Salesforce launches Service Cloud Workforce Engagement, aims to improve forecasting

Contact center agents are often siloed into communication channels. That approach won't fly as consumer behavior shifted amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Salesforce is launching tools that will make it easier to forecast contact center demand, line up service agents and plan capacity needs across communication channels.

The tools, to be outlined at Dreamforce, are part of Service Cloud Workforce Engagement, which uses artificial intelligence, to forecast demand for customer service and support and remotely coach agents in real-time. Salesforce is betting it can automate workforce management for many enterprises managing contact centers with spreadsheets.

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Forecasting customer service demand has been tricky amid the COVID-19 pandemic amid spikes in questions across multiple channels. In addition, agents are increasingly working from home. Meanwhile, contact centers have largely been organized by siloes categorized by communication channel.

Melissa Matross, senior vice president of product management for Salesforce Service Cloud, said the customer service experience has been a grind for both customers and the teams delivering service. "76% of customers expect to work with just one person to get an issue resolved," said Matross.

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The challenge is that companies typically have multiple systems as well as manual processes and independent teams focused on a channel, say phone or chat, she explained.

Service Cloud Workforce Engagement will round out the Service Cloud components, which also include customer service CRM, customer communications channels and field service.

Among the key parts of Service Cloud Workforce Engagement:

  • Service Forecast for Customer 360, which aims to use AI to predict the volume of contact center requests across channels such as chat, phone and social media and adjust staffing in real-time.
  • Omnichannel Capacity Planning, a feature that balances staffing across phone, email, chat and text and social channels.
  • Personalized Agent Engagement, which is used for everything from coaching and training either in real-time or recorded.

Salesforce said Service Cloud Workforce Engagement will be generally available in the first half of 2021. Pricing will be revealed then.

Here are a few screens.

agent-home.jpg

Agent home screen. 

Salesforce
forecasting.jpg

Forecasting by service channel. 

Salesforce