Salesforce Service Cloud To Add New Features
This autumn Salesforce will announce partnerships to connect new telephony providers to Service Cloud as call centres reorganise their teams for post-COVID-19 work.
Users of Salesforce Service Cloud for contact centre and field service are getting some long-awaited features and new telephony connections coming to the platform.
Service Cloud Voice for Partner Telephony is a new collection of connectors that will integrate leading telephony providers to Salesforce AI Services. According to Dana Foster Chery, VP of Product Marketing at Salesforce, there are in the region of two dozen telephony providers who are planning to announce integration in the autumn after the expected June go-live. However, even though Chery didn’t name which partners will be announcing new telephony connections, she did say that many will be familiar to contact centre technology buyers.
Service Cloud Voice is a collection of services that turns telephone conversations into live transcripts, over which AI could be ran to make recommendations for bots or live agents to resolve customer service issues. Salesforce already has an integration with Amazon Connect call centre, 8X8, Twilio and various others as a service, but these new integrations will make it easier to connect Einstein AI services to many telephony vendors and make service data more visible across the Salesforce clouds.
Nicole France, an analyst at Constellation Research said, “Salesforce needs to show some leadership in what is becoming the biggest operational question companies are asking about customer service—and that is, what is the line between customer service and sales?” She adds, “For a lot of companies, that line is getting very blurry, and if Salesforce can help its customers to see customer service as far more than a cost centre… they will remain in the [technology buying] conversation.”
Virtual Remote Assistant, a tool to connect remote technicians with fellow techs out in the field or customers via video was released by Salesforce. Industries such as manufacturing services and telecommunications have a workforce made up of experienced agents who might be close to retiring and who may not necessarily want to re-enter the field even after the COVID-19 risks dwindle. Tools such as Virtual Remote Assistant could keep them working for that little bit longer, allowing them to share their knowledge to more junior colleagues as well as customers, but from afar.
Chery said, “It helps bridge the generational divide, and helps facilitate that transfer of knowledge.”
Pre-Built Einstein Bots, which are in beta now, will be able to take routine tasks for which Service Cloud users have built bots and add AI to complete the tasks. Some examples of the bots include chatbot creation and capturing service interaction data to create CRM sales leads.
Call Centres changed by the pandemic
In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic closed down offices, many call centres were face with serious technical challenges that needed to suddenly support remote workforces. While there undoubtedly were contact centres out there that were already experienced in supporting remote agents, generally call centres require in-person work where many agents shared common spaces, with managers moving freely through aisles and mentoring agents. During the transition, some customers were left frustrated and anxious.
Chery said that while customer service leaders begin to put those issues behind them and rethink the technology that supports their staff, Salesforce users will most likely settle on a form of hybrid remote and on-site model.
France said that because of this Salesforce finds itself in an interesting position when it comes to acquisitions. Their partner agreements with Amazon and other telephony vendors to come don’t prohibit Salesforce from acquiring a telephony provider of their own and making it native to the platform. However, it signals that Salesforce don’t seem to be planning to any time soon. That could change though once call centre users show how they are going to rebuild their application stacks with cloud services once the pandemic ends.
As customer service leaders take on more responsibility for their cloud software outside the confines of specialized contact center facilities traditionally hardwired by corporate IT France says, “I wonder if it’s a waiting game to see how the voice telephony market is going to shake out,”
Are you looking for a new Salesforce role? Click here to view our live roles.