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Discover Key Terms and Customer Channels for Service

Learning Objectives

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

  • Describe basic customer service terms.
  • Identify customer channels and understand why they’re important.

Why Customer Service Matters

Your customers need your help. Complaints, problems, comments, and questions are normal, but when your customers have issues with your product or service, your company risks losing customers or damaging your brand. The best way to prevent that from happening is to track your customers’ issues and resolve them quickly. That’s where cases come in.

Cases are not only how you track customer issues, but also how you give everyone on your team a 360-degree view of the customer. All unifying information about a customer is stored on a case—including account, contact, and history—so anyone on your team can jump in to help a customer at any time.

A case in Salesforce within the console

As the number of your customers’ questions increases, you need a simple way to manage them all. Case management is routing cases through your custom processes with as little work as possible while wowing your customers with superior service. We explore some of the features that make it happen in the next module, but for now, let’s talk about how you communicate with your customers.

Why Small Businesses Should Care

Running a small business is a series of minute-to-minute challenges. Not only do small businesses need to know their customers, understand what those customers want, provide a great experience, and follow it all up with outstanding service—but they have to do it all with less resources and fewer employees than their larger competitors. Coincidentally, providing outstanding, responsive service is a good way to make your company look and feel bigger to your customers. 

But small businesses face many hurdles to providing the kind of service that customers take for granted these days. Just staying on top of a growing pile of customer issues can be problematic for time-starved small business employees. Not to mention keeping track of relevant information for every customer, so they avoid looking like they don’t know who their customers are or what they want (pro tip—that’s not good customer service). 

Many issues. Many channels.

Small businesses also now have to provide multichannel support for customer issues. Back in the day every customer was routed through a 1-800 hotline that had some groovy hold music. But now the world is full of options for dissatisfied customers to speak their minds—your small business can receive customer inquiries through email, phone, web chat, social media, and many other options. 

These different ways of reaching out are called channels, and they help you help your customers through their preferred communication tool. We talk more about channels in the next unit.

Decoding the Terminology

Before we go any further, let’s take a moment to define a few important customer service terms. 

Term
Definition
Channels
Ways that customers reach out to you to get help. This can include email, phone, web chat, and even Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Cases
Incoming customer feedback or support issues that need to be addressed.
List Views
The place where you can see filtered lists of service cases and customer details.
History
An account of everything that has taken place with a customer service case.
Notes
Relevant information about a customer service case.
Macros
A tool that helps your team set up common responses so they don’t have to reinvent the service wheel for every customer issue.

How Can Service Cloud Essentials Help?

Glad you asked. Service Cloud Essentials is an easy-to-use customer service option that was designed specifically for small businesses. It provides just the features that smaller businesses need (we explore those later), without the bells and whistles they don’t. So now smaller businesses can take advantage of the same basic service tools that all those enterprise-level giants rely on. In the next module, we dig into Service Cloud Essentials, and find out how it can help any small business conquer customer service. 

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