Save $200 and design yourself a great customer survey

My colleague Fred Van Bennekom, guru of customer surveys, is holding a workshop on February 24-26 in San Francisco on survey design and is generously offering a $200 discount to FT Word readers (thank you Fred!). If you’ve always wanted to know how to design and administer surveys the right way, you can sign up here (use the discount code FT Word). You can find more information about the workshop here.

Fred will guest-post on the FT Word next week on the topic of survey reliability – so we will all learn from him, whether or not you can attend the February workshop.

Make 2015 the year of no pivot tables

Do you love pivot tables? They are great, aren’t they?

Great, perhaps irreplaceable for analyzing data and delving into what-if scenarios, that is. But if you are using pivot tables to run routine metrics, you are likely spending a lot of time and effort to get metrics you could consume instantaneously and automatically with a well-designed dashboard.

Most commercial tools, including the very popular Service Cloud from Salesforce, allow you to automate delivery of your standard metrics so you can (1) run them without raising a finger, freeing your time for more important pursuits, such as improving the product and the customer experience  (2) access them in real time, so you can take action promptly as needed and (3) share them with others, so everyone in the support organization and beyond can get instant feedback on what’s going on with customers. Doesn’t that sound good?

The most difficult part of the process of creating a dashboard is often selecting and defining the metrics to be displayed. (After all, pivot tables allow you to mess around without having to commit to any particular metric!) Before you create a dashboard, you will need to select meaningful metrics and targets. This is a great opportunity to review your existing metrics and ensure that:

  • They capture outcomes rather than activities. For instance, resolution time rather than frequency of case “touches”
  • They match your corporate goals. For instance, customer satisfaction rather than incident rate if the overarching corporate goal is loyalty and renewals.
  • They are computed against targets rather than using lame averages. For instance, if you promise a response time of one hour, customers care about whether you ever exceed the target, not that your average response time is 42.3 minutes.
  • They allow your team to self-manage. For instance, if your team is organized by product line you need to have metrics that show product line performance.
  • They can drive product improvements. For instance, the percentage of cases associated with bugs gives usable feedback to the development team. Don’t be selfish, share!

Most tools (including Service Cloud) can deliver visual displays such as graphs and charts. Use visuals as much as possible, especially to share historical information. They are so much more effective than pivot tables when it comes to quickly grasping the situation and making decisions.

Need help crafting and implementing dashboards? We can help you define metrics and implement dashboards for Salesforce Service Cloud as part of our Smarter Service Cloud Implementation suite of services. Contact us for more details.

And please add a comment to share your experience with pivot tables and dashboards.

Introducing: Smarter Service Cloud Implementations

Thinking about implementing the Salesforce Service Cloud? Already rolled out, but experiencing issues? Wanting to improve the customer experience with the Community Cloud? We can help.

For years, FT Works has helped customers implement Salesforce as a support-tracking tool. With the addition of Salesforce-certified resources, I’m proud to introduce a formal offering to implement Service Cloud and also make improvements to existing implementations.

You can choose to work with us through an entire implementation, or we can assist with just the steps you need help with, a la carte. Here are some of the tasks we can help with:

  • Creating a list of key requirements, working with stakeholders to get to a consensus on critical features.
  • Attaining executive alignment and approval, with budgets and schedules and ROI analyses
  • Purchase assistance, so you buy what you need and no more, and with good terms.
  • Solution design, providing guidance through the detailed customization choices and creating a list of use cases
  • Full implementation, whether it requires customizations or  integrations with other tools Depending on the requirements this may include customizing Service Cloud, implementing Community Cloud, integrating Salesforce with other applications such as Jira, and creating a custom website that integrates the Salesforce portal with other functionality you’d like to display together. Our team of Salesforce experts can handle all aspects of implementation. If needed, we can also provide resources for user acceptance testing (UAT) and rollout support.
  • Technical audit of your existing Salesforce implementation. Sometimes all you need is to simplify and slightly customize the interface
  • Community Cloud implementation (if you are using the older Salesforce portal)
  • Creating automatic dashboards to replace manual metrics. No more pivot tables!
  • Creating a comprehensive support website that integrates the Salesforce portal with other functionality such as order status, downloads, training registration, etc. to deliver a seamless customer experience.

To every implementation, we bring our deep knowledge of the support industry, something not every Salesforce implementer can provide — in addition to certified Salesforce resources. This means your implementation will be effective, not just efficient.

You can find more information here, or contact me to discuss your specific requirements.