Salesforce Service Cloud comes standard with fairly limited automation, which doesn’t completely show smaller, less experienced businesses what the system can achieve. While working as a consultant, I found and have seen several easy-to-implement workflows that can greatly reduce admin tasks, limit human error and provide an overall smoother experience. Here are my brief descriptions of 8 essential Salesforce Service Cloud workflows.
1. Key customer case notification
This easy and effective workflow can help you maintain your Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and relationships with key customers. This workflow requires you to create a field on the Account Object called “Key Account” or similar, then Sales can mark this as true for all accounts that you need to need to pay special attention to. You can then base various workflows off of this to make sure the relevant contacts are informed when something is happening. This can be done in two ways, task notification or email notification. I use the latter in these types of workflows, as I find emails are global and everyone knows how to use them. On the other hand, Salesforce tasks are a bit hit and miss.
2. Notify relevant people in a high priority case
Continuing on from notifying relevant parties, best practices say to set up notifications when a high priority, key account case is opened so you can resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Worst-case scenario, if the case goes unnoticed, SLAs are violated and you’re left with an unhappy customer. To remedy this, you can merge the key account parameter to inform a more senior-level person in the hierarchy if a high priority case from a key account is opened. As in my first example, I prefer using email notifications when the information is important and something needs to be done about it quickly.
3. Warn others if a high priority case is unassigned
What happens if no one pays attention or assignment rules cannot find a suitable match for a high priority case? Then we end up with an important case sitting in a queue in which everyone has already been notified – and forgot it existed. That’s why I think its a good idea to notify others if it goes unassigned for a short period of time. Send this notification to a small group of people or an individual manager who will take responsibility if this fails to be assigned again.
4. New case – Auto response to customer
This is a standard feature across the online support world that has the easiest workflow to implement – and also the greatest impact. Inform your customer that they have successfully created a case in your system, giving them peace of mind while also letting them know key information, like their support agent (if assignment rules are used, as it will be assigned automatically), their case number and also reminding them why they submitted the case in the first place.
5. Move spam and unregistered contacts to another queue
This is an excellent way to ensure that only your customers gain access to your support agents. This workflow requires a few more steps than just creating the workflow, but its benefit is that Salesforce will check if the case has a contact attached to it. If it doesn’t, we can assume this email address is not a contact of ours and is therefore spam or someone we don’t recognize as a customer. The cases never actually get deleted; they just get moved to the spam queue, out of everyone’s way. But if someone is actually a customer, we can add them as a contact so it doesn’t happen again, and move them out of the spam queue.
6. Chasing customers and automatically closing a dormant case
Presuming you have a case status for when you are awaiting a response from the customer, you should automate one or two emails to “chase” the customer. Depending on your business processes and SLAs, these could look a few different ways. You might decide that you never want to close a case automatically unless you have spoken to the customer first, in which case a few follow-up emails properly spaced apart will suffice. If they still haven’t responded after the first follow-up emails, call them to verify the closure of it. Of course, you can also automate the closure of a case if it falls into particular parameters that you set, such as a low- to medium-priority case that has not changed from the customer’s hands for 14 days, can probably be closed, coupled with a few warning emails to make sure the customer is aware of what’s going on.
7. Update case status when sending or receiving an email
This is probably one of my favorite automation features that you can add with a simple workflow. With this workflow, automate a status change that alternates between two statuses, depending on who last sent an email. Obviously the two statuses will be different, depending on your support process, but they will be something similar to “Awaiting customer response” and “Customer response received.” This workflow is based off the Email Message object, so we can tell the difference between an email that was sent out and an email that was sent by the customer because there is a field called “Incoming.” This field is automatically populated by Salesforce depending on whether the email was incoming or not.
8. Update case status when the customer or agent leaves a case comment
Similar to the above workflow, if you are taking advantage of the portal and the case comment feature, this is essential. Here, we can update the case status, depending on who wrote the case comment (portal user or internal), as there is no “Incoming” field or similar. This is identical to the workflow above in the way it works in that we can alternate between two case statuses, and it can be combined with the email workflow to make sure the case status is updated no matter how the customer interacts with the case.
Ben McCarthy, also known as Salesforce Ben, is a certified Salesforce admin and developer. Ben has a wealth of experience in the Salesforce ecosystem as a Business Analyst, Head of CRM and Consultant.