So, you're the manager of a customer support team, and you’re finding that your current customer support process is leaving much to be desired. Your sales team has been using Salesforce for a couple of years now, and you think it looks pretty cool. You know Salesforce also offers Service Cloud, but you don’t feel like you have the bandwidth or the budget to implement it right now.
Well you might be surprised to find out that case management is already available to you right in Sales Cloud. Below I’ll discuss some problems you may currently be facing and how using cases might help you resolve them.
From Email to Cases
You’re ready to use cases in Sales Cloud, but where in the world do you start? Currently, you’re simply assigning agents to customers and having them work with them directly through their personal work email. However, now you’d like for all new customer issues to appear in a central repository, so agents can assign them out, and you can get an idea of the work load for each agent.
To start, go ahead and have your IT team create a general support email address. Once that’s complete, it’s time to set up Email-to-Case. This aptly named function allows for cases to be automatically created when a customer emails your general support address and assigns it to a queue. From the queue, agents will be able to assign cases to themselves (or others). From here, you can create standard case reports to view the amount of open cases, by agent, to determine their workload.
But wait, there’s more! Now that you have email-to-case all set up, you can create workflow rules that send acknowledgment emails to customers, letting them know you have received their case and will be getting back to them shortly. In just a few steps, you’ve already greatly improved your client experience and customer support process.
Manage Your SLAs
You have a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that dictates you must respond within 24 hours of a customer's first email, and you want customer support agents to have an overall view of open customer issues and their SLA status. Until now, your agents were manually putting follow-up reminders in their calendars and regularly violating this SLA.
Now that you’ve introduced cases and turned on Email-to-Case, Salesforce is able to do the calculation for you. Your admin can create a formula that calculates the time between now and the case created date. Using that formula (and another to display an image) your agents can have a list view that shows each case with a flag next to it. If the flag is green, agents know they are well within the 24 hour timeframe; if it’s yellow, they know they are a few hours from passing it, and if it’s red, they know they’re in trouble.
Now agents can see which cases they need to respond to first, in order to maintain their SLAs, and your customers are much happier.
Improve the Sales Cycle
Since you're selling to such savvy customers, they often require references before they buy. Your sales team needs to be able to quickly find satisfied customers, within a particular industry and employee count, to match the customer requesting the reference. That should be simple enough; just run a report with industry and employee count filters and you’re all set. But how do they know if the customer is satisfied? Here’s where your support team comes into the picture.
The first thing to do is create a “Client Health Status” picklist field on the account. The values can be something like “Red,” “Yellow,” and “Green.” Since cases are a child object of accounts, a customer support agent is able to create a standard case report and view the number of open cases by severity by account. With that data, the agent updates the Client Health Status with the most appropriate value.
Great! Now your salespeople can create reports to see, at-a-glance, the best customers to reach out to, and you’ve become their hero (maybe they’ll even share some of that commission with you).
What issues have you run into that you were able to solve with case management? Feel free to comment below, on the Salesforce Success Community, on our Facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @djordanwebster.
With the Spring ‘17 release behind us, Salesforce continues to add new features onto the Lightning Experience (LEX). And while there have been massive leaps since my last blog post, there is still plenty of room for improvement. The IdeaExchange community continues to drive the LEX improvement bus, with hundreds of ideas posted for Lightning alone. Let’s review some of my top ideas up for voting:
Returning to ol’ faithful to lead off the list. Over the last few releases, Lightning has received a lot of love, and the interface has dramatically improved. With that said, performance speed continues to suffer. If the ultimate goal of Salesforce is to promote 100% client adoption, they are going to need to get the performance on the same level as Salesforce Classic.
Another big one. Navigating Salesforce Classic is simple and intuitive. While Lightning is almost there, it is features like this that will take it over the top. Salesforce needs to bring the little things that make big impacts over to Lightning, if they want the community to fully embrace it in the long run.
For organizations that exercise the awesome power of Salesforce Communities, this has to be a major drawback for Lightning. Having to switch back to Classic in order to use this feature is not ideal. In order for Community-using organizations to fully migrate to Lightning, having this little button available is key.
Shameless self-promotion here, but I do think this is a good idea. While I did enjoy the fun snowman of Winter ‘17 and do enjoy the vibrant rainbow of Spring ‘17, I think that a fully branded user experience is what every organization would like to have. Having the ability to enter your company’s image is one of the little things that could make your Salesforce org really feel like it’s yours.
This is a big one. I currently have a few clients who rely on this related list to capture changes over time to vital fields. This is currently targeted for the Summer ‘17 release (Safe harbor! Safe harbor!), this is exciting and I encourage more votes from the Arkus Blog faithful so that the hard-working folks at Salesforce get credit for more retired points.
If you are currently using the power of Salesforce Lightning and are looking to find out what is on the horizon, Salesforce provides us with Salesforce Lightning Roadmap. On this page, you can see which features are targeted and when they are targeted for.
Do you like the current state of Lightning? What else do you think should be added on or improved upon? Share your ideas or thoughts with me on the Arkus Facebook page, in the comments below, in the Success Community, or to me directly via Twitter at @RyanOwensRPO.
More and more, we here at Arkus are supporting organizations with the transition from Raiser's Edge (RE), their legacy Non-Profit development CRM, to Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP). Here are things to consider and suggested steps to plan the data migration.
First off, when you are talking about the two different CRMs, it’s important to know and understand there’s often different terminology between them. Understanding is the first step in mapping. Although there are many ‘modules’ in Raiser's Edge, the main ones to consider are the following;
- ‘Constituents’ in RE are the same as Salesforce Accounts and Contacts. They are identified using a ‘key indicator’ (O or organization, I for Individual). Make sure you have that key indicator in the export.
- ‘Campaigns’, ‘Appeals’, and ‘Packages’ in RE are all typically a hierarchy of Campaigns in Salesforce. It really depends on how the organization has been using these in RE, so you need to sit with the organization and determine how they structured the relationship between these in RE in order to determine if a Campaign hierarchy is needed.
- ‘Relationships’ in RE translate to a few functions in Salesforce; contact to contact relationships and contact to organization affiliations.
- ‘Constituent Gifts’ in RE are both Opportunities and Payments in Salesforce. RE will have a ‘Type’; one may be ‘cash’ (opportunity) and the other ‘pay-cash’ (payment). The trick is to match these together for the records in Salesforce. There isn’t a unique ID matching these records so it’s up the organization to match them up.
- ‘Actions’ in RE are Activities (tasks and events) in Salesforce.
- ‘Media’ and ‘Constituency Notes’ in RE are notes in Salesforce.
Suggested Steps for Migration
- The organization exports all metadata and sample set of data from Raiser's Edge. Each table will be it's own CSV file - Contacts, Gifts, Campaigns, Constituents, Relationships, etc. NOTE: This will not be the final extract. This is just for mapping and for identifying the transformation steps that will need to happen.
- Create mapping instructions for the migration for each table (file) and each field.
- Review the mapping instructions with the organization to ensure you are making the correct assumptions about where the data will go in Salesforce.
- The organization will do another full export - this is the FINAL export. At this point in time, the organization should NOT be editing or creating any new records in Raiser's Edge.
- Do the final transformation and import data into Salesforce.
- The organization should review the import and spot check records.
- Work with organization to clean any messy data and merge duplicates.
Other Things to Consider
NPSP creates the name of households, informal, and formal greetings on the Household Account, based on the contact records associated with that account. There are times I’ve encountered a Raiser’s Edge Constituent account level record that has been created without the actual contact associated with it. In those cases, you may encounter ‘Anonymous Households’ created. It’s just one of those ‘clean up’ items you’ll want to watch out for after migration.
Sort keys (Raiser's Edge unique IDs) are really important when exporting all the spreadsheets from Raiser's Edge, basically, any reference to an Account or Contact should be accompanied by this sort key for easy reference between the multiple supporting modules.
Key Indicator in Raiser’s Edge identifies if the record is an organization ‘O’ or individual ‘I’. This is another important column to have on each exported spreadsheet.
Give yourself a lot of time for the cleanup (transformation) phase of this process as, from my experience, Raiser's Edge will export a series of records along multiple columns instead of just in rows (as you need to import to Salesforce). For example, if a contact has multiple relationship records with other contacts, the spreadsheet will have each of those different relationships records across in columns repeated.
Finally, there are tools you can purchase that can make the transformation and load of this process easier, but I feel there isn’t a guarantee of catching clean up and mapping accuracy.
A Raiser's Edge data migration, while more time consuming than from other systems, is possible with proper planning and attention to detail. Do you have other recommendations on Raiser's Edge Data Migration? Please feel free to comment below, on our Facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @LeiferAshley or in the Success Community or Power of Us Hub.
Spending a week learning Marketing Cloud and taking certification exams at Salesforce’s Destination Success event this month got me thinking about how I learn, something I hadn't really thought about in a while, and how there are unique learning styles that make certain types of educational mechanisms and environments work better than others for a particular person and for a particular subject matter. The Salesforce ecosystem is full of ways to learn how to work with Salesforce’s ever growing and evolving array of products. Do one or all of the statements below describe you? There’s a learning tool for that!
“Sometimes at 1am I get the urge to go learn something.”
Trailhead is always there for you, night and day, and keeps you alert with little doses of humor along the way. Trails are becoming more rigorous and formalized with Superbadges and are ever expanding to cover more corners of the the platform, such as Wave and Einstein.
“I really need to get hands on.”
Trailhead is a great starting point for this and superb in that it can actually tell you if you got it right, but I think the best way to really get hands on with Salesforce is to spin up a developer org and hash out a business scenario that makes sense to you. Another great way to expand your knowledge in a hands-on way is to start by giving back with the knowledge you have--answering questions in the success community (or Power of Us Hub, for nonprofits) can lead you to learning, as can doing pro bono work for a local nonprofit. (At Arkus we take this to heart with our bi-annual Pro Bono Day events.)
“I understand something best once I explain it to someone else.”
Another great way to learn while giving back is to help other people learn Salesforce. Check with your local user group for opportunities to volunteer, introducing eager learners to the world of Salesforce administration. This is a topic very close to my heart, as I have personally seen lightbulbs go off and careers get a boost teaching Salesforce boot camps for young people exploring careers in business and technology. And if you are totally new to the platform, whether just at the start of your professional journey, re-entering the workforce, or looking for a career shift, there are a number of programs out there run by members of the Salesforce community that will help you take the first step.
“I need to hear, see, AND do to feel I’ve learned it.”
If you’re like me, there’s nothing quite like the classroom experience to efficiently gain an understanding of material, especially if it’s a net new topic or tool I’ve never touched before. Destination Success was ideal for me as a learning environment because it provided the opportunity to immerse myself in learning and focus entirely on that for the week I was there, as well as be surrounded by the energy of hundreds of like-minded learners. All of Salesforce University’s classes contain a hands-on component, so it’s not just watching someone else do it; you do it yourself and really learn. Salesforce also provides in-person and online courses throughout the year, so you can get some of that intensive classroom-style experience without waiting until next March, too.
Popularity can be hard, but not when it comes to websites; all I had to do was look at the statistics provided by Google Analytics. A quick click of the mouse, a filter or two, and here is the top 10 list for 2016 by reads.
No surprise that Dreamforce is a popular topic and blog post, and Pete walks us through the highs of Dreamforce 16. I personally will remember Dreamforce 16 as my 10th in a row and the year Trailhead branding took over Salesforce.
It feels a little strange talking about Spring 16 when Spring 17 has been released to all our production orgs. Spring is always an interesting release, sometimes the worst (Spring 14 anyone?) and sometimes the best (Spring 11 anyone?). Take a stroll down release lane with Justin.
Our second question in the top ten list? Yes. Yes it is. Holly covers the much loved, but not-very-well understood Omni-Channel. (Hint: It is part of the Service Cloud and bringing work to you whether you want it or not.)
No question here, this is a great blog post (if I do say so myself). Yes, we sometimes go industry specific in our release notes series, and this time I took on Financial Services. Spring was certainly in the air.
Salesforce Communities is another growing hot topic here on the Arkus blog, as we now cover it in detail from how-tos to release note reactions. Ashley brought us some insight into the great templates that everyone should know about.
Breaking the top 5 is Holly's post about round robin lead assignment. It is one of those things that we get questions about all the time, isn't built into Salesforce, but does have a great AppExchange solution. Round and round you go, where you stop, only the blog will know.
Summer already? Well it was then and almost is now. Justin once again reacted in a rapid fashion to the release notes, calling out the ones that stuck out. Looking back, associating contacts with multiple accounts was still the big news in Summer.
It is always someone's first time at Dreamforce (did I mention it was my 10th?). Shannon shared her experience from the newbie set of eyes, which is always a good read for those about to take the plunge. Dreamforce 17 is just around the corner.
Not sure if it was the Slack or the Chatter (probably Slack) but this post drew a lot of attention. It was retweeted by Slack and is still read pretty often, as the question gets asked more and more. Personally, while we at Arkus still use both, the line is sometimes hard to define.
This was the hands down most popular blog post of 2016 by far. I can still see Roger dancing around the office as he wrote it, totally excited by the topic and his execution of it. You can certainly read his passion in the post.
So that was the top ten list, without much ado. If you had a favorite of the bunch, leave that comment below, on our Facebook page, in the Success Community or Power of Us Hub or directly @JasonMAtwood
Got duplicates? You bet, based upon the topic coming up regularly in many conversations and social media posts. Duplicates are significantly painful in more ways than one - from lower adoption rates to higher levels of effort and cost. This post delves into the subject in order to assist you in both understanding common causes and providing guidance in developing your duplicate management strategy.
Is It Just Us?
First and foremost, please be assured that it’s not just your organization that is riddled with “dupes”. Due to the fact there is not a way to completely eradicate the issue, let’s face it, we are all in this together. Duplicates are not unique for your configuration or users; in fact this problem rears its ugly head for anyone who is using a database, and yes even Salesforce orgs are not immune to it.
Are They Really That Bad?
Duplicate records are costly in many ways and are a leading cause of low adoption rates. When dupes appear, users often go to the place of “gee, maybe this data is suspect” or “why do I even bother entering in my accounts or contacts”. This lack of confidence is detrimental to strong adoption. Have you ever called upon a donor or prospect, only to find out that someone else on your team has already reached out to them? That is more than egg on your face; it speaks to the integrity of your organization. Add to that the increased costs of inaccurate mailing lists, the amount of effort spent to validate and scrub the data, and you see where this is heading. You have trouble with a capital “T,” which rhymes with “D,” and that stands for “Decimating”. Duplicates are a deal breaker folks, but the good news is that you can create processes and utilize some tools to identify, eradicate, and just plain get your arms around these puppies.
Can I Just Stop Them From Happening?
No, it is impossible to totally prevent and eliminate these nasty duplicates, but don’t be distressed; there are ways to minimize the amount by analyzing their roots and taking corrective action where needed. In order to win the war, you first need to know your enemy. Keep in mind that in most implementations there are many ways that records get created. It’s worthwhile to identify and document these for your organization because dependent upon the entry point there are different approaches to take and tools to use.
Your list might look something like this:
- Manual data entry
- Importing lists
- Integration of external third party systems that you use to manage events, registrations, communications, donations, etc.
- Apps that sync email, tasks and events
Trailhead And Native Duplicate Management To The Rescue
A great place to start is learning about duplicates with the Trailhead module “Duplicate Management” that is devoted specifically to providing you with the knowledge to tackle the issue. It will take you through Salesforce’s native Duplicate Management functionality that I recommend you configure and enable as soon as possible after testing in a sandbox. Salesforce has also provided us with the 'Potential Duplicates' component in Lightning Experience that displays duplicates of existing records on lead, account, and contact home pages that can both alert and allow users with appropriate permissions to merge records - similar to the functionality that is available in Classic.
Important to note is that while the “Block” or “Alert” features sound like a great idea, be careful to consider the effect that they will have on your integration or third party apps. For example, if Contact creation is being blocked when someone is submitting an online donation, how will the tool you are using to capture the donations in Salesforce handle that? What will the submitter’s experience be, and will the donation still go through?
Some other actions to consider before you begin configuring Duplicate Management include checking that you are maintaining a current backup of your data, benchmarking to document the quantity of objects and duplicates, and be sure you have end-to-end testing plans in place. Remember that you can utilize sandboxes to test out various configuration criteria. Additionally, be sure that you create the custom report types along with a process to view them regularly (possibly schedule for distribution weekly?).
What About All The Other Tools?
There are plenty of tools available to help you manage and even prevent duplicates, but be sure to do your homework. Most people that have deployed a successful duplicate management strategy use a combination of different tools and processes to help them minimize the issue. Refer to the list of entry points that you compiled and take a look at each of these to see if you can fine-tune them to reduce or prevent duplicates. Don’t forget to review your manual entry process and see if additional user training or modifying layouts (or both) can make a difference. Then review and test out apps that can help you analyze and merge the suspect records. There are plenty of free and paid options to check out; a few of the more popular ones include DemandTools, DupeBlocker, Cloudingo, and RingLead. You can also browse the AppExchange, as the list of duplicate management apps grows daily.
My recommendation has to be DemandTools, for its unmatched performance. It takes time to learn the tool, and it can seem complicated at times, but there are free training workshops available, great help content, and nonprofits are eligible for a free license. It is worth the time and investment in this tool because it will greatly aid in getting and keeping your data clean. As a bonus, you will also obtain the PeopleImport app free of charge to help you cleanly import lists of people.
Incorporating a strong duplicate management strategy is a critical component of a successful Salesforce implementation and should be revisited regularly, to ensure that you are using the right tools and your users are up to speed on the importance of maintaining accurate data.
There are so many tips, tricks, and tools for this topic that it is not possible to include them all. Did I miss some of your favorites? Want to share your experiences or opinions? Please feel free to reach out on the Arkus Facebook page, in the comments below, in the Success Community, or to me directly via Twitter at @sfdcclicks.