On a day-to-day basis, too many business professionals find themselves playing detective. I remember talking with a customer, for example, that provides sophisticated, real-time communications technology for some of the world’s market-leading companies. Each order involved many steps, from issuing letters of credit to assembling a product, delivering it and so on. The work typically involves multiple departments -- more than 20 groups in some cases, and the orders could be worth millions of dollars.
This is where things tended to get complicated.
People at this organization were often searching to determine the status of a particular order. This was an order of magnitude harder than the simple updates we post on social networks. It meant tracking down information across a wide array of different legacy software applications. In some cases, it also involved wading through spreadsheets that were manually updated, which meant accuracy was questionable and the propensity for error was high.
After I’d heard the customer out, I simply said, “We can help with that.”
He looked at me with surprise. “What? But you’re Salesforce,” he said.
Exactly. Our case management capabilities continue to help organizations in ways they might never have imagined.
In my last post I gave a high-level overview of how case management works in products like Service Cloud, and what it meant for a customer that was struggling to “onboard” new dealers in a reasonable amount of time.
We were able to help my communications provider customer in a similar way. While we might not think of it consciously as we’re ticking items off our to-do lists, for example, pretty much everything that happens in a company involves a series of steps that we call a workflow. This particular organization was struggling to manage its workflow for the same reasons that plague countless others: the information has not been captured in a way that makes it easy to surface for a given member of the team.
Using Salesforce technology, we simply added a custom object, which we called the Deal Desk, and leveraged a solution called Cast Iron to integrate 25 different applications that would allow us to ingest all the necessary data. That was step one.
Starting with only 20 Service Cloud licenses, this organization was not only able to use the Deal Desk to bring increased visibility to its workflow, but to identify areas to improve it. That meant orders were fulfilled more quickly, more efficiently and with less frustration from the various groups that needed to contribute to the process in a cohesive fashion.
Most importantly, this new, real-time information was now accessible by the CEO on his mobile phone, eliminating the two-week lag for the CEO when asking for an update on any particular deal.
Companies might overlook how they can extend the value of case management because traditionally, this has been technology aimed at improving the overall customer experience. This could include everything from personalized customer care to smart self service.
If you look at it in a new way, however, case management can prove just as valuable for internal “customers” -- the employees whose efforts make or break a company’s ability to achieve its business objectives. Some examples include:
Better understanding of your customers: Case management means Service Cloud customers can deepen their knowledge of what customers have purchased in the past, their buying preferences and more. That data can be used to help reduce churn or increase your share of business with them in the future. Within a company, however, gaining a dashboard-style view of employee workflow can allow leaders to coach and guide employees to maximize their performance.
Quicker resolution of customer issues: Case management ensures the right information is available immediately to solve customers’ problems, and the same goes for challenges among team members. Rather than sit through long meetings trying to decipher how things really work, case management makes it obvious -- and actionable.
Greater productivity and efficiency: As a cloud-based, mobile-first company, Salesforce has unleashed the power of running an entire business on your smartphone. Just as having case management features available wherever you are makes an incredible difference in support capabilities, it ensures that projects and tasks being worked on internally happen with a similar ease.
Creating business value through case management, in other words, is a near limitless opportunity when you look at it in a new way. In my next post I’ll explore a few other scenarios that may bring the “But you’re Salesforce!” reactions to an end.