Moving from Contact Centers to Customer Engagement Centers

Using personas to understand Service Cloud users

Kathy Baxter
Oct 26, 2016 · 7 min read

Customer service can make or break a company’s customer experience. In fact, according to Gartner, 75% of a company’s touch points with their customers are customer service interactions. The service industry is changing and to stay competitive, companies must change the way they do business. They can no longer view their contact centers as a necessary evil of doing business. They must embrace their customers and transform from being simply contact centers to customer engagement centers.

The Salesforce Service UX team is helping our customers build the bridge between what is and what can be by better understanding our end users and their needs. Here’s a peek into the Service Cloud User Personas and what they teach us about the future of the Service Industry.

The Changing Service Industry

Those companies see questions and issues from their customers (i.e., cases) as a necessary evil of doing business. Rather than seeing these engagement opportunities as moments to enhance their brand and empower their customers, they motivate their employees (i.e., agents) to get the customers off the phone as quickly as possible.

Additionally, high agent turnover (30–45% annually) means that the person helping you is likely new and/or disgruntled. It’s no wonder that 34% of millennials would rather have their teeth cleaned than call customer service!

Cartoon by Liz Fosslien

Companies must change the way they support their customers to stay relevant and competitive. They will need to empower customers to solve problems themselves, embrace social customer support, develop their agents to provide more personalized support to solve increasingly difficult problems, and invest in their technical infrastructure to create 360 degree views of the customers to provide insights faster. So, how prepared are Salesforce Service Cloud users for this new world?

Getting to know our Service Cloud users

Alyssa and I kicked off the Service Cloud User Persona effort with a survey of over 55,000 Service end users in May 2016. Alyssa ran a factor analysis on the reported behavior data from our survey to understand which service tasks tend to occur together. This analysis revealed four core end user personas.

Four core Service Cloud end user personas

Case Solvers: The unsung heroes in contact centers

Expert Agents: They solve the toughest cases

Team Leaders: Their focus is on the agents

Service Admins: They build the tools that empower everyone

Why these personas matter

When Service Cloud Team Leaders focus their time on developing the people they supervise, it can result in lower agent turnover and higher satisfaction. We see from our survey and field visits that Team Leaders are dealing with manual processes to gather feedback and provide coaching. Providing more automated tools can greatly enable these users.

Finally, we see that Service Admins enable the success of all other Service Cloud users and that their skills are in high demand. By investing in additional training and tools that support Admin efficiency and productivity, everyone benefits.

How we use our personas internally

For example, Case Solvers at a consumer entertainment company tend to be different demographically from Case Solvers at a medical device company. Selecting one photo, name, age range, gender, etc. to represent all Case Solvers ignores this diversity. Instead, we combine our quantitative data with photos and videos of several actual end users for each persona. This provides the richness to engage with the personas at a human level without oversimplifying who our users really are. During design sessions or product reviews, we can refer to the cards above for quick statistics about who we are designing for, refer to our more detailed persona decks, and/or review videos of real users, depending on our needs.

We combine our quantitative data with photos and videos of several actual end users for each persona. This provides the richness to engage with the personas at a human level without oversimplifying who our users really are.

What we learned

All of the customers we spoke to want to map our personas to their companies so they can see how their end users compare to the personas across Service Cloud. This brief exposure opened their eyes to a new tool that can help them understand their own employees better and to how that understanding can result in better customer experience!

What have you learned?

This post was written in collaboration with Alyssa Vincent-Hill and Emily Paul. Thank you Raymon Sutedjo-The and Ian Schoen for all of your feedback!


Follow us at @SalesforceUX.
Want to work with us? Contact
uxcareers@salesforce.com
Check out the
Salesforce Lightning Design System

Salesforce Experience and Design

A collection of stories, case studies, and ideas from Salesforce design teams

Thanks to Ian Schoen

Kathy Baxter

Written by

Architect, Ethical AI Practice at Salesforce. Coauthor of "Understanding Your Users," 2nd ed. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathykbaxter

Salesforce Experience and Design

A collection of stories, case studies, and ideas from Salesforce design teams

More From Medium

More from Salesforce Experience and Design

More from Salesforce Experience and Design

More from Salesforce Experience and Design

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade