“Omni-Channel has the power to increase your agents’ response time and effectiveness…”
Before Salesforce.com came into my life I was in the Customer Service world, and during that part of my life I spent a few years in a technical support center answering phones and emails. The phone system had CTI to distribute calls evenly based on several factors which kept the load even across all the agents. However, email was another story. We used Outlook folders and different color flags with your first name to show who was working on each case. The rule was first come first serve. Depending on the day some people would follow this rule while others would ignore it and take the “easiest” emails to handle. This always caused tension between the employees and there was never a good solution for this problem. Even when Salesforce.com came along there was no good solution that didn’t require massive code, or an expensive AppExchange package.
Omni-Channel Offers Relief
With this last release from Salesforce.com we welcomed several updates and one of them was Omni-Channel. Omni-Channel provides Salesforce.com with a declarative way to handle assigning leads and cases created by email or social media. It also provides you the ability to assign custom objects; all without the need for a developer. The assignment criteria are what make this tool more impressive. It handles your traditional round robin assignments by assigning the case to the next agent in line, but also offers more flexibility. You can now decide how many cases each agent can handle at a time. This can be very helpful when you have a new agent that can’t handle a full workload quite yet, or a senior agent that wants to take on more of the workload. Omni-channel also allows your agents to set their status, so when they are away at lunch cases get assigned to an agent that can work the case sooner rather than later.
Things to Consider
Before setting up Omni-Channel there are few items to consider. The first item to consider when setting up Omni-Channel is your queue structure. With Omni-Channel you can use queues to set priority of work and who will work each item. An example of this would be two different support email addresses. The first email address is the general support address and the second is for high priority customers. Omni-Channel can prioritize which emails get answered and by who. This will allow emails in the high priority inbox to get handled first by your more senior agents.
Another item to consider before setting up Omni-channel is your agents. Omni-Channel allows you to determine which agents will handle which queue and how many items they can have assigned to them at a time. You will also want to consider if your agents are allowed to decline items that are assigned to them by Omni-Channel. One thing to consider before answering this is how many channels are cases or leads coming in from. Some of these channels might not be supported by Omni-Channel and might need to have priority over channels that are controlled Omni-Channel. A couple examples of a channel that is not supported would be incoming phone calls on a support desk or outgoing calls for inside sales reps. You might not want your reps to be distracted when handling these tasks. This also leads us into the last item to consider.
What type of statuses do you want to make available to your agents? They can be as simple as “Available” & “Unavailable” or as detailed as you wish. If you plan to setup multiple Omni-Channels they can be re-used. If you are using a CTI based phone system I would recommend matching the same statuses otherwise start with a smaller list because you can always add to them.
Ultimately, Omni-Channel has the power to increase your agents’ response time and effectiveness by putting the right data in front of them at the right time.
Written by Matt Smelser, Demand Chain Systems Developer / Service Cloud Expert
Matt is highly skilled in enterprise software implementations, identification of business requirements, team leadership, and project management and brings more than seven years of experience to the team. At Demand Chain Systems, Matt is responsible for all aspects of new and existing client engagements including pre sales engineering, strategy creation, requirement gathering, process engineering, system design and integration, testing, data migration, training and go-live support.
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