Salesforce Service Cloud Review

It's increased our contact centre agent efficiency, but there is no control over the appearance of Visual Flow pages.

What is most valuable?

  • Service Console
  • Knowledge 1
  • CTI Integration

How has it helped my organization?

It's increased our contact centre agent efficiency.

What needs improvement?

There is no control over the appearance of Visual Flow pages, giving the appearance of an amateur web application within the Salesforce interface.

It would also be good if there were a workforce management component to balance call distribution in a contact centre based on agent skills and experience.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it on and off for 12 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable. Being cloud-based, the application easily scales to high user and transaction counts.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is responsive, but they often suggest the solutions that one has already read by doing a Google search. I usually have to escalate to tier two to get the answer I need.

But to be fair, being a certified Salesforce consultant, my questions are usually more complex than a regular end user’s questions.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I migrated my tech support team off of BMC Remedy and have migrated many clients off of Siebel and other systems.

Salesforce is much more easily configured so it can change as your business processes change; it’s extremely scalable so it can grow as your business grows, and it’s API is extensive so you can integrate with back office systems in a relatively straightforward way.

How was the initial setup?

It's straightforward. For a small- to medium-sized business, the system can usually be set up with no custom development. Enterprise organisations will usually require some code to be written along with data migration and data integration.

However, when I migrated my team from BMC Remedy to Salesforce, I did so with no previous training and was able to customize the system to my requirements using the declarative interface. I migrated the data myself using the salesforce Apex Data Loader, which is available for free.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented it myself as described above. However, I would recommend using an integrator. They know the system really well and can ensure your system is implemented following best practices and taking advantage of all the latest features.

While my original implementation was satisfactory, it could have been much better. One example is, I lost all of my record creation dates from the legacy system because I didn’t know that Salesforce could make the Created By and Created Date fields editable when creating records as part of a migration.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

My recommendation on pricing is: “negotiate”. The Salesforce account executives can be flexible on price at times so don’t be afraid to negotiate a better price. You may have to commit to a longer contract but you won’t regret it.

Also, if you’re going to do an implementation project, only purchase enough licenses for the implementation team and arrange to start paying for your other user licenses when you go live.

If you’re doing a three month implementation, there’s no need to pay the subscription fees for users who won’t log into the system until you go live.

What other advice do I have?

Use a Salesforce partner and make sure their consultants are certified. Talk to three different firms, and don’t let price be the only driving factor. Rather, look at the firm that seems to best understand your requirements, has good answers on why particular parts of the implementation will cost what they’re proposing, and has a solid methodology that they can easily explain to you.

Simply choosing the least expensive option often costs more in the end with either delays, change requests or worst case, failure.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a Salesforce global partner.
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