Managing High Support Volume: 5 Essential Tips

From Milan to Memphis, as the world adjusts to quarantines and stay-at-home orders, service departments are learning to work in new ways. Even as service centers experience extraordinary case volumes, businesses small and large must learn how to collaborate with colleagues and other departments while balancing the challenges of working from home.

Diverse industries, from food delivery services to telecommunication, are seeing a business boom, yet the increase in customer support cases may be stretching companies beyond their bandwidth. Meanwhile, other industries have seen a marked decline in business, and layoffs and furloughs have left businesses short-staffed even as customer support issues increase.  

In both cases, today’s customer service leaders need effective solutions to alleviate business challenges. Whether your challenge is increased user activity, or it’s weakened support capacity, we can help you solve high case volumes inside Salesforce while maintaining clear communication with your colleagues.

Below are the most important elements of service success, including several Vicasso applications and Salesforce tools you can use now to guide your service departments through these tumultuous times.

How to Be Responsive to Your Customers

Maintaining responsive communication may be your highest priority right now. To ensure your service team does not lose credibility, strive to “over-communicate” with colleagues and customers, even if only to set clear expectations.

Detect and Merge Duplicate Cases
A clean org promotes responsiveness, so now is the time to organize and get rid of unnecessary cases. Yes, that means duplicates! Customers may be “channel thrashing,” opening cases online and through the community, social media, phone, or chat. Case Merge Premium can easily detect and merge your cases in a single click.

Data Quality Analysis
While maintaining clean data, consider monitoring your org for data quality. Salesforce has an excellent FREE app with data quality reports and dashboards pre-built so you can quickly isolate and fix issues.

Use Macros
Macros can help you remove tedious, rote tasks, freeing your team to focus on responsiveness by addressing new cases quickly. You can create macros to perform multiple actions. A single macro can perform multiple actions on different parts of the case feed at the same time, such as entering the subject line of an email and updating the case status.

How to Maintain Frequent and Personal Communications

Customers–and colleagues–want to feel supported, especially when they are feeling stretched. Ensuring efficiency empowers your agents to customize their communication to each unique customer.

Use Lightning Page Layouts for the Case Objects in Salesforce
By combining the right components onto a Lightning Page, you give your reps a 360-degree view of the customer. Reps can then easily add personal touches to communications. Even small touches like making sure reps know your client’s time zone, industry, or upcoming projects can make the client’s feel valued.

To do so, place customer-related information on the case page layout. For example, at Vicasso, we add licenses for the parent account to the case page layout. You can add other related objects, such as account opportunities, giving your service team visibility into any sales activities. You can even show other related cases for that account, which may help you catch duplicate issues.

Case Feed
Case Feed is a great out-of-the-box Salesforce feature that gives reps a view of a case’s timeline. This is helpful for ensuring communication is personal and relevant to the case’s history, especially when multiple team members collaborate on a single case.

Canned Comments
Vicasso's Email to Case Premium takes the Case Feeds feature to the next level with Canned Comments. Right now, you might struggle with balancing quality and consistency of responses while maintaining personalized service. To help your team thrive, create a collection of pre-written content with appropriate formatting, in-line images, and file attachments. You can even leverage merge fields in Canned Comments to add greater efficiency.

How to Utilize Your Team Effectively

To understand your team’s capacity, note speed and quality. Perhaps one agent is handling more complicated cases while others speed through simple cases. Simply measuring “time to close” could make your most knowledgeable agents appear to be your poor performers. With access to the right metrics, such as comparing time with support to time with the customer, you can easily fix faulty processes by coaching your team to utilize their time and talent appropriately.

Utility Bar + Console
If you’re not already leveraging the Salesforce console and utility bar, these features can be invaluable for promoting team efficiency. Utility bars can be added to any Lightning App. Consider adding a utility bar to a console app to create a powerful combination.

  • Console — Helps users find the information they need more effectively, so they can multitask and handle multiple cases at once.
  • Utility bar – Find high touch, critical items in one spot on the browser: New Cases, Macros, Open Tasks, and Flagged Cases (Case Flags) can also be added to the utility bar.

File Slayer (formerly Signature Slayer)
One key to promoting efficiency is separating useful attachments from useless attachments. For example, social icons in email signatures make it difficult to find the right file with the actual screenshot of the problem. File Slayer enables agents to solve issues faster by removing case and account clutter.

How to Help Your Team Prioritize

With so many support cases, your agents’ productivity is vital. Many case variables deserve consideration, but often when prioritizing cases, the latest and loudest case becomes the de facto choice. Inevitably some cases will fall through the cracks.

Milestones and Entitlements
When used together, Milestones and Entitlements in Service Cloud can be a powerful out of the box combination. Entitlements can also be leveraged without Milestones to track priority customers.

  • Entitlements – Help your reps prioritize client cases while understanding which tasks should be addressed first. With Entitlements, you can flag cases as “premium” or “basic” or highlight when a customer does or doesn’t have special support privileges (after hours support, etc).
  • Milestones – Like a roadmap for your reps, Milestones help you track key steps along a case’s lifecycle. This roadmap lets reps know the next steps while prioritizing cases in need of attention. When reps reach certain milestones, email alerts and other automation can be configured to fire.

Case Flags
To prioritize in the moment, reps must know how to consistently choose the best “next case.” Case list views offer a good start, but for some reps it’s tempting to work the easy cases first. Case Flags has a utility bar that organizes cases by priority so your team can work on the case at the top. Case Flags also promotes accountability by making First Response Time (FRT) transparent and helping managers utilize accurate metrics, revealing your team’s capacity while highlighting factors like speed and quality. With Case Flags, you can empower proactive support by showing when and how the team is getting behind.

How To Stay Connected: Internal Team Feedback is Essential!

One area that might be overlooked right now is staying connected with your team. To boost morale, touch base with the people in your department. Make sure your team feels supported and motivated.

Chatter offers a great way to leverage Salesforce to stay connected: Admins can create Chatter Groups (both public and private), similar to groups on other social media platforms so employees can engage on a variety of topics. These groups can help keep teams engaged, providing internal networking and socialization. Vicasso uses Chatter groups frequently–we love it!

Case Flags
Monitor your team’s workload so you can effectively balance and evenly distribute case load, alleviating stress and preventing burnout. You can easily write escalation rules and create reports based on Case Flags so managers can stay in-the-know about how their team is doing. This allows managers to proactively intervene if a support rep is having trouble keeping up with their case load and meeting SLAs.

Make our Salesforce solutions your competitive advantage.

Salesforce has also provided some additional resources below to help outside of case management:

Service Insider Resources Re: COVID-19

Salesforce Lightning Console Technical Requirements

March 30, 2020