We can implement Salesforce Service Cloud Processes included in Professional and Enterprise editions of Salesforce.
What is Salesforce Service Cloud?
Salesforce Service Cloud is out of the box functionality that Salesforce provides in Professional and Enterprise editions.
In Enterprise edition you can get Sales Cloud licenses which actually include most of what service cloud is, or get Service Cloud licenses which includes Service Console and Entitlements mainly.
Salesforce Service Cloud is about customer service mainly but can be used for other users as well.
Core process here is tracking Cases aka Support Tickets, Incidents, Issues. You create a record for a new Case that is related to a Account/Contact give it a name, select a type of Case, set the Status as Open.
Then track activities like calls and emails related to the Case to try to resolve it. Use chatter for internal communication. You can also send emails and receive emails on that Case thread right in Salesforce.
Create escalation rules and assignment rules for Cases based on certain criteria.
Then when you resolve the Case, you can close the Case.
With some customizations you can track things like first response time, average resolution time, etc.
You can setup a web to case form which puts a web form on your website so someone can fill out some information and it will insert the new Case in Salesforce automatically.
Note that you can acheive the same or more advanced web form to case with an app like FormAssembly.com .
You can also setup Email to Case so when people email something like email@example.com it will forward to Salesforce and create a Case automatically in Salesforce.
You can also setup a custom email to case solution using apex with a little development if not using standard cases or need something different.
You can setup auto response emails to email the contact when the case is created, or to someone if they are assigned the case, or when the case is closed.
Then good to build reports and dashboards around service department showing how many Cases are open, closed, broken down by Type, etc.
Note that if you do not take advantage of case assignment rules, standard web 2 case web form, or email to case functions its pretty easy to create a custom object to track something like Cases or support tickets. Also using an app like ZenDesk.com for support and setting up the intergration will give you a lot and more functionality around this.
You can also create a Knowledge Base or Solutions articles in Salesforce for your internal team to use when trying to resolve the Cases. You can click a button to try to find matching solutions based on some keywords in the case subject or based on the Type.
This feature works ok for some companies, but doesn’t always work for every company.
This knowledge base can also be connected to an external facing knowledge base on your website making salesforce the content management system for your knowledge base.
You can basically write text only in the articles. No images or videos, so pretty limited. But we have done some customizations to allow for videos and images in articles for some clients.
The Service Cloud Console which is only available with Service Cloud licenses basically is a new version of the old Console. It allows you to view different records that are related at the same time allowing you to click around to look at lets say the Case, then view the Contact and the Activity record all at the same time. You can also configure the Service Console to view the softphone as well so you can be answering the phone or making calls in the sidebar while navigating the records. And the same for doing a Live Agent chat.
We think the Service Console is cool. A much better interface than the old console and works well when you have people who need to go from record to record and view different records and information. It will make them more efficient. But the service console is not useful for everyone or every process.
Then there is Service Contracts and Entitlements which allows you to create some contracts around service and track things.
So far we don’t think these out of the box features of this is super useful, but it might work for some businesses.
With tracking contracts and other variables involved sometimes it’s better or easier to track these things in other ways.
Our Implementation of Salesforce Service Cloud processes includes:
A business process review focused around the service department processes to identify the needs of the system and the best process.
Case tracking (aka support tickets)
Case Assignment Rules (standard use/functionality available)
Configure Email to Case so you can have emails sent to something like firstname.lastname@example.org will create a case automatically.
Web to Case webform configuration to embed on your website.
Customize fields to meet your needs. Assuming basic customizations of standard fields like Case Status, Case Types, and a few custom fields needed unique to your company.
Modify Page Layouts so they make sense for your process. Page layouts organize the fields on the fields the way they are displayed when looking at a record.
Knowledge Base or Solutions to be setup.
Configure Service Cloud Console with the layouts/records needed for your process
Service Contracts and Entitlements
Development of a Standard Operating Procedure document that outlines how to perform your process in Salesforce.