Old School vs. New School: Phone Feature Comparison on Salesforce Service Cloud

Will Salesforce take the cake in this head-to-head duel?

Do you have a dinosaur of a phone system and want to replace it, but don’t want to lose any features? Never fear! Today we’re examining how the features of Salesforce Service Cloud stack up to (and surpass) traditional methods. We’re providing an apples-to-apples comparison so you can make the best decision for your business.

Many IT companies see the need for a flexible and easy to use phone system that meets today’s technology needs, so they set out in search of a cloud-based phone system, only to be afraid to make the switch because of cost, voice quality or a non-friendly user interface. While all of those could be viable phone system threats, Salesforce Service Cloud has already cleared those hurdles, which is why we’re moving on to take a look at the nitty gritty of old school PBX features versus the new school version offered in Service Cloud.

Here’s the breakdown:

FeatureOld SchoolNew School
Workforce ManagementUsually handled via a separate systemUse Omni-channel agent presence to see who’s logged in, out and for how long, along with a multitude of other reporting options
Customer SurveyAn option at the end of the call to leave feedbackCustom surveys can be linked to everything from customer calls or chats to field service work orders
Call RoutingIncoming call is placed in a queue and is then routed to a specific person or group of people based on pre-established rules and criteriaOmni-channel routing and custom queues make sure work is distributed fairly based on time and capacity
ReportingPulling call reporting from standalone phone system interfaces, then managing data to create reportingCustom reports and dashboards report in real time on every field and action in the database
Call Recording (QA, etc)Records the call for quality or training purposesCalls are recorded, but Service Cloud Voice offers a new feature where audio transcript of the call with real time analytics for sales and service are provided
Supervisor modeAllows supervisors to listen in to help or observe agentsSupervisor consoles support activity monitoring for both phone calls and chats, including whisper mode and chat preview
Other communication channels, email, text messaging, etcUsually handled via separate device, not integratedNative to Service Cloud, your customers can reach you via chat, email, SMS text and even social media

Something else to note is that the new features offered by Service Cloud provide you with abilities that old school phone systems just don’t do; things like agent chat and chatbots, which enable your customers to connect to you via a different channel besides phone calls, and also to communicate in different ways to get answers and help faster. Now that you can add social media to the mix, Service Cloud can also handle incoming messages from customers reaching out via social channels, which helps you watch the market, connect to those who need help and turn any interaction into a complete brand experience. 

Previously, Service Cloud didn’t include telephony, and relied on Open CTI and other options to be able to connect voice to telephone. All that is changing now, with the introduction of Service Cloud Voice this summer. It’s the first console (no separate system or stand alone screen pop) and also the first to offer live voice transcription using Einstein (Salesforce’s AI platform and tools) for guiding agent actions and providing unprecedented detail in reporting and analytics. One exciting note about this real-time voice transcription is that managers can monitor and support multiple calls as they happen, reading the text rather than listening live. This is a huge help while working remotely in order to support the agents, especially as it relates to whisper features. 

While we’re on the subject of telephone, it’s interesting to consider legacy features, too. For example, email has replaced fax for the most part, and texting replaces voicemail in many cases. This is something else to consider when weighing pros and cons of phone systems, because the features that are “must haves” today may not be a necessity in the ever-changing tech world of tomorrow, so it’s important to consider how “future-proof” a solution may be.

Something else to think about is portability of work location, meaning with a cloud platform all you need is the Internet to work, versus having to be signed in to a desktop in a specific location. With businesses taking on more responsibilities per role than ever before, where and how people work is now a deciding factor in choosing their work tools as well. This also applies to people working in different geographic areas, or businesses that need a reliable backup in case of a disaster recovery scenario.

With today’s customer taking on more work and with less time, they are looking for the same thing you are; reliable, complete and top of the line service, in every channel possible.  Voice will always be a staple for customer communication, and as the phone and voice features continue to evolve, it’s important to review current features and ways to communicate, in order to offer the best customer service possible to your clients.

Other Resources

How to Add Cloud-Based Phone Service to Salesforce