The Spring 21 release is right around the corner and it’s getting so big we’re trying to do eight posts about it instead of the usual four. As I mentioned in our first post, we are going to have the core longer posts on the big clouds but then more break-out smaller posts around areas with lots of new features. Our first post was all about Sales Cloud, Einstein for Sales Cloud, and the Platform, and we had Jill (thanks Jill!) break down the new features for High Velocity Sales. Our second post was a big one on Service Cloud, Einstein for Service – including a ton of Einstein Bots features, and Surveys. From Service Cloud, we are breaking out posts on Field Service, and this post around Service Cloud Voice.
Service Cloud Voice was just launched this summer after being announced at Dreamforce 2019. It’s been an incredible run for a short period as Salesforce has really focused on it and each release has been jammed with features building on top of what was already a packed product out of the gate. Spring 21 is no different – in fact, it’s probably the biggest group of enhancements yet – which is why we’re breaking it out into its own post. On the Gears side, we’ve had quite the stretch, too. We’ve already done a bunch of implementations, built a slew of re-usable extensions to enhance functionality, and have had a great relationship with our Amazon Connect partner Symbee.
If you’re not 100% sure what Service Cloud Voice (SCV) is about or how it works, before jumping into the enhancements, we have some great content we’ve written about it already. First, I’d start off with our Service Cloud Voice Overview post. This goes into a deep overview about the product and how it works with Amazon Connect, as well as highlighting all the Winter 21 enhancements. We also held a webinar where we were joined by Symbee and went into a detailed live demonstration of SCV. So, if you want to see it in action, definitely check that out. Finally, if you want to hear from one of our live Service Cloud Voice customers, we have a terrific interview with T2 Systems where we discuss how the implementation went and how they are doing with it. T2 was one of the very first customers to buy it – they bought it the first day it was available – and we were live within three weeks so they were also one of the very first implementations. They give a great perspective on SCV and it’s worth the read (thanks again Khush!).
Alright, well, with all of that background, you’re now ready to learn about the Spring 21 new features for Service Cloud Voice. Being a smaller post, there’s no real order to the features here, just the bigger features on top. I have a Four Tet album playing in the background so in an upbeat mood. Let’s have at it.
Queued Callback – From our early implementations this was probably the most requested new feature we were getting – so much so, we’d built an Omni-Channel based approach in the interim while we were waiting for this release. While on hold, it’s definitely best practice to offer customers the option to schedule a callback instead of forcing them to wait on hold. It’s better for them and frankly, it’s also better for your workforce management as the worst thing possible is to just have your queue building up and up. In addition, it’s a cheaper option as with all telephony systems, you are accruing charges by the minute so each extra minute a customer is sitting on hold actually costs you.
Now with Queued Callback (queued is a surprisingly hard word to type for some reason), if a customer decides to ask for a callback, this request will automatically drop into a queue, and then as agents become available it will be pushed to them via Omni-Channel. As soon as the request is accepted Service Cloud Voice will initiate the outbound call for the request. The contact flow to manage the process of getting the customer to select the callback is handled within Amazon Connect and a pre-built flow is included that you can tailor to your own needs. Pretty straight-forward and without a doubt something everyone should be considering.
Service Cloud Voice in High Velocity Sales – In Winter 21, Service Cloud Voice became available to be used in Sales Cloud and now we get an even bigger expansion where it’s fully integrated to High Velocity Sales (although, so far I’m wrong in assuming Service Cloud Voice would be renamed to something else now that it’s also in sales functionality. We will see though…). As a reminder, High Velocity Sales (HVS) has had the Lightning Dialer as its telephony tool and now you have the ability to upgrade this significantly with all of the functionality from Service Cloud Voice. Outside of just having a much better and strong telephony experience, there are some nice workflows that tie HVS to Service Cloud Voice. First, as a sales rep finishes an outbound call, the sales cadence is automatically marked as complete and then advances to the next step. A task is also automatically created when the call is completed and it’s logged against the lead and voice record, so it shows in the timeline and allows for easy follow-up. If you’re an HVS customer already, you’re going to want to look at this.
Collaborate on Call Recordings – Chatter has been added to the call audio player where you can listen to the recordings of the call. This is particularly handy as you can add comments and/or ask questions about the call interaction itself and save those directly on the voice record. It’s not exactly a formal QA checklist/scorecard type approach, but it does allow for a QA team or Supervisor to get clarifications around a call that has been assigned/escalated to them. Very handy.
Contact Record Matching – The matching logic for suggesting which Contact record a Voice call is for has been improved with Spring 21. As many of you know, the country code logic for phone numbers is a major pain in the neck for CTI in general – sometimes requiring the 1, other times requiring a +1, and of course users rarely ever enter in those at all. So, in the end, you might have numbers stored in Salesforce like 978-555-6789 or 1-978-555-6789 or even +1 978-555-6789. With this new logic, Service Cloud Voice is able to find the right contact regardless of how the number is formatted, which is super helpful. First, this will help ensure the right screen pop and display of the customer’s data, and second, it’ll help prevent duplicates from being created. This is is actually in beta, but it’s already turned on – which means it might not be 100% perfect, but you’ll be better off with it than without it.
Increased Limits for Service Cloud Voice – I’ll be honest, I didn’t personally realize there were limits like this on Service Cloud Voice (my Service Cloud Voice team frowned on me for this one – so clearly, they knew) but they just were doubled with Spring 21. Previously, Service Cloud Voice could support 1,000 concurrent conversations while also supporting 200 utterances per second. Now, you can get to 2,000 concurrent conversations and 400 utterances per second. As I always say, higher limits is never a bad thing and doubling limits is even better, so no complaints here. Another big change tied to this though is what happens when you hit these limits. Previously, if you hit the limit, literally no new calls could come in – which obviously is not ideal. With Spring 21, the calls will still be able to come in – even if you exceed the newly doubled limit – but the call transcription and automatic object linking won’t occur. We’d definitely rather receive the call versus having transcription, so without a doubt this is a compromise no customer will be upset with. Great to see.
Service Cloud Voice Administration – A few quick changes to the administration of Service Cloud Voice. First, it’s a bit quicker and easier to set up now. Similar to some of the other Service Cloud enhancements, Salesforce has focused on streamlining the setup and we see it here as well. Next, you can now see if updates are available to be installed to the contact center. Keep in mind, Service Cloud Voice works with Amazon Connect which has a ton of different services at its disposal. While your pure Salesforce features – like all the ones above – just happen with the normal releases, we’re also getting new updates on the Amazon side and sometimes access to new services within Amazon. This update activates all of those features, so something to definitely keep an eye on, and it’s nice to see it more visible. Finally, along the same note, Service Cloud Voice leverages a public-private key to connect Salesforce to Amazon connect. This does expire and needs to be replaced before it expires. This is for security purposes (you don’t want someone else hacking your key and running charges against it) so it expires each year. Now you can see the expiration date within the Contact Center setup and update it directly from there. You’ll get prompted with a notification if you’re close to expiration – and it’s a notification you absolutely want to pay attention to or Service Cloud Voice will stop taking calls.
After-Conversation Work – Last but not least is a pilot that is available around allowing agents time to do work after the conversation. Call-wrap time essentially. We don’t normally discuss pilots, but this is a cool one and since we’re doing a break-out on Service Cloud Voice we might as well. Most call centers give their agents time to finish up their case or any work they need to do after their call, and within that time they ensure a new call doesn’t get routed to the agent. Until this feature, Service Cloud Voice managed this with the call record itself – essentially, if the agent had it open, the assumption was they were still working so it didn’t send them another call. Once that tab closes, the next call could route in.
With this pilot, you can set this up to be more structured. You can set a fixed period of wrap-up time – say 2 minutes – and that timer starts as soon as the call ends. If the agent wraps-up before those 2 minutes are up, as soon as they close the tab, a new call can come at them. If the agent still has that tab open when the wrap-up time expires, they will become available for a new call and if they receive one, it’ll pop a new tab for them while leaving the old tab still up. This is definitely a better way to handle wrap-up time as sometimes the agent simply forgets to close their tab and minutes could go by while they wait for a call without realizing why one isn’t coming – or worse, sometimes an agent is gaming the system by taking too long to close their tabs giving themselves extra time after each call. Even though this is a pilot, it sounds like this is something you can activate by speaking to your Salesforce AE – that said, there are some things to consider with the pilot functionality itself.
First, right now there’s no way for the agent to see the wrap-up timer. So, they won’t really know how much time they have before a new call can come at them. Not ideal, but not the end of the world as agents tend to have a great internal clock anyway. Second, supervisors can’t see that an agent is in this wrap-up period in real-time, but they can report on it after. So, you’ll be able to see how much wrap-up time each call or agent has taken as part of your full reporting, but you just can’t see it while it’s happening. Again, not the end of the world, but something to consider. Finally, if you’re leveraging the Status-Based Capacity omni-channel model instead of the Tab-Based model, this feature won’t actually work. So make sure you’re using tab-based before trying to turn this on or you’re going to be frustrated. At a minimum, it might be worth getting this turned on and learning how it works, and seeing if these limits are ok. If so, then just leave it on. Most likely Salesforce will address these as it comes out of pilot and goes GA.
Alright, well that covers Service Cloud Voice. Not used to these smaller blog posts! I feel like I ripped through this one. Overall though, a lot of great stuff here for a single product and all of this is very exciting. If you’re interested in learning more about Service Cloud Voice, or if you’re looking for help implementing, please reach out. We’re one of the few partners with a bunch of live customers already and we’ll be happy to help! Thanks for reading and Field Service is up next.
Harry is the CEO and founder of GearsCRM, with more than 18 years of experience working with the Salesforce platform. Outside of Gears, Harry enjoys debating Star Wars and Marvel with his son and sharing music and videos with his daughter. He is an avid racquetball player, bleeds Dodger blue, cries Jets green and always tries to find spare time to read a good fiction novel.