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8 ways to maximize service agent productivity

Knowledge Article Number 000007546
Description Perhaps you replaced a legacy support system with the Service Cloud. Or you acquired another company with its own customer service system and you need to move those agents to the Service Cloud. Moving to a new system can be challenging, but once you make the change to Salesforce, the benefits—such as reducing service costs, quickly resolving cases, and satisfying every customer—can be amazing. For an overview of the Service Cloud, check out this video. To fully take advantage of these benefits, here are some quick, easy tips to make your agents more productive on the Service Cloud:

Resolution 1. Use reports and dashboards for real-time insight into the metrics that are important to you, your team, and the entire organization. For example, you can use dashboards to track metrics such as:
·  How many cases were closed today? How many are open?
·  What cases have been escalated?
·  What solutions were used the most during the past 30 days?
·  Are customers calling, using email, or using chat?

Here’s where to find pre-defined dashboards that work great for the Service Cloud.

Tip: If you have multiple business units or customer service departments, as a reminder, create a daily or weekly schedule for dashboards to be refreshed and emailed to the relevant managers. To do so, on the Dashboards tab select a dashboard using the View Dashboard field. Click Refresh and choose Schedule Refresh.

2.  Look at the outlying performers to improve processes and establish best practices for your team. For example, why is one agent closing many more cases than everyone else? What challenges do the least productive agents face? Look closely at the agents at both ends of the productivity spectrum to determine how to adjust your training or your processes.

3.  For agents on the phone, take advantage of the Service Cloud Console to dramatically reduce the time needed to find, update, and create records. The console, which was designed to improve an earlier version of the Console tab, makes it possible to: 
·  Work with fewer clicks and less scrolling
·  Limit switching between pages
·  Jot notes about each record in an interaction log
·  Access a SoftPhone, which allows for screen-pop and click-to-dial, in a footer instead of a sidebar

For a demo of the Service Cloud Console, implementation tips, best practices, and instructions for how to set it up, please refer to the Winter ’11 Release Notes.

4.      Optimize the application to make it faster and easier to use.
·  Let your agents know they can quickly customize their own page views by clicking the Customize Page link at the top of the screen.
·  Optimize page layouts for the case and account objects. Get rid of unnecessary fields or use record types and page layouts to manage different processes. You’ll reduce clutter and the need to scroll to find data.
·  Optimize your picklists to define as the default those values picked most often.

5.      Use email templates to speed up communication, particularly for emails that are sent out over and over. Automate salutation and signatures to save time on every email—saving 15–20 seconds per case can add up to significant savings for such repetitive tasks. For more information about email templates, see the Best Practice “Turbo-charge customer communications with email templates.”

6.      Keep your articles up to date to provide helpful, friendly, and effective service. Analyze which solutions are used most and test those solutions regularly to make sure they still work. For example, for a solution that walks customers through a series of steps, check to make sure all the steps still work.

For more information about writing solutions, refer to the Tips on Writing Solutions help topic in Help & Training or the Tips & Hints for Solutions document. If you’re using the Salesforce CRM knowledge and articles features, refer to the “Managing Articles” help topic in Help & Training.

7.      Automate responses for issues with simple answers. Use case types and subtypes to track your customers’ issues. You can then monitor these types and subtypes to see where you can use Auto-Response rules and solutions for standardized answers. For example, if you see that 50–100 cases per day consist of a subtype for which you can automate a response, you can save lots of time. For more information about auto-response rules, refer to the Setting Up Auto-Response Rules help topic in Help & Training.

8.      Take the Service Cloud to the next level by downloading applications from the Service & Support section of the AppExchange, our cloud computing marketplace. You’ll find solutions from Labs as well as our partners—for example, apps to reduce repetitive keystrokes or apps for tracking how long a case has been with your support team or with the customer. Note that Aloha apps from Labs are free and won’t count against your custom app install limit!

Next steps
Join our community to share your ideas, see what other Service Cloud customers are doing, and get the latest updates from our product experts.

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