Blog Posts

Salesforce Spring 18 Release Notes Rapid Reaction

It sure doesn’t feel like Spring in the Northeast, but Salesforce is moving forward regardless. Here’s a quick reaction blog post, with the hopes that it brings some warmer weather along with it.
Salesforce Spring 18 Release Notes Rapid Reaction

Salesforce Spring 18 Release Notes Rapid Reaction

To start, I feel it is necessary to mention some branding changes, as opposed to an actual feature being delivered. Salesforce is officially all in on the Lightning brand. For example Force.com is now Lightning Platform, so say goodbye to the good old days of Force.com development. My formative years building out Salesforce apps were all done on Force.com, so this is a little sad for me. Now onto the features:

Streamline Lead Conversion without Opportunities

This change applies to Lightning Experience only folks, so if you like the feature and have been waiting for something like this, you’ll have to be in Lightning to utilize it. Have you ever wanted to convert a Lead without creating an Opportunity? I know I have. Lots of times. I’ve worked in many organizations that would really benefit from utilizing Leads, but the conversion process is confusing when it comes to Opportunities, especially if the reason for using Leads is not to track a potential sale, rather to track a potential person for any reason -- recruiting perhaps. With this handy new feature you, as the administrator, can set the default behavior, to either change the checkbox behavior for creation of Opportunity on conversion or choose to hide it altogether. This minor user experience modification opens up a world of new use cases, thanks to being able to control a single checkbox. Thank you for this one, Salesforce!

Keep Track of Events with Community Calendars

Internal users of Salesforce get to create calendars and share them with each other. This feature has existed for a while in Lightning Experience. There was no component for it though, so if you wanted to display data in a calendar format for a community user you, as the administrator or developer, would need to build one. With this feature a calendar can be used and shared within communities (desktop version is the preferred method of accessing it) to share data. Users can also add events to calendars. Pretty nifty stuff.


Connect Your Pardot Campaigns to Salesforce Campaigns (Beta)

This beta feature becomes Pardot’s B2B solution. Pardot literally becomes a native app inside of Salesforce -- in Lightning Edition only -- called B2B Marketing Automation. Once Campaign Alignment is turned on, users can only create campaigns in Salesforce; campaigns in Pardot become inactive and read only. Only connected campaigns work within Pardot. That oddball checkbox user field “Marketing User” is required to use the app; look at that little checkbox continuing to be relevant, even though a permission set license is also required. You can try this out in a Pardot training environment, and you should; contact Salesforce to get a training environment. Users who are familiar with Salesforce as an interface are really going to love this, and in all likelihood adoption of Pardot will see an increase amongst savvy Salesforce users.

Please feel free to comment below, on the Salesforce Trailblazer Community, on our Facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @JustEdelstein.

 

Happy New Customers!

Maintaining happy customers is an ongoing process for every organization, but you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
Happy New Customers!

Happy New Customers!

Onboarding a new customer can be complex sometimes, with multiple steps and tasks assigned to employees in multiple departments of your organization. Some of these tasks need to be completed in a specific order before a customer is fully onboarded. Managing and maintaining these tasks can get complicated, and any hold up in the process can make for an unhappy first experience.

With a little planning and use of tools like the Process Builder or custom objects in Salesforce, you can automate these steps or create an onboarding checklist to streamline these processes and improve your customer’s first experience.  

Here are some tips to help streamline and monitor your onboarding process:


Map out the Onboarding Process

The first thing your organization should do is map out the entire onboarding process from the customers’ perspective. In this step you will want to determine all the tasks that need to be done, what stage of the process they need to be done in, what timeframe they need to be completed within, and which department or person needs to complete this task. Since the onboarding process could be different for each type of product or service offered, you should also map out a process for each one of these.

In order to do this, you may want to do something as low-tech as writing out each task on a sticky note and hanging them up on the wall. I used this technique several years ago trying to streamline the commercial lending onboarding process for a community bank, and we quickly ran out of sticky notes, as well as wall space. With the help of Salesforce, we were able to streamline and automate several steps of this process to help improve the customer onboarding experience, as well as free up some wall space.


Process Automation

After mapping out the onboarding process, you can take all of those steps and put them to action using the Process Builder (which is by far my favorite tool in Salesforce). The Process Builder offers many different actions that can be automated at specific times like assigning tasks to a user, sending email alerts to customers requesting information, updating fields on objects, or posting a message to Chatter.

Each one of those tasks can be automated and triggered off of any field change and immediate actions like tasks or email alerts, as well as scheduled future actions like follow-up reviews or sending thank you cards can be created.

For example, the criteria for this process is started based on a closed/won opportunity where the product is a deposit account.

When these particular conditions are met, multiple actions are performed. In this example, a task is assigned to the opportunity owner to perform the necessary KYC checks on the customer.

You can learn all about the magic of the Process Builder by going to Trailhead. Here is a good trail to get you starting on building your first process.

 

Onboarding Object

For more complicated onboarding processes, a separate onboarding custom object may be quite useful. With a separate custom object, you could create checklists with fields showing date completed for each step in the onboarding process. This could help with your automation by notifying the person responsible for completing the next step in the process. Stages can be added to the onboarding object, and with Salesforce Lightning, you can build a Path on your custom object to show guidance on items that need to be completed at that particular stage.

If the onboarding object contains lookup fields to an Opportunity or Account, you could use formula fields to bring in information from those objects, and use these to help generate the onboarding documents needed for your customers to sign (or esign) using tools like Conga, Drawloop, and Docusign, which can all be found on the AppExchange.


Measuring Happiness

When your initial onboarding process is complete, it is important to obtain feedback from your customer to determine their level of happiness with the process. This can be done by sending a survey with specific questions about the onboarding process. Effective surveys should be short and to the point to avoid dropout, and the responses should end up in Salesforce. These responses should be reviewed by the account manager or an individual in charge of your customer experience, and common complaints about your onboarding process should be discussed, with improvements made immediately to help make future happy customers.

Standard customer satisfaction and loyalty metrics like the Net Promoter Score should be used in your survey to determine how your customers felt after the onboarding process. Results from these surveys can be displayed on a dashboard or in a Chatter group for everyone to see. The Process Builder can also help by automatically sending the onboarding survey email template to your customer when an opportunity is marked as Closed/Won, and by notifying the account manager when results of the survey are received.

There are several survey tools on the AppExchange that can help you build integrated surveys with Salesforce.

 

Happy Customers :)

The most important objective for any business should be to have happy customers. Businesses with happy customers become successful and grow and those that do not quickly perish. Happy customers are your best advocates and turn into a great referral source, which leads to more happy customers, and then to even more happy customers.

Having a streamlined, pleasant, and engaging first experience for any new customer will create a lasting impression and lay the foundation for a long-term relationship.

Do you have any good tips on using Salesforce in your onboarding process? Drop them in the comments below or share them with us on Twitter, on the Salesforce Community, Facebook, or chat with me @ScottTSearle.

A Nonprofit Success Story - The Women's Center of Jacksonville

The Women’s Center of Jacksonville dramatically increased their impact with a move to the Salesforce.
A Nonprofit Success Story - The Women's Center of Jacksonville

A Nonprofit Success Story - The Women's Center of Jacksonville

 

Our Client

The Women’s Center of Jacksonville is a Jacksonville-based nonprofit organization offering education, support, and advocacy to survivors and women of all genders and ages. Each year the Women’s Center of Jacksonville provides hundreds of sexual assault survivors with support services. The Women’s Center of Jacksonville is the only certified rape crisis center in Duval, Baker, and Nassau counties and also offers community education, counseling, referral assistance, bystander intervention training services, and breast cancer education, support, and advocacy at complimentary and affordable prices.


Their Challenge

When The Women’s Center opened, they were small enough that each staff member knew all of their clients personally and maintained their own records. As the organization experienced significant growth of services, clients, staff, and funders, so did the need for a client-centric platform that promoted cross departmental collaboration. Their technology infrastructure was unable to support efficient collaboration, and the organization was challenged to capture every client interaction. Additionally measuring and reporting requirements has become increasingly important for nonprofits and funders alike. Administrative overhead was becoming untenable, and the center needed a new platform with a clear user interface to help staff easily capture services delivered, promote collaboration, and ensure accurate data entry.


Their Solution

After evaluating a variety of solutions, The Women’s Center of Jacksonville ultimately selected Salesforce with NPSP as their platform and Arkus as their trusted implementation partner. The Women’s Center successfully migrated off of ETO, Abila, and spreadsheets, for both human service case management, as well as fundraising and donor management, by adopting Arkus’s lean and agile methodology. 


The Results

The move to Salesforce has been a tremendous success for the organization. The service providers now have unduplicated client records, and the organization set up a data model to support “the whole woman” service model already in place. Since they also set up Salesforce for their development team, they can now easily deliver services, capture outcomes, and report back to their funders. The flexibility of the platform has also allowed the Women’s Center to leverage powerful 3rd party applications like Classy that has dramatically improved their online fundraising capabilities. If you would like to support the Women’s Center of Jacksonville or donate to their cause, please visit their website at: www.womenscenterofjax.org


Want to know more about the implementation or share your thoughts? Let me know what you think on the Arkus Facebook page, in the comments below, in the Success Community, or to me directly via Twitter @RboyleSF


 


Cloud Computing Predictions for 2018

For the 8th year in a row, it is time to look deep into the crystal ball and make some cloudy predictions for 2018.
Cloud Computing Predictions for 2018

Cloud Computing Predictions for 2018

Last year I made some pretty crazy predictions, including Salesforce buying a Learning Management System (LMS), Apple releasing a Dot, and Amazon buying Slack. Gotta say, I feel like I get half credit for two of those. Salesforce is all in on Trailhead and is expanding it as an LMS and Apple did announce (but failed to release) the HomePod.

With that great success behind me, let's see what we can cook up this year. Once again I will be adding my confidence points because, well, @JustEdelstein said I should.

Bitcoin Bites, Blockchain Bounds

The Bitcoin insanity over the last few months has been all over the headlines. The price has just skyrocketed to over $15,000 and seems to have a huge trajectory. My prediction is that Bitcoin comes back to the ground and ends 2018 under five thousand dollars but leads to the Blockchain technology becoming a household name. By the end of 2018 there will be Blockchain-backed products from over half of the top 10 major financial institutions.

Confidence: 10

Electric Cars are Driven

Tesla is currently leading the way in electric vehicles, with incredible technology, speed, and a charging network that keeps it all afloat. Next year will be a major year for electric vehicles, where the landslide of car manufacturers will be laying down the plans to phase out gas cars in favor of an all electric roadmap. The writing is certainly on the wall for that one. Next year there will be a jump into the future, with fully autonomous driving cars that will get both the technology and legislation in at least one state to go fully self driving.

Confidence: 7

Apple Doesn't Go to Eleven

Predicting an Apple update to the iPhone is pretty easy; there will be one. Predicting that Apple doesn't update something is risky and going against a 10 year trend. This year I expect Apple to double backwards and release an iPhone 9 and refresh the iPhone X but NOT release anything over that. There will be no 11 in 2018. You heard it here first.

Confidence: 8

Amazon Buys Salesforce

I know, I know. I like to make big merger predictions each and every year, but they almost never come true. This one, though, is for the ages, as the largest cloud-company company in the world uses some of that $20 billion in cash to put down a deposit on Salesforce. Amazon enters the huge enterprise software market, and Salesforce gets almost unlimited scalability on the Amazon cloud. This one might take awhile to get through all the legal sign off, but this will send shock waves through the computing world for years to come.

Confidence: 2

The Mobile Pantry Program: A Client Success Story

1.4 million people in New York City face hunger every day and many, including a rapidly growing number of seniors, have little to no access to food. West Side Campaign Against Hunger is combatting this with their Mobile Pantry Program.
The Mobile Pantry Program: A Client Success Story

The Mobile Pantry Program: A Client Success Story


West Side Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH) is a nonprofit organization based in New York City whose mission is to alleviate hunger and create a culture that promotes self-reliance and works for change. In the basement level of the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew on West 86th Street, the WSCAH operates a supermarket pantry that serves their customers, allowing them to choose the food they need for themselves and their families.

In October of 2016, WSCAH came to Arkus with the idea of expanding their customer reach by launching the Mobile Pantry Program at their organization. The Mobile Pantry Program is designed to bring food into new communities and serve food to individuals who cannot travel to their brick and mortar food pantry. This new program would essentially bring the pantry to their customers.

Fast forward a year later and Salesforce now serves as the backbone of their Mobile Pantry Program operations by tracking customers along with their household information, relationships, and their pantry participation.

Used in blog post The Mobile Pantry Program: A Client Success Story

The Mobile Pantry Program

WSCAH works with external organizations scattered throughout Northern Manhattan and the Bronx to create new access points to fresh produce and healthy staples. These external partnering organizations host WSCAH once per calendar month, on a specific day, and refer customers that may need their services. On the specified days, WSCAH arrives with a truck filled with food and sets up a pantry, resembling a farmer’s market, for the day. Referred customers then attend the Mobile Pantry event and choose their food, as if visiting a mobile farmers market. In addition to the pantry itself, customers also have access to a variety of resources, such as cooking demos, recipes, and nutrition education.

How Was It Accomplished?

Implementing the Mobile Pantry Program started with customizing Salesforce. It was necessary to develop clear program requirements  and configure Salesforce to meet the program’s needs.

In order to compensate for the unique pantry conditions, a logical workflow to the program needed to be developed. It started with scheduling the days that the Mobile Pantry Program would be visiting the organizations. Once that had been completed, the event records could be created inside of Salesforce and organizations could begin sending their lists of referrals. The referral list represents people who will be attending that day’s Mobile Pantry event. Upon receiving the list, WSCAH would work to import referred customers and their key information into Salesforce. The import process would automatically create relevant records related to a customer, including a referral to a Mobile Pantry event of a certain date. At that point, there would be a record inside of Salesforce for the program, its events, the customers, and their referrals to those events.

Used in blog post The Mobile Pantry Program: A Client Success Story

Once there was a record of customers inside of Salesforce, we worked together to develop an automated check-in process, where referred customers would receive a program card that is unique to them and be able to check into the Mobile Pantry by scanning it upon arriving at the event.

The check-in process utilized several third party applications, all created by Scout Inc. It started with TuBarcode, which automatically generates a barcode that contains the ID relevant to the person inside of Salesforce. TuLabel is used to generate the label, which contains the previously generated barcode on one side and WSCAH’s branding on the other. TuLabel generates PDFs of each label that can then be printed. These labels will ultimately be the face of the cards. Using an AlphaCard printer, each card is printed. Once the cards have been printed, they are ready to be given out and scanned.

On the day of the Mobile Pantry Event, referred customers attending for the first time receive their card. Once they have received their card, it is theirs to keep and use at future program events.

Used in blog post The Mobile Pantry Program: A Client Success Story

To compensate for the mobile environment, a tablet logged into Salesforce and a wireless scanning device was decided upon for the check-in execution. When a WSCAH staff member scans a customer’s card, Scout’s ZapIt application will recognize the barcode and create an attendance record inside of Salesforce for the customer. This attendance record automatically links to both the referral and the event record. Also upon scanning, key information about the customer is displayed to continue a personal, seamless experience.

Once a customer has checked in, they are free to navigate through the Mobile Pantry and make use of its services.

Recurring customers, who would receive separate referrals ahead of each event, would undergo a separate referral import process inside of Salesforce to create referrals for existing customers. From there, they would be free to use their existing card and attend the event. In order to facilitate walk-in customers who had not been referred, a manual entry process was developed to get them recognized in Salesforce and a card created for them.

Used in blog post The Mobile Pantry Program: A Client Success Story

Results

It has been two months since the successful launch of WSCAH’s Mobile Pantry Program. In those two months, WSCAH has reached and served almost 2,000 individuals who otherwise wouldn’t have access to their pantry. WSCAH works tirelessly to fight hunger across New York City, and we at Arkus have been grateful to work with WSCAH and assist in expanding their reach and impact with the Mobile Pantry Program. To follow West Side Campaign Against Hunger’s initiatives and/or donate to their worthwhile cause, please visit their website at www.wscah.org.


Want to know more about the implementation or share your thoughts? Let me know what you think on the Arkus Facebook page, in the comments below, in the Success Community, or to me directly via Twitter at @RyanOwensRPO.