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Today, customers can connect with companies across almost any digital channel when they have questions. They can engage with the brand on Twitter. They can find videos, knowledge articles and discussion forums online to solve problems themselves. And they can interact with AI-powered chatbots to get automated answers quickly. But even with the emergence of all these digital options, 95 percent of service teams offer customer service via phone and 93 percent of customers still rely on it (State of Service 2019 report), with many turning to the phone as a last resort after first trying a different channel. Clearly, phone remains as important as ever. That’s why today we’re excited to announce Service Cloud Voice, a new product that will modernize the contact center by embedding telephony inside Salesforce Service Cloud.
Delivering intelligent, connected service that includes phone is difficult, in part because companies use multiple systems to run their contact centers. Telephony isn’t integrated with the agent’s console, forcing them to navigate multiple screens during interactions. Aside from notes the agent captures, conversation history is lost, so next time the customer reaches out there will be little context to go on. And while agents are now tapping into Salesforce’s AI capabilities on digital channels (e.g. chat, messaging, social), the phone has largely been excluded from this wave of innovation.
Service Cloud Voice unifies phone, digital channels and CRM data in real-time in one centralized console. This is the contact center of the future — intelligent, unified and fast. Now, companies can:
- Integrate telephony and route calls on a single platform: Agents can work from a single, powerful console, eliminating the need to toggle back and forth from multiple screens and find manual workarounds.
- Boost productivity by reducing data entry and call wrap-up time: With automatic transcription capabilities, agents can now focus on what actually matters — addressing the customer’s needs quickly and accurately.
- Leverage AI-powered agent recommendations: With call transcriptions surfacing in real-time directly in the Service Cloud console, Einstein AI can now provide recommended solutions and next best actions for the agent in the background, reducing average call time and improving both the agent and customer experience.
- Empower supervisors with real-time omni-channel visibility: A new supervisor console lets managers view all calls and digital conversations in real-time, monitor where calls are being routed and what skills each agent has, and which conversations may require them to assist on or offer coaching live or after the fact.
For example, when a customer calls in, omni-channel routing directs them to the right agent, and transcription capabilities turn speech into text that can be viewed alongside customer data in the console. This empowers the agent to deliver a personalized experience based on factors like the customer’s purchase history, warranty information or past interactions across channels. With the call converted to text, Einstein AI can go to work by serving up recommended responses, knowledge articles and next best actions to the agent. A new supervisor console lets managers monitor, step in, and provide assistance, and the call transcript is attached to the customer record for future reference. All of this adds up to a better experience for both customer and agent.
Giving customers choice
Salesforce’s world-class partner ecosystem accelerates customer success and gives them the freedom to choose which solutions work best for their needs. Service Cloud Voice customers will have a bring-your-own-telephony option that lets them select a provider of their choosing, or simply keep their existing telephony provider for transcription and other services. And for customers looking for an out of the box solution, Salesforce today announced we are partnering with AWS to integrate and offer Amazon Connect inside of Service Cloud.
“Delivering great customer service consistently can be challenging for companies, especially when call volume is extremely high and queries are becoming increasingly complex,” said Bill Patterson, EVP and GM, Service Cloud. “These latest Service Cloud innovations will help companies meet these rising demands, and empower phone agents to focus on the human side of service — solving difficult problems for customers, and doing it with empathy.”
“With new customer service channels springing up continually, it’s important that IT and contact center leaders focus on creating a holistic environment. The phone remains a significant channel of interaction for escalation purposes and for complex issues,” said Mary Wardley, Program Vice President, Loyalty and Customer Care, IDC. “With the plethora of available channels of interactions – particularly digital – by the time a customer places a call to a company they have likely already tried and failed to solve their problem elsewhere, making it all the more crucial that the agent is equipped to answer their question quickly, accurately and in context.”
“As a financial services company, we know a lot of the interactions our contact center agents have with customers will be about sensitive topics,” said Tracy Kelly, AVP, Shared Services Contact Center, John Hancock. “Service Cloud provides our agents with the right tools to deliver personalized, human-centered service when they need it most.”
Service Cloud Voice at Dreamforce:
- Learn more about Service Cloud Voice: https://www.salesforce.com/products/service-cloud/solutions/call-center-management/
- More details on Service Cloud: https://www.salesforce.com/products/service-cloud/overview/
- Learn about human-centric service: https://www.salesforce.com/company/news-press/stories/2019/11/human-centric-service/
Service Cloud Voice will be in pilot by February 2020 and is expected to be generally available in June 2020.