Insider advice for integrating feedback in Salesforce
Let’s start by addressing a big challenge: Salesforce is an incredibly robust solution, which can be overwhelming if not properly configured and managed. Add to that the proliferation of apps that can be integrated with it and you have a potential tangle of technology that can cause some organizations to try to do too much without enough forethought and planning. These types of implementations usually scare users away, causing adoption, usage, and standardization problems.
Unfortunately, in many companies, Salesforce and its related apps and processes are still fragmented and often approached from an internally driven perspective, rather than a customer relationship-driven one. This ultimately frustrates so many customers and internal users that some Salesforce initiatives may be dismissed as failures.
“Why do so many companies struggle to find value from their CRM system? There’s something that Salesforce.com and the other industry leaders can’t tell you. It’s this: the problem with your CRM system isn’t usually about your CRM system. It’s about you. It’s the way it’s been setup. It’s the way it’s been implemented. It’s the way it’s managed” (Forbes).
To embrace the true value of Salesforce, some organizations need a shift in perspective, but it’s not a logically challenging one. Simply think with the customer’s mind. Then, you’ll see that the correct starting point for setting up proper Salesforce processes is the customer journey: the totality of interactions and transactions that customers experience as they engage with a company.
So, wrap your arms around your customer journey(s) before delving into the technical nuts and bolts of integrating feedback into Salesforce. This holds true for building your feedback program, too. You need to identify key transaction points and what results you’re looking for, in what areas of the business, before building your first survey.
Built correctly, your feedback program integrated with Salesforce and its numerous add-on apps can become the engine of growth by supporting the delivery of customer experiences that inspire loyalty, advocacy, and repeat purchases. As you get further into planning how you leverage feedback and Salesforce to improve customer experience, here are five best practice suggestions to streamline the process and the results.
- Automate deployment. For example, lead discovery forms or closed case surveys can be issued using Salesforce workflow or Clicktools Scheduled Deployment to remove the costs and time of this administrative task. This not only significantly reduces costs, but also ensures rapid, even instantaneous follow up.
- Build business rules that enforce opt-outs and limit how many surveys are sent. Across departments, you’ll want to control the number of surveys an individual can receive in a set period of time. For example, if your marketing department is sending one this week, make sure your customer support department isn’t doing the same. Prioritize what goes when.
- Ensure that surveys and forms represent your brand accurately. Collecting information is part of the customer experience and it should enhance, not detract from the brand. Be sure to establish standards for question structures, brand look and feel, and style of language that are applied across the company.
- Provide different channels for customers to give feedback, including social media. Where the information requested is triggered by a specific event, it should use the channel chosen by the customer. For example, a survey may trigger a follow-up with a customer reporting a low satisfaction score or a lead form may initiate a sales process. Build the follow-up alerts and reporting in Salesforce, providing one place for employees to manage the whole customer journey.
- Make it easy for employees to see customer information. When the individuals within your company know that a customer needs attention, whether in the form of sales, support, or service, they should have the context and data at their fingertips to provide high quality interactions. For example, results of a closed case survey should be visible in the case, contact, and account records of the customer. Of course, this should be overridden if anonymity has been requested.
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