Salesforce unveils new Service Cloud Lightning Console for B2B firms

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The bane of many B2B companies remains the long queue that often irate customers have to get through on the phone before talking to a customer agent. Leading CRM solution provider Salesforce took a large step toward solving that problem on Sept. 1 with the announcement of the latest version of its Service Cloud Lightning Console.

With the new Lightning Console, customer support agents can quickly optimize service delivery for B2B customers.

With 50 billion smart devices forecast to be online by 2020, B2B customers expect to solve their support problems whenever and wherever they are. “(Customers) are more connected than ever before,” says Bobby Amezaga, senior director, product marketing, Salesforce Service Cloud. “This means that companies must deliver a seamless service experience across every traditional and emerging channel. Salesforce empowers service agents to act quickly and with deeper insight than ever before.”

For example, the Lightning Console dramatically increases the productivity of customer service agents with real-time analytics and macros that quickly bundle solution content from the platform’s knowledge base into emails. And as the customer moves from channel to channel, the support agent is able to stay connected to her.

Furthermore, the Lightning Console’s intelligent routing and presence functionality pushes customers toward the right agents based on their capabilities to efficiently and effectively deal with each specific issue. Agents stay motivated because they can monitor their productivity with a ticking virtual clock, which in the demo B2B News Network witnessed started at 15 minutes.

Also announced on Sept. 1, Salesforce took the wraps off the new Service Wave Analytics App. With the Service Wave Analytics App, managers are able to see at a glance which agents or channels are underperforming on key KPIs and able to take early corrective action.

For example, in the demo B2Bnn saw, one agent was performing somewhat below the level of others on the same shift versus average handle time, CSAT (customer satisfaction) and other KPIs (key performance indicators). In this instance, Gautam Vasudev, director of product management at Salesforce, who was running the demo, commented that this could be an indication for the need to schedule additional training to bring the agent up to par. Without this real-time analytics functionality, days or weeks would have passed before service managers realized the productivity gap, suffering an unnecessary opportunity cost in the process.

More on these developments and others from Salesforce will be forthcoming at the company’s premier show on customer success, Dreamforce, Sept. 15-18, in San Francisco.

Expect a Dreamforce preview report this weekend on B2B News Network.

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Derek Handova

Derek Handova

Derek Handova is a veteran journalist writing on various B2B vertical beats. He started out as associate editor of Micro Publishing News, a pioneer in coverage of the desktop publishing space and more recently as a freelance writer for Digital Journal, Economy Lead (finance and IR beats) and Intelligent Utility (electrical transmission and distribution beats).