Is your Salesforce organization holiday-ready?
Is your Salesforce organization holiday-ready?

Is your Salesforce organization holiday-ready?

12/21/2015 by Amy Bucciferro
Tools and considerations to prepare for times when many people are out of office.

It’s that time of year--the gentle whir of computers shutting down, the sparkling lights turning off in office windows. Many companies and organizations go down to a skeleton staff or even close up entirely for a day or two or even a week. But amidst the cookies and parties, don’t forget to get your Salesforce org ready for vacation, too.

Business Hours and Support Holidays

This one is mostly for the customer service folks out there. If you run an international support organization, use entitlements, leverage escalation rules, or evaluate service agents on response time, you are probably already using business hours in Salesforce. If not, I recommend checking out this feature for an even better support experience for both agents and customers.

Business hours allow you to define when your agents are in work mode in detail and apply this to your case automation. One great feature of business hours is the ability to define holidays that can be either part or all of a day and can be one time or recurring. So, for example, New Year’s Day can be set as an all-day holiday to occur every year, and New Year’s Eve holiday can start at 3pm this year only, because HR keeps saying “maybe next year” it will be a full day off for both.

Auto-response for Web to Lead and Web to Case

Even if your response template politely highlights that it’s 24 business hours response time, don’t expect your customers to automatically count your holiday schedule into their mental calculations. Have templates at the ready that call out holiday closures and make the switch a few days early. When you’re back in the office, just switch back to  the normal template.

Queues to the Rescue

If leads, cases, and custom object records are managed using queues in your organization, you will generally want to make sure that someone has access to those queues at all times. It is just a few clicks to add and remove users from queues, so take an inventory and manage accordingly, especially if your queue is for incoming items as described above. You may even consider altering assignment rules that route things to individuals to route to queues instead during these times and take advantage of the “whomever gets to it first” capabilities.

Teams and Manual Sharing

‘Tis the season for sharing… your accounts and opportunities, or any other record that can’t just go without attention while the record owner is in Milwaukee with the in-laws. Unless your sharing model is wide open, you’ll need to make provisions so that if a big account wakes up Christmas day and decides this is exactly the moment to buy 10,000 widgets, someone can get that quote out.

If you already use team selling with accounts and/or opportunities, you are aware of the mechanism and benefits of this selective collaboration for closing the deal. It’s also a good way to handle backup when a rep is out of the office. You may want to set up a “delegate” role just for these circumstances.

On other types of records, or if you don’t want to enable team selling, the ultimate end result can also be accomplished by manual sharing. Encouraging users to share records that may need delegate access ahead of time is a great way to give the admins an actual day off for once. There is also a free nifty app built just for vacation delegation.

With just a little prep work, your Salesforce organization can say happy holidays to users, admins and customers alike.

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