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Explore One-Stop for Students with Service Cloud

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Describe the benefit of one-stop services for students and staff.
  • Explain how Service Cloud provides a one-stop to students.

Create Convenience and Engagement with One-Stop Services

When students have to go to several different locations to get the answers to their questions, it can start to make them feel like the business of being a student is more consuming than their academic load. If students have to run around to complete critical administrative tasks like bill payment, financial aid reconciliation, course registration, mandatory advising check-ins, and transcript or credential requests, frustrations mount in students and staff alike.

While some of those tasks have shifted to digital services (for example, IT help desk and course registration), there are still plenty of tasks that require students to find offices that they never knew existed, bring the right paperwork, and wait in unexpected lines only to have to repeat the process for another task in another building across campus.

When it comes to student services, Salesforce has the power to connect and assist your campus community in the ways your students have come to expect. One example is Salesforce Service Cloud, which you can use as part of your Education Cloud implementation to deliver instant, personalized service to support student needs. A key concept of Service Cloud is its capacity to provide a “one-stop” or single hub for communication. Implementing a central location, be it physical, web-based, or both, where students can take care of institutional administrative tasks more efficiently and effectively, saves time and resources, and minimizes student frustration.

Create a One-Stop with Service Cloud

How exactly does Service Cloud work? You can empower your students to communicate with you on any channel—email, social media, online communities, chat, text, and more (that’s the one-stop part). Service Cloud transforms those communications into cases, the Service Cloud object for a student issue, request, or support ticket. Then you assign those cases to service agents, the Service Cloud term for employees at your institution who respond to and resolve student support issues.

Note

Note

Service Cloud vocabulary recap

One-stop = a single hub for communication

Cases = the Service Cloud object for a student issue, request, or support ticket

Service agent = the Service Cloud term for employees who resolve student issues

It’s also important to know that Service Cloud is a building block for an advising solution called Salesforce Advisor Link, which you will learn all about in the next module. For now, understanding how student services and advising are connected is key to transforming student experience on your campus. When an institution approaches core issues (student retention is one example) with an approach that integrates student services and advising, the potential for success increases. In other words, student services cannot transform a student’s educational journey if the right advising support is missing. And great advising will always have a gap if students are struggling to find and engage with student services. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how you get started with Service Cloud.

Navigate Service Cloud Console

Before we dive into the ways Service Cloud creates a one-stop for your students, let’s take a tour of the console.

  1. Split-screen: Shows a list view at the same time as workspace tabs and subtabs, letting support agents manage multiple cases on a single screen.
  2. Workspace tabs: Primary tabs that open from the list view associated with the current navigation bar item.
  3. Workspace subtabs: Related record opened from a current workspace tab.
  4. Details & Chatter feed: View and record case updates in real time.
  5. Customizable column: Pick the info you want to see to minimize clicks and scrolling.
  6. Utility menu: Provides fast access to History and Notes. You can also customize the utility bar to include other tools like macros and Omni-Channel.

Case Creation Made Easy with Multi-Channel Service

As we mentioned above, Service Cloud’s support channels offer a variety of ways that your students can reach out for assistance: phone, email, web chat, social network channels, and more.  Today’s students connect and communicate digitally with friends, family, and the businesses they shop with. They expect the same experience with their educational institution. Service Cloud makes this possible by letting your campus’s Salesforce administrator customize the ways students can connect with services based on your school’s unique preferences and needs. Take a look at the chart below for a few of the places from which Service Cloud allows students to initiate a case.

Case Origin Examples of Case Creation Scenarios
Web-to-case
A student fills out a form or clicks a button on the Student Services website and a case is created
Message-to-case
A student uses texts or Facebook Messenger to reach out to a helpdesk and a case is created
Email-to-case
A student sends an email with a question, request, or concern and a case is created
Social-to-case
A student tweets a question and @mentions the institution on Twitter and a case is created
Phone-to-case A student calls with a question, request, or concern and a case is created


The goal of student services is to make students’ lives easier, and multi-channel communication makes that a reality. Students can quickly and easily submit a case and automated case creation ensures that everything is recorded and tracked so nothing falls through the cracks. To add to this picture, advisors and staff have access to student case records, so case information is seamlessly part of the 360-degree view of each student.

Support and Inform Students with Case Management

“Case management” is the process of organizing student support cases into a single place and ensuring each case is assigned to the right person, for the right answer, at the right time. Service Cloud does all that behind the scenes with intelligent automation. Let’s take a look at a few case management tools that are particularly helpful in student cases.

Case Management Tool
Description
Application for Student Services
Quick Replies
Predefined messages that enable support staff to provide speedy replies to common questions or scenarios
Advisors speed up email responses by using quick replies for greetings and to acknowledge receipt of requested information from advisees.
Queues
Lists of cases organized by case type that allow service staff to select the cases they have the skillset to solve
Cases can be queued by advisor type so that career counseling cases are addressed by career advisors and academic advising cases are handled by academic advisors.
Live Chat
Chat support staffed by live agents who can provide individual assistance in real time, no appointment needed
The registrar’s office uses live chat to assist students with record requests and to help resolve scheduling conflicts.
Bots
Automated chat support with predetermined answers that can help resolve common questions instantly
A bot for the financial aid office is preloaded with answers to specific and common questions regarding deadlines, required documents, and links to outside resources.
Knowledge
A searchable FAQ of vetted articles that users can consult 24/7 to access information that is organized by topic
Without waiting for an email reply or scheduling an appointment, students and staff can find answers to questions like when the Drop/Add deadline falls this term or what the process is for registering for classes.


A couple of these tools warrant more explanation:

  1. Quick replies provide predefined messages for support staff to use to respond to questions or scenarios that come up over and over while assisting students. Quick replies are great for greetings, answers to common questions, and short notes to insert in cases, emails, web chats, and more. Quick replies save time and create standardization in messaging to students.

  2. Queues automatically prioritize your support team’s workload by creating lists from which specific service staff members can step in to solve certain types of cases. For example, cases can be split up by advisor type to ensure cases for career counseling are queued for career advisors, and cases for academic advising are queued for academic advisors.

    Cloudy College students checked in and sitting in a waiting area to see their advisor.

Provide Instant Support with Live Chat and Bots

The only thing more impactful than getting quality support to students is doing it fast. With live chat and bots, Service Cloud helps institutions remove barriers between students and the information they are seeking. Students can get help from a live chat agent who can answer questions in real time, eliminating the need for email chains or unnecessary in-office appointments. Bots provide support with predetermined answers that can help resolve common questions instantly.
 A student on a smartphone messaging with a Salesforce chatbot

If you find yourself thinking, “Bots sound more like science fiction than something I expect to use at my school,” consider this example: 

At Cloudy College, the Financial Aid office uses both bots and live chat to support students through the financial aid process. 

The financial aid bot is preloaded with answers to commonly asked questions about deadlines, required documents, and links to websites and forms for things like completing the FAFSA.

When students have issues or concerns that are more unique to their individual circumstances, they can use the financial aid live chat to work through their questions with an agent who has access to their records and can guide them to solutions. Live chat makes it possible to offer fast and personalized support without forcing students to rush to the financial aid or bursar’s office. 

Expose Resources with Knowledge

In the Student Engagement with Education Cloud module, we cover how Knowledge can connect and support your campus community by empowering them to access resources 24/7. Here we want to point out that Knowledge can be added on to Service Cloud, and once articles are created, students, faculty, and staff can search and find answers without having to make an appointment or navigate a convoluted process. Having an active and robust Knowledge base combined with Service Cloud decreases case numbers, frees up advisors to handle more complex situations with students, and allows everyone to get information from the same place, so there’s less confusion and fewer mistakes. To learn more about Knowledge, visit the Student Engagement with Education Cloud module and check out the Resources section below.

Resources