Salesforce Service Cloud OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Buyer's Guide

Download the CRM Customer Engagement Centers Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2022

What is Salesforce Service Cloud?

Service Cloud is fully customizable support and help desk that provide faster, smarter service that will increase loyalty, retention, and satisfaction. From call-center software to self-service portals, our service solutions enhance your customer service with more responsive, more intuitive, more flexible support that anticipates customer needs.

Salesforce Service Cloud was previously known as Service Cloud.

Salesforce Service Cloud Customers

Stanley Black & Decker, Coca-Cola, Activision, Wells Fargo, Spotify, Aldo, Philips, The Red Cross, Blue Shield of California, Sprouts Farmers Market, Direct Energy Solar, Inspirato, Kiva

Salesforce Service Cloud Video

Archived Salesforce Service Cloud Reviews (more than two years old)

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Senior Vice President with 51-200 employees
Real User
Has the ability to quickly add customizable fields that are easily incorporated into the existing framework

What is our primary use case?

I have used it several times for past employers and clients. The most recent was a medical device firm that needed to document issues reported by customers regarding the use of their products.

How has it helped my organization?

It's all cases the solution was the first of its kind in the environment (it was previously manual). To be fair, just about any system would make an improvement in that situation.   What made SFDC particularly useful was the ease in setup and the ability to quickly refine it.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature was the ability to quickly add customizable fields (and by quickly, I mean in less than two minutes) that were easily incorporated into the existing framework.   

The system was remarkably easy to understand which made the setup quick. This is important because it gave us the ability to get started quickly.

What needs improvement?

While there is extensive reporting in the system, there is not always a direct route to get what you are looking for. There are plenty of tools in the market that provide those capabilities. I would just prefer it if there were an SFDC option.

Buyer's Guide
CRM Customer Engagement Centers
November 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle and others in CRM Customer Engagement Centers. Updated: November 2022.
657,397 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used many different solutions, but I have not switched to SFDC from them (this is not a knock on SFDC, but more of a situation where the other systems did their jobs).

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The answer to this question will vary greatly depending on the firm's requirements and available resources. For example, will out-of-the-box SFDC work? Do you require additional apps or is there a plan to customize? The best advice I can give you is to spend time upfront to nail down short and longer-term needs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The most recent two were a choice between native ERP (Epicor) functionality and SFDC. These were the only two reasonable options because built-in compatibility with the ERP was a condition.

What other advice do I have?

When looking at SDFC, take a look at the whole ecosystem.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Artist and Owner at a tech consulting company
Consultant
The most valuable features for us are contact tracking, the knowledge base, and the analytics.

What is most valuable?

  • Contact tracking
  • Knowledge Base
  • Analytics

How has it helped my organization?

Through the use of the Knowledge Base, which we translated into 13 languages, we where able to increase our support reach to our customers. This included an increased support level not only for those customers whom we served directly via other channels (phone, email, and chat), but this also extended our reach to those customers whom we could not support directly (those who spoke Japanese, Korean and Russian, for example).

What needs improvement?

The treatment of email processing in the Service Cloud is still reminiscent of email processes appropriate to sales. There is a lack of flexibility to process an email (not web-to-case contacts) as a contact. This might take an entire rewrite of the approach or a purchase and integration of one of the competing email processing apps (which will go un-named, but you know who I mean).

Having said that, Salesforce is always improving, I am constantly amazed at the way they listen to their customers and (eventually) move innovations suggested by the field into their products.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it since 2006.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We had no problems with any of these phases of the project. Design and deployment took six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I can’t remember a time we were down unexpectedly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We scaled up from five contact centers to 14, and added support features like chat and more translations of the Knowledge Base with ease.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the support received from Salesforce of the highest caliber. They are very responsive and helpful. They even sent a Product Director on-site to work with us on a particularly difficult issue.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The CRM product we used was not integrated across sales, marketing or support departments, nor was it integrated across borders (Europe and the US used separate instances). Just before the transition to Salesforce, that previous company reduced support to pay only and that was the final straw for us.

How was the initial setup?

With the help of Salesforce Professional Services, our design, development, training and deployment took six months from the decision to implement to a final training day across nine cities worldwide. Salesforce has a very effective methodology for this process and is willing to help as much or as little as needed.

What about the implementation team?

We used a Salesforce Professional Services team and had both an internal and a contract Project Manager. One huge advantage is that we had an overall business process owner who acted as a go-between, communicating with all of the teams Salesforce, sales, marketing, support, IT, finance and corporate management.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI figures are proprietary. What I can say is that the biggest ROI value comes from the intangible benefits (which the financial people have to figure in the spreadsheet). One factor was the ability to reach customers whom we could not directly support (see the discussion of the Knowledge Base above). Another was having a single source of truth for Customer Data, used by all departments, sales, support and marketing. The ability to identify product problems early and quickly by analyzing our contact data meant that we solved any product problems rapidly before those problems affected sales volume. Agent productivity and satisfaction also increased. The agents had direct input to the design and any enhancements to the system. We used a process of continuous improvement with regular updates. They “owned” the system and were happier and more productive as a result.

What other advice do I have?

Appoint a business process owner who will “own” the implementation. This person needs to be totally invested in the success of the application, not only in their own department, but across all departments that will be using, or be affected by, the system. This includes IT and finance. Involve the users of the system in the initial design. They are the ones that will have to use the tool, and they know best what is easy and what is hard to do. When you incorporate their design suggestions, give them public credit, “Ed, this is the feature you suggested”. That gives them pride of ownership and may turn detractors into advocates for the system. Become very friendly with your IT Director. As a team you will be able to figure out the best upgrade and expansion strategy, cost saving strategy, and bug fix/feature enhancement process. You will also have an ally with whom you can present your cost justifications and enhancement requests to management.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
CRM Customer Engagement Centers
November 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle and others in CRM Customer Engagement Centers. Updated: November 2022.
657,397 professionals have used our research since 2012.
it_user363717 - PeerSpot reviewer
Salesforce Service Cloud Admin at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It has the ability to customize which is valuable.

What is most valuable?

  • UI
  • Easy to build
  • Standard features
  • Ability to customize

How has it helped my organization?

  • Collaboration using Chatter
  • Reporting using Wave Analytics
  • Call center
  • Case Feed
  • Console

What needs improvement?

Avoid customizations as much as possible.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for over four years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No, it's very easy especially if Standard functionality is used.

How is customer service and technical support?

They're very good.

How was the initial setup?

Initial set up was done using Standard features and hence it was very simple.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user377472 - PeerSpot reviewer
IS Manager at a manufacturing company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
There are several good features, but the most valuable to us are the integrated email, entitlements, and the overall powerfulness of the platform.

Valuable Features

There are several good features, but the most valuable to us are the integrated email, entitlements, and the overall powerfulness of the platform.

Room for Improvement

  • I would like better tracking of cases with SLA overdue (including "soon overdue").
  • Emailing from the product has its limitations.
  • In the web view, the editing window is too narrow, and it's difficult for complex cases with many details (logs, etc.), so I would like to adjust the middle column size. See below:


  • No ability to paste pictures from clipboard.
  • Adding in-line comments is not easy.
  • I would like them to add a button such as "Send email and mark case as pending customer info".
  • No embedded management of out of office auto-replies.

Use of Solution

I've used it for one year.

Deployment Issues

There were no issues with the deployment.

Stability Issues

There have been no issues with the stability.

Scalability Issues

There have been no issues with scaling it.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

8/10

Technical Support:

8/10

Initial Setup

The complexity of the setup was in-between. There was some complexity.

Implementation Team

It was done mostly in-house.

Other Advice

You should use a vendor for best practices and to stay in the spirit of Salesforce, as opposed to distorting the product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user852315 - PeerSpot reviewer
it_user852315Senior Technical Recruiter at a training & coaching company with 201-500 employees
Real User

Hi There,

Muchas Gracias Mi Amigo! You make learning so effortless. Anyone can follow you and I would not mind following you to the moon coz I know you are like my north star.

I am not able to view or update the specification through View/Edit in Microsoft word link on the specification rule. I am using Pega 7.1.7 with Microsoft Word 2016. I would appreciate for any suggestion on how to mitigate this issue.

But great job man, do keep posted with the new updates.

Obrigado,

Irene Hynes

See all 2 comments
it_user379731 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
The workforce management could use improvement as my client wasn't happy with the scheduling engine. The OOTB skills functionality is the most valuable feature for us.

Valuable Features:

The OOTB skills functionality is the most valuable feature for us.

Improvements to My Organization:

It has streamlined workforce management, scheduling, etc. for the company's current business case. More specifically, I can only speak for my clients, but their call centers have dramatically improved from their legacy system to the new Service Cloud console. I know in the past year, we've seen substantial ROI in major healthcare companies.

Room for Improvement:

The workforce management could use improvement as my client wasn't happy with the scheduling engine. The workforce management, particularly a third-party vendor, we didn't have much success with. They had never done an integration with Salesforce and we we're working specifically with another third party just to implement their field services organization.

Use of Solution:

I've used it on my current project for three months.

Deployment Issues:

Deployment was not an issue. The product wasn't the issue, it was more so the implementation as a whole.

Stability Issues:

There were no issues with the stability.

Scalability Issues:

There has been no issues with the scalability.

Other Advice:

The issues, as with every implementation, is the change in the nature of the beast. We have clients that have been on a legacy system for 10-15 years and they are not ready for change. They also think their system is the most efficient "machine" on the market. So the change in culture has to be the most substantial bottleneck. Then you are in the growing pains stage, where your client absorbs this system, but they decide to take automation to a whole new level, like automatically fax from a computer with WiFi. The asks are endless, which is understandable because at this point, they appreciate the system, but they don't understand the limits. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Business Process Consultant at a renewables & environment company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We can give a specific weight on records like cases or leads and ensure that every end-user receives an even amount of work to digest per day.

What is most valuable?

I would say that Omni Channel, which was launched with the Spring ’15 release, is the most valuable feature for me. It’s a way of distributing workload coming in from different channels, cases, leads, chats, and calls.

First of all, it distributes them, saving our end-users on several clicks and searches to get a new record to work on. It’s great for departments used to working with queues and as an administrator, you can also leverage the power of Omni Channel to eliminate the picking of easy work records.

As you may or may not know, when you have cases waiting in a queue, end-users have to accept the records one-by-one to work on them and, sadly, there are users who look at some details first to determine if it’s going to be an easy case or a complex case before taking them out of the queue, leaving the difficult case which take a lot of time to resolve in the queue.

Distributing them automatically and evenly between users through Omni Channel ensures that everybody performs at their best and improves their productivity!

How has it helped my organization?

Because we can give a specific weight on records like cases or leads, we can ensure that every end-user receives an even amount of work to digest per day. You can even assign skills to your users so that nobody receives something they would not be able to solve because they are too new to our company or because they just haven’t learned about a product or service yet.

Another skill you could add is language. As we are an international company, our customers can reach us in three languages (Dutch, French and German), so making sure that customer questions are routed to a user with the correct language skill automatically eliminates endless dispatching from user to another user because they don't know the language.

What needs improvement?

It would be nice if there were several components to download from the app-exchange, like building blocks that we would just plug into the console. As previously stated, the out-of-the-box console looks nice and has some powerful standard functionality, but is nothing like you see in demos. It would be great If there was a package containing some custom console components to put in the sidebars or to tweak it more easily.

To give a simple example: the standard related lists components that you put in the sidebar contain a first column called action with an edit/delete link. In a sidebar, this takes up a lot of valuable space and for me. Those links were not necessary in the sidebar, so I would have liked to be able to disable those or something (but not by taking the edit/delete rights away of the user profile). So we had to build some Visualforce custom component to replicate the exact same functionality but without that first column.

It seems something small, but one of the great powers of the Service Cloud console is to have a lot of information in one screen, so screen space is valuable.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started implementing the Salesforce Service Cloud and Console for our telesales department about six months ago because we needed a way to streamline the workload for outbound calling and handling incoming web requests and wanted to also implement the Salesforce Live Agent on our webshop. Since Salesforce just launched Omni Channel, we decided this would be a great way to do all these things.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Not really, as it’s really easy to follow the implementation guide and watch some tutorials to get it up in running on your sandbox and it’s really flexible so you can model the console to your needs (although you’ll need a developer to create some custom components to get it just the way you want it).

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have been no issues scaling it.

How are customer service and technical support?

If you’ve worked with Salesforce products for a couple of years, as I have, you just know that Salesforce provides top-notch customer service! They want to be the best and as a customer you can feel that.

On top of lots of helpful resources like workbooks, implementation guides and instructional videos, you also have access to Salesforce Success Community. It’s full of peers and has groups focused on specific features and products like the Service Cloud. I would recommend to everybody when implementing a new feature and is getting stuck on something to post his/her question in the Success Community. It’s most likely somebody had that same question or problem before and the community is so active that you are likely to be getting an answer to your problem within a few minutes/hours.

If that fails, you can always submit a case with Salesforce support and grant them access to your organization so they can help you in a timely fashion.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

All our users have had a Sales Cloud license and we already worked with queues, but converting the Sales Cloud license to a Service Cloud license for that specific department so that we could integrate Omni Channel and Live Agent was a good choice.

The biggest driver to do the switch was because of the fact we used another Chat provider on our website and the business came with the requirement to implement the chat transcripts in Salesforce. We had two choices: create an integration with Salesforce (which would have required some developers and custom development), or replace the chat function to Live Agent which is automatically integrated in Salesforce and the Service Cloud. It would eliminate the cost of an extra provider, save us money on custom development for integration, and has much more flexibility and scalability towards the future.

The choice was easily made.

How was the initial setup?

I would say that for a beginning administrator it could seem somewhat complex, but there are a lot of resources to help you with initial setup, like the implementation guide and the Service Cloud workbook. Of course everything about every feature in Salesforce is described in great detail on their help and training portal.

For a more experienced administrator, it’s pretty straightforward, although working with custom components can seem overwhelming. You’ll need some programmatic knowledge to get the look and feel just the way you want. Certainly now you’ll need the Lightning Design System to make you Visualforce Components look like native components in the console.

But, hey, that’s why we love working with Salesforce I guess. It would get a bit boring for an administrator if you already knew everything and had nothing new to learn, isn’t it? ;-)

With Salesforce you never stop learning. There is always some new feature or functionality that provides a solution to your use case that you didn’t know about.

What about the implementation team?

We planned and designed the functionality we needed ourselves. We also did most of the configuration and implementation ourselves, but we worked with a consulting partner to create some customized components for the console and to modify the Live Agent Customer Facing chat window style.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I can’t talk a lot about pricing because that depends on your contract negotiation with Salesforce, number of licenses/users you have, and what features your organization uses.

But in our case the price of a Service Cloud license wasn't a lot different as the Sales Cloud license, and as all our users had a Salesforce Sales Cloud license we just swapped some licenses for a Service Cloud license. But by doing that, we eliminated the extra cost and need of a secondary provider for the live chat function, we could use the Omni Channel feature to automatically manage and distribute the workload saving our agents time and making them more productive.

I would say it was well worth the change!

What other advice do I have?

We are still in the beginning of using some of the features provided through the Salesforce Service Cloud. But from what I can see and the ease and speed with which we have implemented the features that we are using at this time, I guess it loses a point because the demos we see on world tours have a lot of customization in them and are not at all out-of-the-box. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really nice product with lots of out-of-the-box functionality, but to create a console like you see in demos you have to customize lots of stuff too.

Before you begin to sit down with your users to see how they work today, determine which information they consult from other records because when developing the Console View this is where you can make a difference! Creating some custom components with just that information from other records that they would normally click through links to get is the information you’ll want to create a component for. They will have all that information on the same screen when opening a record and they will save time not having to click and navigate to get the info. Creating an optimal view for your users is where one of the powers of the Service Cloud lays!

Consider investing in a consulting firm to create some custom components to get this done if you don’t have the in-house expertise. It’s really worth it. When using Omni Channel, think about the different skills you would create and give your agents so you can distribute the workload correctly.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user377616 - PeerSpot reviewer
Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Reports and Dashboards allow management to follow support KPIs, such as number of cases closed vs. received, age of open cases, count of cases assigned to each rep, etc.

Valuable Features

There are several valuable features:

  • Case assignment rules allow for auto assignment of cases as they are received.
  • Email-to-Case allows me to set an email address to receive cases. I distribute that to my customers and they create cases for me when they email that address. I don’t have to keep up with cases within my inbox.
  • Queues allow cases to be sent to a queue, which has multiple members. They each are notified of a new case and can take ownership as necessary.

Improvements to My Organization

Our support team are aware of the outstanding issues that need to be addressed in terms of open cases. Statuses allow us to organize them in a meaningful way. Reports and Dashboards allow management to follow support KPIs, such as number of cases closed vs. received, age of open cases, count of cases assigned to each rep, etc.

Room for Improvement

They could improve upon analytics. The reporting function is extremely user-friendly and powerful. I can get the reports that I need 99% of the time, but it is not a robust BI tool.

Use of Solution

I've used Service Cloud since 2009 as first a customer and then as an implementation consultant. I have implemented it in various companies with multiple verticals.

Deployment Issues

We've had no issues deploying it.

Stability Issues

The stability is unmatched.

Scalability Issues

The scalability is unmatched.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Customer service is great.

Technical Support:

Technical support is great. Opt for the higher “Premium Support” to open up support channels like Chat with support as well as training videos on demand.

Initial Setup

It is what you make it. I have implemented it with a simple configuration without many rules around who can do what in what status and when people should be notified of happenings.

I have implemented it with more complex business rules that required a bit more configuration. The product is set up to allow for both as well as scalability from a simple to complex set up as the organization needs it to grow.

Implementation Team

We implemented it through a vendor because of a lack of in-house knowledge at the time. I have since been an implementation consultant who has seen initial in-house implementations. Salesforce is so admin friendly that the temptation to try it out alone is strong. I know that budget can be a concern but I would advise to use a vendor who knows the product.

In most cases, it takes more effort (and money) to fix what in-house novices have put in place than it would have been to set it up right the first time. If the in-house crew has a good technical aptitude, they can usually carry on from there. Just get the foundation right to ensure user adoption and scalability.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Purchase a license for any and all users. Sharing a login hinders usability and visibility of who did what and when. Some third-party vendors can get reports to non-users, but anyone who needs to do anything in the system needs to have their own license.

Other Solutions Considered

We did evaluate Microsoft CRM, but you get what you pay for there. We needed the flexibility and dependability of the Salesforce product.

Other Advice

I love this product. I believe it is the best in the industry and is only getting better. Use an implementation partner for initial setup and get the foundation right before trying to venture out on your own. Assign an individual(s) as the system admins and use the implementation as a training ground for them. Make sure they understand the configuration put in place by the vendor so that they can maintain going forward and possibly manage tweaks on their own. Technical aptitude is a must when choosing those admins.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners.
PeerSpot user
it_user375486 - PeerSpot reviewer
Salesforce.com Developer/Administrator at a recruiting/HR firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
I am able to extend the Java-based implementation of complex business logic with their JSP-based visual-force language.

What is most valuable?

The flexibility of the platform is what really separates it from the crowd. With Salesforce, I can:

  • Use clicks vs. code for automation purposes. Examples of this are workflow rules and visual flows.
  • Utilize Salesforce's proprietary Java based language to implement more complicated business logic. Additionally, I am able to extend this functionality with their JSP based visual-force language.
  • Salesforce has many different ways of accessing their platform with APIs. There is the REST, SOAP, Metadata, connect. Salesforce also offers a lot of pre-built toolkits (Like Javascript and PHP) which make external connections a snap.

How has it helped my organization?

The platform is being used to unify multiple business divisions onto a single platform. Currently, each of the eight or so businesses are utilizing their own platform based on multiple technologies (one is a DOS based system with a Fox DB). By utilizing Salesforce as our centralized platform it is enabling our business units to share leads across divisions and give a singular view to our customers.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see them focus on improving existing functionality instead of trying to market new functionality that is not enterprise ready. While I appreciate their push towards staying on the bleeding edge, it is a shared platform. Thus it is essential that new functionality is able to function with large amounts of data, which Lightning currently is not.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used Salesforce for over six years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There have been no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are some governor limits which can make life difficult at times; however, I believe it is important to have these limits in place in order to maintain stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I believe that Salesforce gives you the ability to grow your CRM instance in a very scalable way and is usually fairly willing to extend the governor limits with good cause.

How are customer service and technical support?

This is the one area that I really dislike about Salesforce. Dealing with their Level One support is a nightmare. I used to be in tech support, so I recognize the need for level one, however, for enterprise level customers whom pay for their "premier support", should get premier support not outsourced technical support with whom it takes over an hour of re-iterated explanations of a problem. Granted, most of the issues I call about are complicated; however, that in and of itself should allow for easier escalations.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

For this particular project, I did not; however, I have evaluated others against Salesforce in the past. What has usually been the tipping point is:

  • The flexibility of the platform
  • The tri-annual releases, which ensures that the platform is up-to-date
  • Normally painless upgrades

How was the initial setup?

This question will vary vastly from organization to organization. It it easy to get setup with Salesforce; however, with its malleability, setups can be incredibly complex.

What about the implementation team?

I've done it with both. My recommendation would be to steer clear of vendors. Find good people to work with in house. Vendors usually will only add extra time to the project. They usually deliver less than optimal solutions that will need to be re-done later. I have worked with major providers, including like Apprio, ICON and Slalom. All of these vendors have had "consultants" with much less exposure to the platform than myself and generally delivered really crappy code that took way longer to develop than it should have.

What other advice do I have?

Hire experts. Look for an advanced certification if you can find one, if not make sure that they are experienced. Throw fundamental problems at them during the interview to see if they are able to respond appropriately. Salesforce is an IT platform, thus the experts should have a fundamental understanding of database and code structures. Remember that a part of a good implementation will involve process transformation. Do not look at the platform to as a new way to do old things. Take this as an opportunity to evaluate what you are doing well and not well, then use technology to improve those area's that are appropriate. Also, remember that technology should not be used as a nanny system. It is a tool and should be used as such. Utilize users that are power users of your existing systems. Let managers or executives drive overall objectives, and let the power users provide guidance on how the system will be utilized. In the plethora of implementations I have been involved in, this is a common occurrence and ends up creating a lot more work once development has been completed.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user377427 - PeerSpot reviewer
Director - Global Client Services & Platform Education at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
The most valuable features for us are Cases, Community, and Chatter.

Valuable Features:

The most valuable features for us are Cases, Community, and Chatter.

Improvements to My Organization:

Service Cloud has allowed our organization to centralize multiple tools and resources into one tech stack that has optimized our ability to coordinate service efforts across the organization.

Room for Improvement:

UI/UX has always proven difficult to keep up with. Salesforce, in general, requires a continued training effort to keep people up to speed and to encourage adoption in the tools. While there have been big improvements to date, simple things like ability to bookmark, right-click or otherwise multi-task panes and articles in Salesforce and the community have been missing.

Deployment Issues:

We've had no issues with deployment.

Stability Issues:

We've had no issues with stability.

Scalability Issues:

We've had no issues with scalability.

Other Advice:

Preparation and training is 90% of the work. Get to know the product before deploying widely. Have your admins get into Trailhead and invest in the training offered by Salesforce.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Consultant at a consultancy with self employed
Consultant
The two most valuable features for us are the customizable consoles and the ability to use custom objects.

What is most valuable?

The two most valuable features for us are the customizable consoles and the ability to use custom objects.

How has it helped my organization?

We deployed the Live Agent function and the Social Sites feed connection which improved the response time for customer issues/feedbacks. The integrated Knowledge Base function also improved the speed.

What needs improvement?

The prices for storing files - like example attachments - are really high per GB. We have an alternative to-do task which has one purpose, to find an alternative file storage service that we can later on connect with Salesforce. 

Nowadays, we are lucky because the customers would like to connect on-premise Sharepoint with Salesforce and there is a solution that we can easily apply to them.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started to use it two months ago and absolutely love it. Currently, I’m part of an implementation project where we earned high satisfaction from our client.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We haven't had any issues with deployment so far. 

All the limits of the Salesforce platform are well documented. I’ve seen poor documentation and bad implementation, but Salesforce is not like that. 

Looks like they are hiring the best developers.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There has been no issue with scaling it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I’ve used much of the legacy solutions previously within various enterprises, and found none of them to be as good as the Salesforce product.

How was the initial setup?

We kept the initial setup simple and straightforward. Then we continuously improve it because the product is new for our everyday customers.

What about the implementation team?

I'm working for a consultancy that implements Salesforce products.

What other advice do I have?

Always consult with a partner company around your area. Partners can provide different licensing constructions.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We have a partner relationship. Development, consultancy and implementations are our focus.
PeerSpot user
it_user361608 - PeerSpot reviewer
Program Manager | Technology Consultant at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Case teams, case queues, and approval processes are useful for various use cases.

Valuable Features

The standard case management features such as case teams, case queues, and approval processes are useful for various use cases, such as service organizations, call centers, support teams, etc.

Improvements to My Organization

Service Cloud provides a best-of-breed cloud-based case management and call center solution. It's cost-effective, easily configureable and maintainable, and simple to learn and support.

Room for Improvement

I'd like to see a better UI/UX. It also needs more competitive pricing on the Service Cloud feature licenses.

Use of Solution

I've used it for three years.

Deployment Issues

There should be no issues with deployment so long as best practices for Salesforce deployment are followed. I haven't seen any major issues with deployment.

Deployments become more complex when they involve heavy custom development, but for a configuration-based solution, it is very simple.

Stability Issues

Stability is never an issue with the Salesforce platform.

Scalability Issues

Scalability is never an issue with the Salesforce platform.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Salesforce's customer service is great.

Technical Support:

It's great, but I recommend Premier+ support for quick turnaround on issues.

Initial Setup

As a SaaS product, Service Cloud is very easy to set up by someone with Salesforce administration skills. There are some features and functionality that are unique to Service Cloud, so it's best to have a certified ServiceCloud Consultant

Implementation Team

Whether using a vendor or having your internal team set up the system, make sure that a certified Service Cloud consultant is involved in the analysis and solution-ing of the product, even if you are only using the basic Case functionality through a Sales Cloud license as opposed to a full-fledged Service Cloud feature license.

ROI

Great ROI on this product, especially if you keep implementation and maintenance costs low through configuration and declarative functionality as opposed to custom code. Basic Case features are available through the standard Salesforce Sales Cloud licensing, and more advanced features such as the Service Console and CTI integration capabilities are available through a Service Cloud feature license.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Try to align your business processes to the native feature sets in the product as much as possible by using the configuration and declarative functionality instead of customizing the solution using code.

Not only will the initial implementation be quicker, ongoing maintenance and support will be cheaper and easier as well.

Other Solutions Considered

There are several Case Management and Call Centre solutions, but the Salesforce product is considered a best-of-breed solution, and is a leading industry product. Compared to Siebel and other case management solutions, Service Cloud is more cost effective and easier to configure.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My current employer is a strategic partner, but does not resell the product - it only supports implementation of the solutions. I have never worked directly for Salesforce.
PeerSpot user
it_user361590 - PeerSpot reviewer
Ambassador at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
It gives us a single view of our customers so both sales support and accounts can see what is happening with the customer.

What is most valuable?

The Cases and Case Deflection features are the most valuable for us.

How has it helped my organization?

If you can get customers to self-serve, this is invaluable and save your customers' time and your staff's time. Our NPS actually went up when we introduced this as customers loved self-service and our cases went down by 50%.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see more of a blog feature to allow better updates from our staff and link to it socially. This would save us having to run these through two different systems.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for 12-14 months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We've haven't yet had any issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been stable for us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've had no problems scaling it for our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service has been great as we're a beta customer.

Technical Support:

Technical service has been great as we're a beta customer.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Yes, we were previously using Zendesk as our ticketing/case system. We chose to move to Service Cloud and Community Cloud because we were running our sales side on Salesforce and support on Zendesk. We wanted a single view of our customers so both sales support and accounts could see what was happening with the customer.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward as we were able to set this up in a matter of days.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented all this in-house. As Community Cloud is all template-based and no code is required, this was very simple to set up.

What other advice do I have?

Use the templates for community and use Community Cloud with Service Cloud as they work very well hand-in-hand. Use Case Deflection and the knowledge base articles.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We work very closely with Salesforce. Our CEO has been the keynote speaker for the AU World Tour mainly on Community and Service Cloud. We have also presented at Dreamforce, doing 10 talks in 2015.
PeerSpot user
it_user361578 - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Director at a manufacturing company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Individual service coordinators no longer have to track cases in Excel and have the ability to share workload or centralized services.

What is most valuable?

  • Case creation and tracking
  • Workflow automation
  • Notifications with templates
  • Technician scheduling (using CalendarAnything)

How has it helped my organization?

All cases were tracked in Excel by individual service coordinators and, therefore, they were unable to share workload or centralize services. We used a custom program for technician scheduling that could not be easily expanded to multiple service branches, where only central office had this functionality. All communications (emails) were with individual service coordinators, resulting in inconsistent communications. Service Cloud changed all that.

What needs improvement?

There's an issue where creating a repetitive appointment creates two appointments on the first occurrence.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used it for more than a year.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We have no issues with deploying it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We're able to scale it for our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is excellent.

Technical Support:

Technical support is excellent.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We considered purchasing an app for service management, so we evaluated Service Max and JBB Mobile. We did not proceed with either as our company is in the process of implementing SAP.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was straightforward from a data standpoint since we were already using Salesforce Sales Cloud and, therefore, customers and products were already loaded into Salesforce. The main focus of this project was to define new service management processes and configure Salesforce to match the processes.

What about the implementation team?

We used a certified Salesforce systems integrator. I highly recommend using a systems integrator for the initial implementation, ensuring there is sufficient knowledge transfer so that the internal team can support after Go Live.

What was our ROI?

Head count in service management was reduced, department moved into a profitable position, and we increased service business by 30%.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to ensure that the business process owners fully understand and support the solution. Don’t let them skip design meetings, or they will question every decision that was made later in the process, causing rework of the configurations.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user361551 - PeerSpot reviewer
Implementation Team Lead at a marketing services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
We can create Dashboards showing which clients are receiving a high level amount of cases. It would be beneficial to organize the macros into folders.

What is most valuable?

  • The most important feature is the seamless integration with Salesforce data. ZenDesk inserted data when not present, but the integration left something to be desired with many Contact last names of Unknown (which is challenging with deduping). It is important to have the reps directly using Salesforce so they are more inclined to keep Account and Contact data current.
  • We haven’t used Salesforce Knowledge, but this would also be beneficial.
  • Being able to report on the Case data and use it to create Dashboards for our upper level management who are already familiar with Salesforce is important.

How has it helped my organization?

We can create Dashboards showing which clients are receiving a high level amount of cases or Case Types that trigger a possibility of an issue with the client.

It gives our Account Management team the chance to be proactive and solve any underlying big issues a client could be experiencing (and prevent them from seeking other vendors).

What needs improvement?

  • Why is merging Cases not something that comes out-of-the-box? We had to purchase Case Merge Premium to merge our Cases.
  • The Macro creation isn’t very user friendly. It would be beneficial to organize the macros into folders also. I think the average support rep without Salesforce knowledge would have issues creating macros.
  • When sending a reply email to a client directly from the Detail View of a Case, it will insert your signature at the very bottom of the thread (which no one sees). You have to use the Case Feed to insert your signature below your reply.
  • Sending an email from the Case Feed has a character limit (which can be extended, but it is limited). If you have a very long email correspondence with a client, you may need to shorten it in order to send.
  • There is no field on the Case to show who the last email correspondence was from. I had to create my own field for this.
  • When opening a Case tab in the Service Console and a customer replies to the Case while open, you have to completely refresh the tab to see the recent email to reply to (not automatic). Sometimes a rep may not notice this, go to send an email, and get an error that they need to refresh.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for approximately one year.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There are no issues with deployment at this time.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had no issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have no issues with scalability at this time.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

N/A

Technical Support:

N/A

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using ZenDesk before being purchased by another company that was using Service Cloud. After we merged orgs, we began using Service Cloud. As a help desk solution, ZenDesk is much better. I've also used Kayako.

How was the initial setup?

We had no issues with the initial setup.

What about the implementation team?

We used a vendor because we were migrating data from another organization at the same time.

What was our ROI?

N/A

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

N/A

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

N/A

What other advice do I have?

Use standard fields/options when possible and keep it simple! Don’t overcomplicate things and make sure to ask support reps what their problem points are and what they need to be successful.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user344478 - PeerSpot reviewer
Salesforce Consultant/Developer at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
Consultant
The whole CRM suite is valuable, and it's a platform upon which to rapidly build applications.

What is most valuable?

The whole CRM suite is valuable, and it's a platform upon which to rapidly build applications. The ease with which a customer can get up and running on the CRM functionality for their Call Centers is an awesome thing about Salesforce.

What needs improvement?

Salesforce is always ahead of the curve with new functionalities rolling out every quarter. It does get a little tricky playing around with certain features in Salesforce and you have to get used to it.

Specifically, they need to improve the Knowledge Management module. Right now, managing articles is a pain for administrators especially if an admin needs to maintain thousands of Knowledge Articles in a Salesforce organization. Also, the new revamped UI of Service Cloud that has been introduced as part of Winter '15 release is quite confusing. I hope to see the issues fixed in Spring '16 release.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for over four years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Not as such. However, Salesforce deployment can appear to be a little overwhelming at first to a beginner, but there are ample tools out there to make it as smooth as butter.

How are customer service and technical support?

It's awesome. You can raise a case for anything. Their support is pretty good.

Plus, the community is so large and helpful that you can just tweet using #askforce, and your questions are answered immediately by the community members.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have been using it since the beginning of my career.

How was the initial setup?

Pretty easy. You can just sign up and start with their out of the box CRM solution right away.

What about the implementation team?

I'm a consultant and it's quite fun to set Salesforce up.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Given the functionality it gives you out of the box, the price is quite competitive and highly customizable per customer's needs.

What other advice do I have?

Try it and you will be awestruck.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user356802 - PeerSpot reviewer
Salesforce Technical Specialist at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
​Logging activities and creating opportunities are easier than before.

What is most valuable?

  • Case Management
  • Service Cloud Console
  • Workflow Rules
  • Territory Management

How has it helped my organization?

Logging activities and creating opportunities are easier than before, and it provides visibility of the sales pipeline.

What needs improvement?

Reporting needs improvement as sometimes we need to export data and work with it in Excel.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Once set up, we've had no issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've only had one stability issue in three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

9/10 - Sometimes cases need to be escalated more quickly.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No other CRM product was used before.

How was the initial setup?

I did not participate in the initial setup.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it through a vendor team.

What other advice do I have?

If you want to use Enterprise Edition or above and use a complex architecture, look for an experienced consultancy/in-house consultant to set up your organization initially.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Technical Analyst at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
MSP
We are are able to customize it in a way we like, although the library could be improved.

What is most valuable?

It is at a very mature stage. We are are able to customize Salesforce so that the we can unleash it in our own way, in a way we like, rather than being confined to doing things their way.

How has it helped my organization?

The business for one of our client was completely based on Excel for renewing the business. With the implementation of a complete Service Renewal Cycle using Salesforce, their threshold value of conversion got reduced from 1-2 weeks to a single day!

What needs improvement?

  • Salesforce Community
  • Salesforce Sales Cloud
  • Content
  • Library

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution from more than three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There have been no issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy and perfect for scaling.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

3/10

Technical Support:

3/10

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

One customer switched from Siebel to Salesforce. They did this as Siebel was not adaptable to changing client environments.

How was the initial setup?

It's always easy.

What about the implementation team?

I am part of a vendor team and do the implementations for our customers.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is always easy when you get to an account executive for the licenses.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend Salesforce only if you're a large business. For mid-level businesses it is quite hard.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Silver Partnership
PeerSpot user
it_user339798 - PeerSpot reviewer
Solution Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
When I was a sales administrator for about 70 users, we went from needing two full-time administrators to just one part-time administrator. The initial setup was moderately complex, though.

Valuable Features

The features we find most valuable are--

  • It's easy to customize,
  • It's a responsive solution,
  • It provides a great user experience, and
  • The console is nice, easy to use, and provides relevant and timely data.

Improvements to My Organization

When I was a sales administrator for about 70 users, we went from needing two full-time administrators to just one part- time administrator. It greatly reduces overhead in terms of personnel needed to manage he organization.

Use of Solution

I've used it for about two years.

Deployment Issues

We encountered no issues with the deployment.

Stability Issues

We encountered no issues with stability.

Scalability Issues

We were able to scale without incident.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

The Salesforce customer service has been excellent.

Technical Support:

Technical support has been great.

Initial Setup

The initial setup was moderately complex. It requires strong consultant skills to design how you want to process cases.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Don't look at just license costs. Factor in infrastructure savings as well as reduced head count needed to support Service Cloud.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a partner and implement Salesforce.com solutions for our customers.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Founder at Learn SFDC
Consultant
The cloud infrastructure helps to speed up implementation time, though there are elements which cannot be smoothly migrated from sandbox environments to production.

What is most valuable?

The built-in, ready-to-go package of case management, email management and social media management with a knowledge base helps to speed up the implementation time. I can have a new service center operational within a few days if needed, although more complex implementations still may take much longer.

The most important feature though is the platform’s upgrade approach. There is never a need to install an upgrade. The upgrades are applied automatically three times a year, and every customer is always operating on the latest version of the software.

How has it helped my organization?

As a consultant, I have seen the implementation of Service Cloud reduce contact center handle times by minutes per call, which can translate to millions of dollars in savings for large operations. The cloud infrastructure helps to speed up implementation time and accelerates how quickly you can release new features to users.

For most contact centers, it will improve overall uptime performance, but it is important to ensure a good quality internet connection for all users. There is no way to access Service Cloud if you lose your public internet access.

What needs improvement?

My clients have raised concerns with the knowledge search algorithm. Sometimes it seems the most relevant knowledge articles are not the ones that are returned in the search results. Salesforce has made substantial strides to improve on this over the past few releases.

Salesforce is rolling out a new user interface called “Lightning Experience” which is not yet available for Service Cloud. I would like to see it fully rolled out to Service Cloud, which they do plan to do.

For how long have I used the solution?

Seven years as an implementation consultant.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There are elements of Service Cloud which cannot be smoothly migrated from sandbox environments to production, leading to manual steps in a deployment.

For example, translations have to be manually applied in production, and on-demand email-to-case must be set up directly in production.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have had mixed experiences with standard technical support over the years, so I would highly recommend considering buying premium technical support to enable skipping of the first line of tech support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have worked almost exclusively with Salesforce for the past several years because Service Cloud is the solution all of my clients have been buying. I previously worked with RightNow, which is now Oracle Service Cloud. But I found the upgrade process with RightNow to be problematic, leading to customers getting stuck on out-of-date versions of the product.

How was the initial setup?

Companies already using Salesforce for other CRM functions will find Service Cloud implementation to be straightforward. If a company is migrating to Service Cloud from an on-premise solution like Siebel or SAPCRM, the biggest change is getting adjusted to life with a cloud platform.

The support model needed is different with Service Cloud. There are no servers to maintain or patch, but there must be a plan in place to evaluate and prepare for the three yearly upgrades and to prepare users to take advantage of new features as they are released.

What about the implementation team?

I am an implementation consultant, so my advice would be to consider using an implementation consultant for your first release, but have a plan in place to transition in house over time. Make sure your implementation consultant partner is certified and follow up on their references. Use them to educate your in-house team during that first implementation.

Anyone can learn Salesforce if they have prior CRM experience, so make sure your in house team gets involved in the implementation and takes ownership. At some point the consultant will leave, and then you must be able to take over.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The best time to negotiate the price is at the very beginning. Since this is a subscription model, you will be paying for it indefinitely, and it’s easier to negotiate the rate down from the beginning.

Also, have an exit strategy in place to transition off of the platform should you not be happy with license negotiation during future renewals. It will give you more leverage during those negotiations.

What other advice do I have?

Anyone can sign up for a free “developer org” to play around with the product. Get hands on with it and get comfortable before making a purchasing decision. The Salesforce Trailhead program provides free online tutorials to learn about all the features of Service Cloud.

Also, consider attending the annual Dreamforce conference to learn how other companies are using Service Cloud and to get advice from them.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user342639 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It's increased our contact centre agent efficiency, but there is no control over the appearance of Visual Flow pages.

What is most valuable?

  • Service Console
  • Knowledge 1
  • CTI Integration

How has it helped my organization?

It's increased our contact centre agent efficiency.

What needs improvement?

There is no control over the appearance of Visual Flow pages, giving the appearance of an amateur web application within the Salesforce interface.

It would also be good if there were a workforce management component to balance call distribution in a contact centre based on agent skills and experience.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it on and off for 12 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable. Being cloud-based, the application easily scales to high user and transaction counts.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is responsive, but they often suggest the solutions that one has already read by doing a Google search. I usually have to escalate to tier two to get the answer I need.

But to be fair, being a certified Salesforce consultant, my questions are usually more complex than a regular end user’s questions.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I migrated my tech support team off of BMC Remedy and have migrated many clients off of Siebel and other systems.

Salesforce is much more easily configured so it can change as your business processes change; it’s extremely scalable so it can grow as your business grows, and it’s API is extensive so you can integrate with back office systems in a relatively straightforward way.

How was the initial setup?

It's straightforward. For a small- to medium-sized business, the system can usually be set up with no custom development. Enterprise organisations will usually require some code to be written along with data migration and data integration.

However, when I migrated my team from BMC Remedy to Salesforce, I did so with no previous training and was able to customize the system to my requirements using the declarative interface. I migrated the data myself using the salesforce Apex Data Loader, which is available for free.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented it myself as described above. However, I would recommend using an integrator. They know the system really well and can ensure your system is implemented following best practices and taking advantage of all the latest features.

While my original implementation was satisfactory, it could have been much better. One example is, I lost all of my record creation dates from the legacy system because I didn’t know that Salesforce could make the Created By and Created Date fields editable when creating records as part of a migration.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

My recommendation on pricing is: “negotiate”. The Salesforce account executives can be flexible on price at times so don’t be afraid to negotiate a better price. You may have to commit to a longer contract but you won’t regret it.

Also, if you’re going to do an implementation project, only purchase enough licenses for the implementation team and arrange to start paying for your other user licenses when you go live.

If you’re doing a three month implementation, there’s no need to pay the subscription fees for users who won’t log into the system until you go live.

What other advice do I have?

Use a Salesforce partner and make sure their consultants are certified. Talk to three different firms, and don’t let price be the only driving factor. Rather, look at the firm that seems to best understand your requirements, has good answers on why particular parts of the implementation will cost what they’re proposing, and has a solid methodology that they can easily explain to you.

Simply choosing the least expensive option often costs more in the end with either delays, change requests or worst case, failure.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a Salesforce global partner.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
VP - Sales & Business Development at a music company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
The Knowledge Base and Customer Community have improved our customer service and call-deflection rate​.

What is most valuable?

  • Knowledge Base - can provide answers to customers, and customers can find answers themselves
  • Customer Community - direct customer feedback

How has it helped my organization?

We have improved our customer service and call-deflection rate with Service Cloud, particularly with Knowledge Base and Customer Community features

What needs improvement?

The pricing of the various editions could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for six years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

10/10

Technical Support:

8/10

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used Microsoft CRM Dynamics.

How was the initial setup?

Data migration was an issue since it required extensive data mapping and business rule changes.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house.

What was our ROI?

It's estimated at 135% over two years.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It should be implemented only in organizations with over 20 users. Otherwise, it's expensive to manage.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked at Pegasystems.

What other advice do I have?

You should start with organization-wide default settings, then user set-up, then accounts, contacts and the cases and case-related items should be last.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user379719 - PeerSpot reviewer
it_user379719Artist and Owner at a tech consulting company
Consultant

My experience mirrors your's.
A suggestion, if I may. If you have customers who are more comfortable in a language other than English, or if you need to reach customers in other countries where you are not able to provide direct support, translation of your Knowledge Base is the best way to support them. The Service Cloud makes that easy. Yes, it does cost to translate, but your increased Web traffic and customer satisfaction will offset that cost.
We translated our KB into 13 languages and the results were very satisfying.

PeerSpot user
Salesforce Developer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
The Live Agent capability connects us to our customers or website visitors through web-chat, and the KB articles provide us with support without raising a case.

Every aspect of the product has great security boundaries. As per my view, this is the greatest way to maintain a application.

  • Case Management
  • Providing support for our issues by raising a case
  • Case handling process by their support team is very nice of course, sometimes there is a delay
  • We have worked on it in two of our projects

Integration with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter

Nowadays, social networking is more popular, so, it is a nice feature to be able to respond to our customers through Facebook and/or Twitter

Service contracts and Entitlement Management

  • Agreements between customers and organization. This is one of the best features provided by Salesforce.
  • We can track agreement information, such as the warranty, easily before providing our support.
  • We know whether the customer is eligible for support or not in advance.

Knowledge articles

  • This is also one of the best features provided by Salesforce, which I like most.
  • We can get support without raising a case by looking in detail at the explanation about the issues using the KB articles.
  • Total article management cycle is well established. (Create-Assign-Publish/Schedule-Update-Archive-Delete)
  • Rating the articles is very helpful as it helps determine which articles are very useful.
  • By maintaining the data categories we can categorize the articles easily.

Live Agent capability

This is very useful application for connecting to our customers or website visitors through web-chat.

Communities and Portal Management

This is also a good feature provided by Salesforce to collaborate with outside people.

Open CTI

It's third-party computer-telephony integration (CTI) system is helpful in maintaining a CRM call center application in Salesforce

Some areas which needs to be improved are:

  • Most of the applications are third party applications which we have to install through App-Exchange (some are paid ones).
  • Most of the features we have to enable by contacting the Salesforce support team (I don't know why).
  • It would be great it we have more out of the box functionalities, meaning less code yet more customization.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user332889 - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. CRM Systems Analyst at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
It allows for collaboration as it tracks and shares everyone's input. But while initial set up can be a non-event, most businesses would need complex customizations.

What is most valuable?

For us, the Force.com platform is the most valuable feature.

How has it helped my organization?

It's a great tool for collaboration because it can track and share everyone's input. You can also configure workflow rules to enforce process.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for over five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

It depends on your contract with Salesforce. There is a lot of information from the user and developer community that does not require a support contract with Salesforce.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used to use Clarify/Amdocs.

How was the initial setup?

The initial set up can be a non-event. However, most businesses would need complex customizations.

What about the implementation team?

I have done it both in-house and with a vendor.

What was our ROI?

Put a lot of thought into your business processes before implementing Salesforce. It is very easy to automate chaos if your business process is not well-defined.

What other advice do I have?

Put a lot of thought into your business processes before implementing Salesforce. It is very easy to automate chaos if your business process is not well defined.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
it_user332844 - PeerSpot reviewer
IPO Business Partner for Marketing at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Features such as pipeline management and custom objects has improved our productivity, but I'd like to see a more powerful campaign function with BI integration.

Valuable Features

  1. Pipeline management
  2. Reporting and dashboard
  3. Custom objects

Improvements to My Organization

A custom community helped us to build a T2 channel partner community, which has bidding and price approval features. It also improved our productivity compared to our competitors. It doesn't require too much coding.

Room for Improvement

In the marketing part, I want to see a more powerful campaign function with BI integration.

Use of Solution

I've used it for eight years.

Scalability Issues

The governor limits are a headache sometimes. We have to either find a workaround or ask Salesforce to improve the limits.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

7/10.

Technical Support:

7/10.

Initial Setup

It depends. If the business role, process, security rule are already there and quite complex, or volume of data need to be migrated are quite high, it will be complex. Lots of things need to be considered.

Implementation Team

With the vendor. If you start from scratch, you'd better work with a vendor team. Then you can either develop your in-house expertise during the project implementation, or hire someone in marketing who has the skills.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Our users are satisfied with the product, and they spend less time on this tool, but create more opportunity and other data.

Have a discussion with a sales consultant from Salesforce and they will give you proposal regarding your requirement/company size, etc.

Other Solutions Considered

With the consideration of cost, platform extendability, and performance, Salesforce was finally chosen.

Other Advice

It is a quite a good product. If you are going to replace your existing on-premise CRM with a new cloud solution, don't hesitate to call them. But it has limitations as well. Work with a consulting partner, they will help you to boost your productivity.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user317994 - PeerSpot reviewer
Systems Engineer Cloud at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It gives a 360 degree view without any gaps, allowing us to serve our customers and increase their satisfaction.

What is most valuable?

  • Sales Automation
  • Service Console

How has it helped my organization?

It gives a 360 degree view without any gaps, while serving the customers, which in turn, increases customer satisification.

What needs improvement?

Already, Salesforce is on the correct path by moving things towards Android, and iPhones. It also needs a faster and smoother UI.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for four years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

10/10

Technical Support:

10/10

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've not used any other solution.

How was the initial setup?

It's straightforward, with supporting documents, customer care, and tech support available if you meet any issues.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house. I would advise you that before starting the implementation, you go through the implementation guides.

What was our ROI?

ROI is satisfactory.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing and licensing is done per number of users.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

From a startup, marketing/sales/service can implement this product to increase productivity and customer satisfaction.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Head of Business Development - Automated Marketing Systems at a marketing services firm with 51-200 employees
Vendor
It allows management to make accurate forecasts of sales by the end of the month, quarter, and year.

What is most valuable?

  • Reporting
  • Forecasting
  • Adding document templates
  • Email tracking
  • Integration with Marketo

How has it helped my organization?

Salesforce provides a really good overview of the pipeline and the stages of each sale. This allows management to make accurate forecasts in terms of what will come in by the end of the month/quarter/year.

What needs improvement?

They need to improve the email integration with Outlook. At the moment the plugin is very unstable, and crashes from time to time. The only other option is to include a Salesforce email address into BCC, which isn't convenient.

Also, I’ve not checked for a while, but for a long time Salesforce didn’t have a very good mobile app, at least not for Android. If they could build a proper one with the same functions as the desktop version, that would be really cool!

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for four years in total.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No, but I wasn’t the one conducting the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Other than the occasional slow response, which was probably caused by bandwidth problems on our end, the system was always robust and stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not really. As our organization grew, we were able to add more users to the system without any issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I’ve never had to use it, so I couldn’t tell you.

Technical Support:

It’s pretty good. I’ve not had to use tech support as such, as I’ve found all of the answers to my questions on the Salesforce community forum.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously we used a very old CRM system called Goldmine. We switched because Goldmine offered no reporting tools whatsoever. The managers, to get an overview of the deals that were due to close that month, had to have a daily check with every member of the sales team, and then compile a list of deals closing that month. Also, the interface of Goldmine wasn’t really that great. The entire system was becoming too primitive for our organization as it grew.

How was the initial setup?

No, nothing complex about the initial setup. I registered the account, and started using it.

What about the implementation team?

We had an in-house consultant who did all of the implementation, and customization of Salesforce for us.

What was our ROI?

It's hard to tell, as the biggest ROI was the time saved in terms of reporting, ease of creating views and reports, generating quotes, and monitoring the progress of every sales cycle.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We had an enterprise site license, so it covered all of the users.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, not really. We had known about Salesforce for while, so when the question was raised that we needed a new CRM system, Salesforce was chosen by default.

What other advice do I have?

It’s a great product, highly customizable and flexible. My advice is do it, but make sure there is someone either from Salesforce or one of your own IT guys, who can customize the system for you.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free CRM Customer Engagement Centers Report and find out what your peers are saying about Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle, and more!
Updated: November 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free CRM Customer Engagement Centers Report and find out what your peers are saying about Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle, and more!