Category Archives: CRM/Salesforce

Why is Cherry Picking work a bad thing?

cherry picking sign with grass-01Every day, there are many tasks that you need to do for your customers. Often, the method used is to allow employees to pull work items from lists or Salesforce queues.

As a result, the most critical question you and your team face is – ‘what work item should we do first?

Many companies leave that question to their employees – whether those employees process claims, make site visits, or respond to inquiries. Allowing an employee to pick, means their choice of next task is subjective and affected by their behavior.

When your employees cherry-pick their own work, inevitably:

  • The most important tasks are not always done first
  • The most important clients are not always served immediately
  • The most difficult tasks get left over

The larger the team, and the more volume and variety of tasks, the more “cherry-picking” makes teams inefficient and provides poorer customer experiences.

Cherry picking is a key issue with the pull model of doing work, regardless of team size. In small teams it is often possible to manage them to keep things running smoothly.

For larger teams other issues with the pull model become visible:

  • There’s less management time per person to reassign priorities, manage and coach employees
  • Time is wasted as employees think about what to do next. Also, picking incorrect tasks can introduce additional work that otherwise would not have been required

Read about our client’s story and issues they have been experiencing here.

Top Four Indicators that You Are in an “Accidental Contact Center”

Has the volume of your team’s tasks grown? Has managing and coaching your team become more difficult? Are positive customer experiences becoming less consistent? Was it clear sailing, and now it seems pretty hazy?

Salesforce has been adopted by many small customer focused teams that are leveraging Service Cloud to handle customer interactions and related work tasks. Many of these teams are growing in size, as they see a tremendous increase in the number of inquiries that need to be handled, as well as the increasing demands for great customer experiences in this new age of the customer.

This growth in the volume of inquiries and team size causes the management time per person to drop and the level of cherry picking to increase. As these issues creep in to the point that the team’s ability to function suffers, you find yourself in an Accidental Contact Center.

These are the top four indicators to identify whether your team is in an Accidental Contact Center:

  • Less work completed by your team
  • Increase in errors and processing time
  • Less management time to supervise, coach and train
  • Increase in customer frustration

If you experience these issues, then picking and pulling work from a Salesforce queue isn’t good enough. Replacing it with a method of “pushing” work and interactions needs to be considered.
However, not all teams find themselves in an Accidental Contact Center. If your team is small enough, and not linked to other larger teams, then there is likely no reason to go to a “push” model.

Here are some tips to make a pull model effective:

  • Use a common application among team members, such as Salesforce, to centralize all customer information.
  • Move away from ad-hoc methods of working and reduce the variety of work habits, by setting up consistent guidelines and processes for team members. This also makes the coaching and training easier.
  • Define and measure team performance and customer experience. This allows for the comparison of team members and makes it easier to determine who needs coaching or training. Then, monitor to see if the above changes improve the overall customer experience scores.
  • Check periodically for volume growth of tasks and interactions performed by the team, as well as growth in team size. If tasks become difficult, or scores start to waver, then it might be time to consider a “push” model.

Learn more about the “Cherry Picking” issues here.

Leveraging the Power of Salesforce and Genesys

Salesforce.com Service Cloud and Sales Cloud customers who run the Genesys platform in their contact centers can significantly benefit from using a best practices approach to integrating the two systems together. The right solution can improve customer experiences and loyalty, lower operations costs and increase the effectiveness of agents and back office associates.

The type of integration primarily depends on the customer’s business requirements. Outlined below are five primary considerations that need to be addressed:

  1. Interaction Types – is the contact center going to process inbound voice calls or other transactions such as outbound voice, multi-channel and work items?
  2. IVR – is there an IVR system though which callers will identify themselves?
  3. Interaction History – what interaction history is required?
  4. Interaction Reporting – what type of reporting will management want?
  5. Workforce Management – will the applications require integration to a workforce management system?

Also, a key issue to be aware of is Salesforce and Genesys have unique features, but also offer overlapping functionality.

Creating an integrated solution that delivers the maximum possible benefits requires that the functionality be carefully examined and any functionality gaps and overlaps be minimized.