If you use Salesforce correctly, you should see an increase in your sales. While that’s universally considered to be a good thing, it can lead to an increase in customer service cases. If you’re not prepared, an increase in customer service cases could result in longer wait times, less accurate responses, and upset customers, all of which reverse the upside of more sales.

Worry not though; Salesforce’s Service Cloud can make you more efficient at keeping your customers happy. Here are just a few tips to get you started:

  • Know your costs. Providing customer support costs money and has an ROI that is hard to measure. That’s why it’s so important to know what your costs are. A phone call costs more than an e-mail, which costs more than a web form submission. Use the Case Origin field to keep track of where your customer service cases originate.

    Even better, with Salesforce, you can add a Web-to-Case form on your website that your customers can use to create cases in Salesforce. A well-constructed form will not only reduce data entry for your reps but also ensure that the right information is collected up front. Better information means less back and forth and faster resolution times. Fewer phone calls means that more cases can be resolved in a day, and that means happier customers.

  • Share your secrets. Every customer service rep builds his own treasure-trove of answers to the most common questions. With Salesforce’s Knowledgebase feature, you can build a central repository of everything your service reps know. Knowledgebase articles can be categorized, approved, have attachments, and more. When you’re ready to take things further, you can publish your Knowledgebase on your website or a Customer Community and let your customers solve problems without ever even talking to you.

  • Your customers are smarter than you think. All your customers combined use your products much more than you do. As a result, they’ve probably come up with all sorts of unique ways of doing things. Take advantage of your vast network of customers. Let them contribute ideas with Salesforce Ideas or answer each other’s questions with Salesforce Questions and Answers. Your customers can be an amazing resource that will not only reduce your customer service costs but also help you improve your business, so don’t get in their way.

  • Word travels fast; stay in the loop. One bad tweet can more than ruin your day. You can’t stop your customers from talking about you in social media, so it’s important for you to stay ahead. With Salesforce, you can monitor your hashtags and social media accounts and respond to posts. You can even convert posts to cases and leverage your Knowledgebase in your responses. If you haven’t set up Salesforce to monitor social media yet, visit the AppExchange to find a prebuilt app that can help.

  • Never stop reporting, and never stop tweaking. As your products change over time, so will the world in which they are used and who your customers are. That’s why it’s so important to constantly analyze your Salesforce reports. If you can spot a trend, you may be able to prevent an outbreak of issues or at least be proactive and let your customers know prior to them having to call in.

    When you are on top of an issue, you instill confidence and trust in your customers. Everyone loves being wowed by a proactive notice, especially if it has a personalized touch, like that of an e-mail sent out of Salesforce.