It's a full-on blizzard over here in New England so I find myself yet again…
At GearsCRM, we officially launched our Service Cloud Practice almost five years ago. The timing was ironic because it was a month before Oracle announced their acquisition of RightNow. At the time, RightNow was a stand-alone software company and they were a leader in the B2C Customer Service space. Salesforce had already dominated the Sales Cloud market at this point and had just launched a series of new features to target Customer Service. At Gears, we were excited about the direction Salesforce was headed and we were one of the first partners to focus on Service Cloud specialization.
It’s amazing how much has changed in those five years. Oracle buying RightNow wound up really hindering the feature development for RightNow and Salesforce has steadily expanded Service Cloud to the point where they are now the leader in the space. During that time we have worked with multiple customers to migrate off of Oracle Service Cloud (RightNow) and onto Salesforce Service Cloud.
Right now, Currently, (one thing about RightNow projects is everyone hates having to say “Right now, we do” or “Right now, we have”…it’s maddening) we have two of these projects in the works and it got me thinking about the main reasons our customers have switched or are in the process of switching.
Update: We’ll be joining Salesforce for a live Q&A session webinar to discuss this on January 26th! Please go here to register and see examples and ask live questions on the below!
- Agent Experience – This might not be the number one reason organizations make the switch, but it quickly becomes the number one reason they are happy with the switch. Simply put, Salesforce has made the agent experience a major point of emphasis in Service Cloud. The Service Console is the backbone of that experience and it really is a platform of its own that allows you to build out the agent experience in the best way for your department. Here are just some of the key differentiators with the agent experience powered by the Service Console:
- Consistency – The Service Console is the main agent experience regardless of the channel the agent is working with. The Service Console supports Phone with CTI integration, Chat with built in Live Agent, basic Case Management from Emails, Web and Community, and even Social and Messaging Cases. No matter what channel the Case comes in from, your agent is handling that Case with the Service Console. While some channels might have different features – for instance the Chat window only appears on a Chat Case – the experience for the agent is consistent. This means that your agents only need to learn one UI in order to support any channel. In addition, any customizations to extend the console (see below) are available across all of your agents and channels and you won’t need to build it multiple times to support multiple channels.
- Flexibility – The Service Console doesn’t need to be a one-size fits all solution. Multiple consoles can be created if needed that expose different components or behave differently so that you can streamline the UI to the agent’s needs. In addition, leveraging standard Salesforce, page layouts for all of your different records can easily be setup to be different for each user profile and even process types leveraging record types. Using standard configuration, the agent’s view can be designed to simply present the information they need and reduce clutter that they don’t care about. This standard flexibility is much easier to accomplish and then manage with Salesforce than it is with RightNow.
- Speed – By speed I am referring to the speed of your agent to be able to do their job (that said – older versions of RightNow all required .NET and are very slow performance-wise compared to Salesforce. Even their newest version which is a browser UI is years behind Salesforce’s browser experience and it hasn’t completely eliminated the .NET client on the admin side. So, long story short, RightNow is actually slow.). The Console is built to make an agent faster and is optimized to reduce clicks and present information without an agent having to search for it. From the Highlight panel which displays key data about the Customer at the top of the page at all times, to the way records are grouped in a tab structure so it’s easier for an agent to keep multiple records together in one place, to the Console Components you can add detailed below – all of these features are there to deliver information to your agents quicker. All of this is built into a UI that is very similar to how someone uses a browser so it’s extremely quick for agents to learn. One of our first RightNow conversions was from a customer that had been using RightNow for 10 years. Their agents knew RightNow like the back of their hands and there was some concern about the learning ramp and how that would impact the Average Call Handling metric. We had conservatively given ourselves a month to get back to RightNow levels and then expected to improve from there once the call center was fully comfortable. The agents wound up being faster than RightNow in just one week – the Average Call Handling exceeded all of our goals. When we asked the agents why, they almost all pointed to how fast it was to find the information they needed for their call.
- Extendibility – The Service Console was built to be extended. Console components can be added to the right or left hand sides of the page and tray items can be added to the bottom to provide more functionality than just the core page layout. These can be standard components – like a component that shows further details about related records to the Case / Customer or even custom components that display data from an outside system or maybe even kicks off a flow to guide an agent through a process. Components can be added to extend your business process and how you leverage them is entirely up to you. The components are as flexible as the standard functionality and they can be exposed to different user profiles so for example if you need a Cancellation Flow for your Billing team, you don’t need to expose that to your Customer Service team and waste their real estate with something they’ll never use.
- 360 Degree View – RightNow was originally designed for B2C Customer Service and when they later rolled out Sales CRM functionality it definitely was not a strong as their service offering. Due to this, hardly anyone really uses RightNow for their Sales team which means the Sales users are typically on a different product and the Service team is isolated in RightNow. For customers also on one of Oracles Sales platforms, Oracle has a way to glue their different platforms together leveraging their Integration Cloud Service (ICS) but essentially it’s a replication service that requires multiple steps to connect the platform each time you make a change – like adding a new field for example. The customers we have migrated haven’t bothered leveraging this as it was a headache and at the end of the day, it still leaves the systems on different platforms. Getting all of the key customer facing teams truly onto a single platform is one of the major reasons we have seen customers make the switch. There are so many benefits to having Sales and Service on the same platform – the biggest being that it finally allows your company to get that 360 degree view of your customers. The benefit of being able to pull up a customer’s Account or Contact record and see everything that is happening with that customer – Cases, Opportunities, Site Visits, Assets, Contracts, etc – all in one place is huge. Add in the ability for your various customer facing teams to be able to collaborate right on those records and you’re getting a whole different level of benefit from your CRM than you do with them isolated in different systems. We always refer to this as the “no more ambushes” mantra. A Sales person should be able to visit a customer and right before that visit pull up their mobile app and see if any issues are going on. Instead of finding out about that open critical Case for the first time when the customer is yelling about it during the visit – find out beforehand and walk into that customer with the status of where you are with that Case. The flip-side goes for Customer Service. They don’t necessarily need to know what products a customer is about to buy or if the deal is worth $775,000, but they would definitely just love to have visibility that the customer calling in about an issue has a large opportunity in the pipeline so handle with care. I could write ten posts on the 360 view benefits here all on their own.
- Community – With each new release, the gap between Salesforce’s Community and RightNow’s portal grows even larger. RightNow’s portal is pretty basic and is strictly focused on self-service and knowledge. Basically any attempt to extend their portal requires PHP code. If you want to use one of their “templates” or even expose a custom field you’ve added to their objects you need to code. It’s also simply not updated with regular new features so it’s a stagnant piece of functionality that most customers have had to either heavily customize to make it fit, or they’ve been forced to simplify their processes to use the out of the box portal. Neither are great options and this is a major pain point for RightNow customers. Salesforce’s Community is really an extension of their platform and can be extended to expose any object or process to your customers and partners. The addition of Lightning has been huge for Communities as now you can create a look and feel to match your branding – with full pixel level control. In addition, you can extend the Community with Lightning components – either out of the box or custom – and on top of all of this, it’s built with mobile in mind. RightNow’s portal is not mobile friendly, so it’s completely custom to build a mobile responsive community – while with Salesforce, the standard out of the box templates are already responsive. Finally, RightNow’s security model assumes everything is at the User / Contact level which really makes it hard to roll-out a Community for a complicated security model – for customers with advanced Account Hierarchies or Partners doing support on behalf of multiple customers for instance. Salesforce’s Community security model is the same as the platform’s model, so it’s just as flexible and powerful.
- SLAs – Measuring your Service team’s performance against contractual or internal SLAs is a critical capability that every Service team must have. Salesforce’s Entitlement and SLA engine allows you to build out SLAs that can be as granular or complicated as you need. Customer specific SLAs? No problem. Asset specific? Again, no problem. Need a matrix for your SLAs based on criteria from the Case or the Account? Not an issue. Need a repeating Milestone that kicks off every single time a new response is sent in from a customer? Done. Need all of these? All set – but I feel for you. All of Salesforce’s SLAs are tracked in real time and can be paused based on criteria as needed so that you are accurately reflecting the true time it took you to meet that SLA. For example, a Case comes in and it doesn’t have enough information? Set your Case Status to “Waiting for Customer” and the SLA can pause. All of this flexibility allows you to build your SLA tracking to map to your business processes. RightNow’s are much more cookie cutter and can’t get to the level of complexity that most organizations need. The SLA discovery session is always one of the fun ones with RightNow conversions as the customers are thrilled by what’s possible.
- Omni-Channel Routing – Omni-Channel Routing is a feature specific only to Salesforce and we are seeing this really taking off among our Service Cloud customers. Essentially it’s the ability to push work to agents instead of passively dropping work into Queue. We have been using this to really ramp up the productivity of agents in different uses cases. We did a webinar on a series of different use cases and then wrote a blog on a specific example about QA work. Simply put, RightNow doesn’t have anything close to this and it’s an area Salesforce has been expanding with each release. The real time Supervisor dashboards that came out in Winter 17 alone are a game-changer. It’s worth checking out the webinar and learning more on this ground-breaking feature.
Well, those are the top 5 reasons we’ve seen, but there are others that we typically get into when discussing a project. While Salesforce might do some things differently than RightNow at the individual feature level, overall it’s going to be a fast learning curve for your agents and administrators. Some things are different enough that you’ll want to map out the training and messaging early on – interfaces and Queues are two good examples – but for the most part from the user standpoint it’s an easy transition. We’d be happy to discuss what this entails with anyone – just fill out our Contact Us and someone will get back to you right away. Good luck and hope to see you on the Salesforce side!