Not Business as Usual – How to Adapt and Support Your Customers Right Now

As a response to the current pandemic, businesses across the world are rolling out continuity plans while trying to effectively utilize resources and manage remote teams. With service volumes spiking, service teams are trying to be as responsive as possible while maintaining a personalized experience with potentially sensitive customers. While managing all of these variables, enterprising businesses are also trying to use feedback to assure continued excellence.

CEO of Vicasso, Felisa Palagi, led a panel discussion webinar to hear from business leaders how they’ve adapted and have been able to ensure more confidence for customers. Panel participants included Anthony McCullough, the Director of Global Salesforce CRM at AGCO Corporation; Sandro Viselli, the VP of Customer Success at Ascent Cloud; Andy Roethler, Director of Customer Care at Integrated DNA Technologies; and Gadi Vered, the Director of Customer Support at OwnBackup.

Felisa has consulted over 300 companies in customer service, sales service, and field service. She remains committed to providing the ultimate customer experience by leading a focused and inspired team at Vicasso through this challenging period.

“It’s been a huge change, but instead of panic and chaos, we’re seeing employee-led collaboration and incredible new ideas.” – Felisa Palagi

Biggest Impacts on the Industry Right Now

All businesses are currently operational for AGCO Corporation, the industry leader in agricultural equipment manufacturing, however as Anthony McCullogh explained, the company is experiencing disruptions in European supply chains. In China, some factories have lost five to six weeks of productivity. That said, McCullough sees the light at the end of the tunnel as factories in China are beginning to return to operations.

With work travel suspended for most industries, Ascent Cloud’s Sandro Viselli and his team have been focused on leveraging Salesforce to help his company’s employees transition from on-the-road-warrior types to working productively at home.

Integrated DNA Technologies is in a unique position. The company is manufacturing synthetic DNA for research, and as one of the first companies to have their products authorized for the CDC testing kits, they’re seeing incredible demand. With this demand, lab employees are continuing work on-site while office employees are working from home. As Andy noted, “regional sites in California, Belgium, and Singapore each present unique communication opportunities and demands because each has been impacted differently.” A creative collaboration model has helped ease communication between diverse teams.

As an AppExchange partner with Salesforce, OwnBackup’s software is crucial for Salesforce users right now. They have seen an increase in the need for support for its remote customers. As people have shifted to working from home, there’s been a need for employees to have more access to parts of the business they normally would not have and a greater need for businesses to increase security protocols like multi-factor authentication and VPN access.

Managing Remote Teams and Customer Expectations

Companies like, AGCO, have seen an extraordinarily high call volume, and with staff working from home, it’s been more important than ever to ensure that the service levels are up to par. Tech solutions have enabled them to monitor service tightly while they write up new escalation paths for the teams. This requires them to be very deliberate about keeping people engaged and informed.

Versatility is golden.
As VP of Customer Success, Viselli described, maintaining morale and coaching to people’s strengths has been crucial for their team and it’s how they’re helping customers, as well. They have been leveraging Salesforce to promote visibility into the good work their teams are doing. Ascent Cloud hopes to translate that positivity to customers by helping them understand the value of managing team members with feedback and coaching.

Encouraging Productivity.
Ascent Cloud encourages employees to report back to management the three or four things they’re working on to encourage productivity and keep them feeling motivated.

Leveraging Salesforce for Productivity

Looking at data differently.
“Before the pandemic, we looked at metrics as data,” OwnBackup’s Vered noted. “Note we’re trying to view data with more analysis.” This means customizing reports to allow for better visibility and getting more granular with the data.

Adapting to new trends.
The team has also had to adjust to new trends of people working from home. For OwnBackup, Vered spoke about how tools like Vicasso's Case Merge Premium have empowered them to handle more cases efficiently and quickly due to an increase in support volume and duplicate cases. Additionally, the team identified the need to better prioritize cases due to peak time-shifting and noted that tools like Case Flags can help their team better prioritize.

Resetting Priorities.
The pandemic turned many of our roadmaps upside down. AGCO’s McCullough said that marketing automation and case management then became their top priorities. While agriculture has traditionally been an in-person industry, marketing automation is shifting the way they do business. Agriculture is already fairly high-tech, but this current experience will undoubtedly move the industry to use more tech.  The key? “Stay the course,” says Gadi.

AGCO currently has over 3000 users on Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, and they’re trying to move all users to the platform. Case management is the key here: Anthony said the demand for Salesforce has sky-rocketed, so they have to make sure the team is working on the right things. For this task, Case Flags is indispensable.

How Will Work Shift Permanently?

Many of the changes we’re seeing today will serve to only make work more efficient and the panelists agreed.

Ascent Cloud’s Viselli says he believes companies will rethink remote work to be a more significant part of their model and that will cut down on travel.

As companies continue to make changes to how they work and how they support the needs of their customers, one thing is clear, we’re figuring it out altogether.

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April 21, 2020