Salesforce Trailhead

Salesforce Trailhead is a self-paced, online learning platform provided for free to anyone. The platform offers learning on a growing portfolio of Salesforce topics, as well as a variety of other non-Salesforce-specific skills individuals need to be successful in today’s technology landscape.

Self-Paced Learning

Salesforce has taken the best concepts of self-paced learning and created a community of engaged and motivated professionals that want to invest their time to build technical and professional competencies.  Most importantly Salesforce Trailhead has removed the daunting barriers to learning – cost, time and perceived value.

Learning Community and Ecosystem

For some companies walking away from training revenue would be unthinkable. This is a bold customer-success focused strategy with benefits to Salesforce, Salesforce professionals and anyone that wants to develop technical and professional skills.

These skills will certainly help companies use and apply the Salesforce platform more effectively, but Trailhead is more than a skills development Initiative.  Salesforce is developing an ecosystem with a well-trained workforce.

Success – Focused

For all the industry discussion about developing customer success offerings, here is an example of building the ultimate customer success program.  By making comprehensive, well curated learning accessible to everyone, for free, Salesforce has instituted the means to develop product knowledge and expertise to increase the likelihood that companies can be successful with the Salesforce platform.

What’s Your Training Strategy

Skills development is one of the most effective ways to help your customers adopt and apply your products successfully.  Providing comprehensive training programs will help you deliver the skills your customers need.  If you are serious about customer success, consider how you can make your training more accessible to all your customers and the ecosystem of professionals that support them.

Are you ready to offer more skills development opportunities to your customers?  Consider your options.  Perhaps you are not ready to offer all of your training to anyone for free, but find a way to get more training and skills development resources to more of your customers.

Service Innovation Series

This Innovation profile is part of ServiceXRG’s Service Innovation Series designed to highlight examples of innovative approaches to achieve service excellence. Companies featured within the Service Innovation Series are selected by ServiceXRG and do not influence the observations and perspectives presented.

Featured: Salesforce Trailhead

Salesforce Trailhead is a self-paced, online learning platform provided for free to anyone.  The platform offers learning on a growing portfolio of Salesforce topics, as well as a variety of other non-Salesforce-specific skills individuals need to be successful in today’s technology landscape.  For some companies walking away from training revenue would be unthinkable. This is a bold customer-success focused strategy with benefits to Salesforce, Salesforce professionals and anyone that wants to develop technical and professional skills. Learn more about Salesforce Trailhead.

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Salesforce Trailhead

Salesforce Trailhead is a self-paced, online learning platform provided for free to anyone. The platform offers learning on a growing portfolio of Salesforce topics, as well as a variety of other non-Salesforce-specific skills individuals need to be successful in today’s technology landscape. For some companies walking away from training revenue would be unthinkable. This is a bold customer-success focused strategy with benefits to Salesforce, Salesforce professionals and anyone that wants to develop technical and professional skills. Learn more about Salesforce Trailhead.

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What Customers Need To Be Successful

When customers buy or subscribe to your product, they have expectations about how the product will help them with their business. This article examines the customer view of what customers need to be successful.

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The Journey from Support to Customer Success

The journey from Technical Support to Customer Success requires more than a name change or the addition of a team of Customer Success Managers. To fully embrace Customer Success, Support must rethink its role and adopt new ways to engage, retain and grow customer relationships. This article introduces four key milestones to help you define essential Customer Success capabilities.

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Webinar AI – A Catalyst for Support Transformation

This webinar explores some of the ways that AI will act as a catalyst to drive transformation of the support operating model.

Recorded Webinar

Robert Johnson, CEO of TeamSupport and Tom Sweeny, CEO of ServiceXRG discuss the opportunities and implications of using AI in Support. This webinar explores some of the ways that AI will act as a catalyst to drive transformation of the support operating model.  A link to the recorded webinar is provided below.

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*Membership level determines your access to ServiceXRG research and other member services. Paid memberships include access to research and playbooks. Free memberships include access to some reports and discounts to others. Please visit our membership page for a list of available membership programs.

Related Articles

Webinar AI – A Catalyst for Support Transformation

Robert Johnson, CEO of TeamSupport and Tom Sweeny, CEO of ServiceXRG discuss the opportunities and implications of using AI in Support. This webinar explores some of the ways that AI will act as a catalyst to drive transformation of the support operating model. A link to the recorded webinar is provided below.

read more

AI – A Catalyst for Support Transformation

Support has been relentless in the pursuit of continuous improvement, yet the function of Support has remained fundamentally unchanged for decades. The logical evolution of Support is to focus more effort on developing and sustaining long term profitable customer relationships. Many Support organizations want to be more customer-success focused, but few have the capacity to change. To make this transition, Support resources need to focus on high value activities such as helping customers adopt and succeed with the products they purchase. AI is a critical catalyst to enable this inevitable Support transformation.

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AI – A Catalyst for Support Transformation

Since its very inception Support has been relentless in the pursuit of continuous improvement. Support organizations have adopted new technologies, enhanced delivery strategies, improved organizational design and staff development, successfully integrated self-help and automation, and have made tangible financial contributions to the overall business. Even with so many innovations Support has remained fundamentally unchanged for decades.

The State of Support

At the heart of Support are personal interactions where Support experts respond to customer information requests – to fix an issue or instruct customers on “how to” use a product.  Even with all the technology we employ and wide availability of self-help resources, Support continues to be a people intensive business.

The way we measure Support continues to focus on our ability to satisfy customers and meet financial expectations of the business.  Contributing to the satisfaction of customers and to the company bottom line are important, yet Support with its vast resources, deep product expertise and intimate customer relationships can contribute so much more to a business.

Many support organizations want to be more customer-success focused to drive adoption and success with products. Few organizations however have the excess capacity to fundamentally shift from transactional case management to nurturing customer relationships.

AI The Catalyst for Support Transformation

Support has relied on training, technology, and self-help to achieve efficiency gains, yet the potential of AI offers so much more.  Through the introduction of intelligence afforded by AI-enabled systems, we are not just streamlining the way we provide Support, we introduce the means to fundamentally change the strategic role of Support.

Introducing machine intelligence into support processes creates a significant opportunity to free Support staff to focus on critical activities to sustain and grow customer relationships. Here are some of the ways that artificial intelligence can impact Support:

Improve Support Efficiency

Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of established Support processes by:

  • Clarifying customer questions to establish a firm understanding of what the customer really needs help with.
  • Assuring that all information required to resolve an issue is collected.
  • Aligning open cases with the individual and teams most qualified to help.
  • Prioritizing open issues so that the most important cases are handled first.

Reduce the Level of Effort by Support Staff

Reduces the time and effort expended by Support staff to resolve customer issues by:

  • Helping customers search and find answers more effectively by understanding what they are looking for even if they do not explicitly ask for it.
  • Diagnosing issues and suggesting relevant resources to assist Support staff.
  • Eliminating manual processes to prioritize, route and escalate issues.
  • Suggesting top customer issues for creation of new support knowledgebase content.

Mitigate Risks to Customer Relationships

Identify and mitigate the risk factors that negatively affect customer relationships by:

  • Evaluating factors that affect customer relationship health based on analysis of sentiment expressed within customer interactions.
  • Identifying factors that are most likely to generate support demand.
  • Proactively identifying at risk configurations with products.
  • Prioritizing corrective actions for product or policy enhancements.
  • Mitigating potential issues through proactive intervention.

The AI Impact

The introduction of AI into Support processes will deliver three significant benefits:

  1. Machine intelligence assumes responsibility for some Support processes.
  2. AI makes human-activities more efficient.
  3. AI-enabled data analytics helps to reduce overall Support demand.

These three benefits of AI can be measured in terms of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Support headcount.  How the AI Impact is applied to the business will determine the future path for Support.

Cash Out AI Benefits for Savings

Companies can choose to take the “savings” from AI enabled efficiencies and reduce overall headcount thus reducing the cost of Support delivery.  This assumes that service levels and quality can be maintained at a reasonable level.

Build and Sustain Relationships

Alternatively, companies can view AI as a means to free staff to focus on high value relationship building activities.  Note that staff displaced by AI enabled capabilities are not necessarily the same staff or roles required to deliver high value relationship building activities.

Cost Reduction or Relationship Growth

With a growing reliance on as-a-service licensing and clear evidence that sustained customer relationships are essential to profitability, Support must rethink its role within the company. Short-term financial motivation may compel some companies to look to AI for savings.  The best return from AI, however, is likely to come from the protection of recurring revenue and growth of relationship value.

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*Membership level determines your access to ServiceXRG research and other member services. Paid memberships include access to research and playbooks. Free memberships include access to some reports and discounts to others. Please visit our membership page for a list of available membership programs.

Related Articles

Webinar AI – A Catalyst for Support Transformation

Robert Johnson, CEO of TeamSupport and Tom Sweeny, CEO of ServiceXRG discuss the opportunities and implications of using AI in Support. This webinar explores some of the ways that AI will act as a catalyst to drive transformation of the support operating model. A link to the recorded webinar is provided below.

read more

AI – A Catalyst for Support Transformation

Support has been relentless in the pursuit of continuous improvement, yet the function of Support has remained fundamentally unchanged for decades. The logical evolution of Support is to focus more effort on developing and sustaining long term profitable customer relationships. Many Support organizations want to be more customer-success focused, but few have the capacity to change. To make this transition, Support resources need to focus on high value activities such as helping customers adopt and succeed with the products they purchase. AI is a critical catalyst to enable this inevitable Support transformation.

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Knowledge Management – Efficiency and Effectiveness Metrics

There is no limit to the number of knowledge management metrics that can be measured.  There are however a finite number of metrics that must be measured. Essential metrics are those that provide insight into performance against established knowledge management goals and objectives.  Two key knowledge management metrics are efficiency and effectiveness.

Efficiency

The ability to capture and share knowledge offers the potential to reduce the time to resolve a case thus lowering the cost of service delivery.  Efficiency can be achieved by:

  • First Contact Resolution – Increasing the rate that cases are closed on first contact.
  • Diagnostic Time – Reducing the time it takes to diagnose a problem.
  • Total Effort to Resolve (FTE) – Reducing the number of people that need to be involved in resolving a case.
  • Time to Resolve (TTR) –  Accelerating the time it takes to transfer knowledge to customers.

Effectiveness

Effectiveness is the measure of how accurately a problem is resolved.  Based on ServiceXRG’s research, the effectiveness of a solution is in many cases more important to a customer than the time it takes to be resolved.  Effectiveness is measured by the accuracy of providing the right answer to a customer.

Effectiveness depends upon the coverage of a particular issue and the ability to find and apply this information.  Effectiveness applies to both self-service and assisted transactions.  The ultimate indicator of effectiveness is the acknowledgement by a customer that this issue is resolved.  Effectiveness can be achieved by:

  • Coverage – Providing comprehensive coverage of issues with which customers are likely to need assistance.
  • Comprehension – Making certain that users of the information can find and understand how to apply the information.

For more information about the benefits of knowledge management see the following research report:

Measuring the Return on Knowledge Management

First Contact Resolution

How to Achieve Knowledge Management Success

How to Achieve Knowledge Management Success

Knowledge management success must be clearly defined and articulated to establish reasonable expectations and performance targets for Knowledge Management initiatives.

Knowledge Management Success

Success must be expressed in terms of formal goals, objectives and expected outcomes from the investments made to capture, refine and share knowledge assets. There are four primary elements to consider:

Efficiency

The impact that knowledge has on reducing the time and resources required to diagnose and resolve customer issues.

Effectiveness

The rate that access to shared knowledge improves the accuracy, consistency, and timeliness of issue resolution.

Savings

The reduction in the costs to deliver the same or improved service levels.

Transformation

The rate that headcount may be redeployed to high-value activities due to efficiency gains.

Knowledge Management Goals and Objectives

Goals and objectives provide the basis for defining and measuring the expected contribution of knowledge management to the business.  The ability to clearly articulate and quantify the impact of knowledge activities will have a direct correlation to the level of support and funding that can be secured.

Objectives and goals are the means to describe the expected outcome from knowledge management initiatives. The distinction is as follows:

Objectives

The function of a clearly defined objective is to establish realistic and focused expectations of the potential impact from Knowledge Management.

Goals

A goal provides an indication of the extent to which an objective is met.  Goals must be realistic, and the inputs and assumptions used to establish a goal must be credible.

Knowledge Management Goals and Objectives

Element

Objectives

Goals

Efficiency

Improve the speed and accuracy of issue diagnose and resolution.

  • Increase rate of self-service defection by x%.
  • Increase first contact closure rate by x%.
  • Improve handle time by x%.

Effectiveness

Provide access to technically verified descriptions of known problems and their solutions to assure consistent and accurate responses to customer questions.

 

  • Reduce escalations to tier 2 by x %.
  • Reduce the rate that previously closed cases are reopened by x%.
  • Increase customer satisfaction with answer provided by x%

Savings

Provide customers with direct access to information to help them help themselves.

  • Meet increasing support demand without the need to hire new service staff.
  • Maintain service levels with headcount reduction of x%.
  • Improve resolution rates of self-service resources.

Transformation

Achieve efficiencies at a sufficient level to redeploy resources to high value activities.

§  Redeploy the 3 of the 5 FTE staff to account management activities.

 

Source: ServiceXRG

Recommendations

  • Identify specific areas where knowledge assets can help to improve support efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Establish objectives to describe the primary benefits from knowledge management.
  • Define specific goals to indicate the extent to which knowledge management can impact your business.
  • Present credible goals and objectives as a basis to secure funding and resources to initiate and/or expand knowledge management initiatives.

Featured: Measuring the Return on Knowledge Management

For more information about the benefits of knowledge management and the methods for quantifying its impact download Measuring the Return on Knowledge Management. Log-in to download your copy of this report.

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*Membership level determines your access to ServiceXRG research and other member services. Paid memberships include access to research and playbooks. Free memberships include access to some reports and discounts to others. Please visit our membership page for a list of available membership programs.

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