workinghardimage_400Most organizations rightly claim that they are working hard but they can’t always tell you what exactly they are doing, what needs to be done, or what has been accomplished. Part of the reason is that their work is hidden in a blizzard of emails and phone calls. Luckily, there is an easy way for a Salesforce user to shed light on how much work their team does and how much service they provide. Stop relying on just email – use Cases, a standard feature in both Salesforce Sales and Service Cloud.

Does this sound like you? A client sends you a request or a question in an email. You open it and either answer it, set it aside for later, or forward it to someone else to deal with. In terms of handling that request or question, email works pretty well in the moment. But if you think about it, it’s an unmanageable process. Each person has their own process they follow. Requests fall through the cracks. Each team member has no clue what each other is working on and there’s no centralized customer visibility.

A better way to provide service is to use Cases in Salesforce. Requests and questions you receive are a unit of work in your business. It has a lifecycle that can be tracked and measured.  Each request has key data points that need to be tracked such as:

  • An originator and a recipient
  • a fixed beginning – when you received it
  • some related activity – you answered it or forwarded it, you replied for clarification or more information and got back a response
  • a fixed completion time – when you completed it

When you rely on email for these client interactions, you don’t have a single service event with a view of the entire lifecycle.  At best, you have a collection of messages in several inbox locations.  Using Cases, you can still communicate by email, but all of the messages (phone calls too) are tied to the Case. Think of the Case as a bucket that the initial request goes into.  All of the work related to that service request goes into the Case bucket so you can see it, keep it together, assign it, track it, measure it, and report on it.

Once you have requests in Cases, you can suddenly see what is happening in your business besides “hard work.” You can go from chaos to a managed environment. Plus, you’ll have data to help you plan. Here are some examples of key data points you’ll now have available to make wise decisions:

  • How many requests did I get by individual and customer?
  • What kind of requests do we get (e.g. questions, price inquiries, help requests, warranty claims, return authorization requests)?
  • Is there any pattern to when I get requests?
  • How many requests were closed successfully by the first person that touched the request?
  • How many requests were forwarded to someone else? How long did they have the request before doing something with it?
  • How much outstanding work (open requests) do we have?
  • How long did it take to provide the service requested? How long does it take on average?
  • Where are the bottlenecks in your response system?

Getting this aspect of your business under control doesn’t take any more work than the old email-based approach. When you say to a prospect that you provide good service or tell a client you are working hard for them, now you can prove it with data.

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