Salesforce has two native functions that help organizations manage cases efficiently: milestones and entitlements.
Milestones define the important steps of your case management process, like First Response Time (FRT) or Time to Resolution (TTR).
Entitlements define levels of customer support within your case management process. They also set the stage for which milestones need to be reached–and when.
For example, say a customer with a Basic Support package is entitled to 10 cases a year. However, another customer with Premium Support is entitled to 25 cases a year plus live chat and phone assistance. Entitlements offer support teams “the business logic to enforce them on cases” while noting support level details. (source).
The Salesforce community often refers to these features as interdependent. As this Salesforce help guide notes: “Milestones are added to entitlement processes to ensure that agents resolve support records correctly and on time.”
Introduced as part of the Spring ‘10 release, milestones and entitlements equip support teams with a defined support process, outlining how each case should be handled.
However, the two functions do not adequately account for the dynamic nature of today’s best support teams, or what our Director of Product, Howard Yermish, calls “the twists and turns that happen when your customers respond, the back and forth.”
Entitlements can help you define appropriate service levels; based on a customer’s initial interaction, and milestones outline subsequent steps with an emphasis placed on the timely completion of these steps. This emphasis is supported by the associated metrics, including TTR. When TTR is prioritized over other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), agents strive to respond quickly, and often close cases before the issue is resolved.
A truly responsive service team values speed as well as the quality of the first and all subsequent interactions may need an additional feature, beyond milestones, to account for the twists and turns and the back and forths of most customer service exchanges.
Vicasso has developed an alternative to milestones that does exactly this.
By accounting for each and every interaction, Case Flags promotes responsiveness–a key pillar of the Vicasso Service Experience Suite–with a simplified list view that displays cases by priority according to entitlements as well as the most recent customer interaction–not merely the first.
With Case Flags, agents can easily see the cases waiting for a response. Flags are cleared as agents respond, and the goal is to work through all flagged cases until each case is addressed.
This process shifts the emphasis from FRT to what we call “responsiveness metrics,” including, as Howard notes, “the time between interactions, measuring both the time with support and time waiting for the customer as well as specifics about each interaction” (source).
By revealing a more nuanced view of the service experience service managers can utilize resources in the most efficient way.
By having a clear view of what is actually happening when customers and agents interact, organizations are able to improve agent productivity and boost their metrics.
Using these metrics, an industrious support manager can not only shift resources when appropriate but can coach his/her team to succeed across a variety of interactions with customers of all service levels.
If you are looking for a simpler and more consistent system for prioritizing cases, Case Flags just might be the answer.