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Learn About Digital Engagement

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Explain what digital engagement is.
  • Describe key benefits of digital customer service.
  • Identify the differences between digital service and digital transformation.

What Is Digital Engagement?

Ursa Major Solar’s business continues to grow. The company can’t keep enough solar panels in stock to sell to all its customers—and potential customers—who keep trying to contact them. But contacting Ursa Major Solar is difficult. At least that’s what Sita Nagappan-Alvarez, the CEO of Ursa Major Solar, keeps hearing. After a large deal closed with a residential builder, the client said, “If I could’ve reached you or learned about your business sooner, I would’ve bought twice as many panels...”

Salesforce Research states, "As customers spend more time at home with their devices and less time in stores or places of work, the shift toward digital channels has accelerated. At the same time, the share of organizations offering in-person customer service plummeted, and channels such as online chat, messenger apps, and video support saw double-digit adoption gains. Eighty-seven percent of service professionals say customers have increased their use of digital channels during the pandemic." Gone are the days when an email or phone call is enough. To keep customers and potential customers happy, you must engage with them in the digital realm.

Enter, digital engagement. It’s a term that describes how companies engage with customers across all digital touchpoints, while providing a consistent customer experience. Typically, a customer’s journey includes marketing, selling, and servicing in a way that lets them switch between multiple channels without interrupting a positive experience.

Four concentric circles intersecting, representing Marketing Cloud Engagement, Sales Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Service Cloud

A typical digital customer journey for Ursa Major Solar might look like this:

  1. A new campaign to promote solar panels on the web or on multiple social media channels (Marketing Cloud Engagement).

  2. Leads and opportunities from the campaign are captured and every stage of the deal is tracked and analyzed until the sale of the solar panel is complete (Sales Cloud & Commerce Cloud).

  3. After the solar panel is purchased, customers receive service reminders as texts on their mobile devices, review service agreements from a website, and reach out to support via chatbots, web chat, social media channels, and more (Service Cloud).

Each part of the journey—no matter where the customer is at—is optimized with automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to make sure that a positive experience is delivered consistently.

Digital Transformation

Sita knows that emerging technology is transforming customers’ expectations. Customers ask virtual assistants to play their morning playlist, use applications to order their favorite foods, call for a ride, or navigate traffic. The reason these experiences are sticky is that emerging technologies like AI are embedded into these apps to power customer experiences. To stay competitive, companies need to incorporate digital technologies into their customer experiences.

Customers expect to interact with businesses the same way they do in their personal lives—on mobile devices, with SMS messaging, social media, and more. If customers aren’t receiving the experiences they expect, they can easily take their business elsewhere. The rise of social media and review websites give customers more of a voice. In the past, customers might have shared a bad experience with friends and family, but with social media, they can broadcast bad experiences with the world.

Digital transformation—converting ink-on-paper records to digital formats—encourages businesses to reconsider how to deliver customer experiences, and question traditional ideas of teams and departments. That doesn’t mean support agents need to run marketing campaigns, but it can mean knocking down walls between departments. A social media presence can encompass marketing, selling, and servicing, tied together by a digital platform that captures customer information, creates personalized journeys, and routes questions from customers or potential customers to the right support agents.

Benefits of Digital Service

Sita knows that digital transformation has reshaped how companies approach customer service. The old model was to wait for customers to find you, whether in person or by calling a toll-free number. But the rise of digital communication has changed service much like it’s changed advertising, media, and news.

The practice of providing excellent service hasn’t changed. But the process of answering a question, looking up relevant data, and offering a solution has become much more efficient with mobile devices and multiple communication channels. Sita can see that embracing social media, automation, and AI will help build better relationships with new and existing customers.

Benefit Description
Unify data and systems across teams for faster resolution
  • Get a sense of the customer’s state of mind and provide a better experience by giving both sales and service a 360-degree view of each customer.
  • Know when the customer is having service issues before sales pitches to them so that all factors are considered before important negotiations.
  • Prepare deals to move forward by having the service team prioritize resolving the customer’s issues while sales works with them.
Help customers help themselves with self-service options
  • Empower customers to serve themselves at their convenience, 24/7.
  • Let customers do almost everything in a web portal that support agents can accomplish in a contact center. Customers will gain a sense of control when they have anytime access to answers, account information, and the ability to make updates, additions, or changes.
  • Make self-service easier by dedicating space on a mobile-ready website, a mobile application, or even a stand-alone mobile app.
Collaborate and share sources of truth with sites
  • Take part in the conversations about your brand. Host an online portal where customers and potential customers can find trustworthy answers to their questions, collaborate with experts, and voice issues to which support agents can respond.
  • Make social media and your site complementary by promoting your site in social feeds and bringing questions from social feeds into your site.
  • Allow support agents to monitor and respond to social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube so service is available wherever customers spend time online.
Add faster alternatives to voice calls with SMS, messaging, and chat
  • Give your customers an alternative to voice calls by supporting one-to-one service conversations across multiple messaging and chat channels.
  • Offer customers the convenience of using messaging apps to communicate with your business, just like how they communicate with friends and family. Add SMS to your toll-free business number for messaging to appeal to mobile customers.
  • Add a seamless support agent hand off by replacing static pre-chat forms with a simple chatbot experience to gather basic information from your customers. Or offer a chat experience directly from your mobile app.
Free up agents with automation and AI to deliver better service
  • Identify areas where your customers and support agents spend the most time on repetitive tasks. Then, apply the power of automation and AI to deliver smarter experiences, which free up agents to solve bigger problems.
  • Embed automation into service workflows with action lists and step-by-step guidance to make processes faster.
  • Use AI to route work to the right agent, prefill case context, and make recommendations for next actions based on machine learning from past cases.

Sita knows that she must move Ursa Major Solar into the realm of digital service. Based on the State of Service report from Salesforce, she understands that she’s not alone: 81% of decision-makers say they’re accelerating digital initiatives. But where to start? Enter Service Cloud.

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