Salesforce, most notably known for its CRM (customer relationship management) software and for acquiring Slack, formalizing the purchase in July 2021, is also no stranger to another vital area – the contact center.
It extends a robust contact center solution that assists agents in delivering what it calls “proactive, personalized services across all channels: this includes phone, self-service, messaging (think WhatsApp, Facebook Messanger, and SMS), as well as chatbots.
Regarding chatbots, i.e., automation, Salesforce contact center users can automate routine requests to lead customers to the next steps or route them to the proper agent to handle their requests.
What is Salesforce Contact Center?
Of course, this can all be done at scale, as that is a part of the firm’s appeal – the ability to scale up and down as needed, thereby extending a great deal of flexibility to companies: both large and small – that leverage its software.
All these advanced functionalities: according to internal Salesforce data, can help contact centers increase agent productivity by up to 30 percent, decrease service/support costs by up to 27 percent, and boost customer retention by as much as 30 percent.
The CRM veteran, relative collaboration newbie, and contact center software developer now have a fresh new set of capabilities to add to its portfolio – adding a suite of AI-powered (artificial intelligence) tools to its contact center offering that assists agents, supervisors, and even IT.
Detecting Outages, Identity Verification, Etc.
Salesforce launched “Einstein Conversation Insights;” with the goal of proactivity in the contact center. It can send out proactive alerts for anything that might occur system-wide, which could mean a system outage, poor bandwidth, or detecting any (number of) other issues – such as an irate or dissatisfied customer.
Regarding insights, agents no longer need to take notes, as each interaction autosomally gets transcribed. And coaching and selling efforts can gain strength based on trends from customer interactions. One of the most sizable problems for those calling into a contact center and for agents is ensuring the person is who they claim to be.
There are considerable ways to do this; with some being outdated and (not so) secure. It used to be three security questions, but social engineering shut that down fairly quickly – now – there are a lot more advanced ways to pull this off – while ensuring customer data stay safe. Salesforce says it can pull off secure customer verification via automated workflows.
Furthermore, the feature complies with various regulatory requirements in multiple regions like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) in the United States, and GDPA (General Data Protection Regulation), in European Union-based countries.
Checking service availability in a specific region also got a lot simpler, according to Salesforce, which launched a feature that lets agents see which services customers can leverage. That is if they are curious about adding or modifying services. Agents can pull this off via a simple address search.
Salesforce launched what it calls: “Action Launcher,” a tool built for administrators. It gives them the ability to create common workflows in an instant: which could be anything from changing a telephone number to rescheduling a flight for a later time, etc.
If someone in a contact center can think of it, a workflow can likely be built for that experience – and Salesforce hopes the function will reduce the time it takes for agents to fulfill simple requests. All this, with (hopefully) the mere click of a button or two and not going through an entire convoluted workflow that takes five minutes to achieve an outcome that could take as little as thirty seconds in some instances.
Salesforce/WhatsApp take on ‘Engagement’
Among the feature set’s most (noteworthy) capabilities is a new integration with WhatsApp, which has two billion monthly active users, according to Statista. This far surpasses the Chinese- built super app – WeChat, which has 1.2 billion monthly active users, also according to Statista.
In a strategic partnership, Salesforce and WhatsApp (a Meta company); released a new set of integrations poised to assist in enhancing customer engagement.
Called “WhatsApp for Service,” the new integration will be made available via the Salesforce Contact Center, giving providers a platform to deliver various real-time experiences. This means access to customer engagement tools via WhatsApp, like audio and video files, list messages, stickers, buttons, and even emojis.
With the help of integration with WhatsApp for Marketing, which occurs directly from WhatsApp, firms can send interactive and customized media based on unique customer needs and their desired outcome.
This will likely be a big win for many customers based on the sheer number of WhatsApp users worldwide: especially knowing how far Salesforce reaches. As of 2022, the firm has 150,000 paying customers, from Adobe to Microsoft and Oracle, according to the Salesforce website.
Order fulfillment & Delay, Predictions
Not much to add on this front, but Salesforce once more demonstrates its predictive analytics capabilities, launching “Order Fulfillment Date Predictions” and “Order Delay Predictions,” features respectively.
The first of the two innovative AI-centric features can predict expected fulfillment dates, while the latter predicts when an order will likely be delayed based on various factors. Managers can then take corrective actions to ensure they extend the most accurate shipment date.
AI is the New Frontier in 2023
It seems that from Five9 to DialPad, to 8×8, and now Salesforce: AI is a vital component of the contact center of the future. And it appears that that future is now. We saw things pick up in 2022, but this year seems to be the year of AI in the contact center – with the express goal of enhancing the agent and user experience; a great deal.
Contextually, it remains fundamental to recall that agent jobs do not appear to be in jeopardy – but the keyword is ‘enhancement’ in many circumstances. For now, rest my case: and have written on the matter before; in a piece titled “Automation Won’t Eliminate Contact Center Jobs.”