexibility, convenience and wide-ranging scope, is the wide range of options with regard to customization. This is the reason why it is so popular among large enterprises.
Notable Features of Enterprise Edition (Available for $135 per user/month):
As the name suggests, this edition offers just about every feature you would want (and need) for your business.
Apart from receiving 24/7 technical support, web based training and a full suite of administrative services that would help your business meet project-specific requirements; users would also be able to obtain better storage capacity and other customized solutions, not to mention intelligent mobile integration.
This edition, which is also the most expensive among the three, also offersbetter access to customized apps and dashboards.
Notable Features of Unlimited Edition (Available for $260/user/month):