When working with our customers on Digital Transformation using Service Cloud there are several things that make the projects successful. Beyond the point of achieving true Digital Transformation and getting buy in from executive sponsors, we still have to get boots on the ground and make it happen once everyone is on board to sponsor a successful Service Cloud implementation. Below are 3 main steps to achieve success.
This seems obvious but you will be surprised at how many groups do not plan. They simply want to execute. With Salesforce it would seem that you could do this because so many things are configurable. Why not take advantage of that and just start going and make changes as you go along? While this is very tempting, there is a time and a place for this and right now is not the time. Instead, be inquisitive and ask a lot of questions and spur a lot of conversations. The more discussions you have, I guarantee topics will come up that were not even thought of. So many people in an organization understand their slice of the business so thoroughly that there is no way one person can know everything. So start here. Then after figuring out a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) or Phase 1, plan it out. Meet. Discuss. Plan.
After planning what needs to be done, then start executing the rollout. With Salesforce most of what should be done is a mixture of configuration (no code), complex configuration (low code), and a pure custom development (code). While no project is alike most of the build should be no code and low code for the MVP/Phase 1. There should be little to no pure code developed. Every project is different, but if you find yourself in a situation where everything is custom and requires mostly code for the initial phase then you might want to question your goals and your plan. You are probably not using your tool, Service Cloud, optimally. Also, you must use the Service Console. Having everything in one place will save so much time it’s not even funny. Everything should revolve around the Service Console.
Once the build is complete make sure your employees get the training they deserve. This part is often times rushed through but it is very important that everyone is trained on how to not only use Service Cloud to it’s fullest but to also know what processes were built so that they can use Service Cloud the way it was intended with your company. During the training phase make sure to record all the feedback you get because the more people start using the tool, the more ideas that will come about. Embrace those ideas because they can help make the tool better after production deployment in later phases. I would like to note that it is a best practice to have a separate sandbox that training occurs in so that development does not impact training.
Once all that is done it’s time to deploy. Again every company is different so you might deploy to a Systems Integration Testing (SIT) sandbox, then a User Acceptance Testing (UAT) sandbox. Those might be before or after the Training sandbox. Those decisions are up to how your organization functions, but make sure to practice deployments before production so that the production deployment can be as flawless as possible. Build your deployment plan, and your backout plan, then execute your deployment plan. Build. Train. Deploy.
After deploying to production the work does not stop there. There is always room for improvement. The expectation needs to be set with leadership that your Service Cloud implementation is a living thing. It can’t be deployed and then the team just moves onto the next project. Instead, the service reps need to use the tool. They need to feel what could work better. Also, use reports and dashboards to see how everyone is working and see where there could be room for improvement. Learn from that and then put together some thoughts on how to optimize the business processes. As for products and services are added to your company’s portfolio there will always be room for improvement. Analyze. Learn. Optimize.