The old way of providing support for complex cases means multiple agent handoffs and longer resolution times. That’s frustrating for the customer. They have to repeat information about their issue to several case owners, and rightly feel their time is not valued. 

It’s also a big problem for your service agents. Multiple handoffs force agents to spend more time on cases they aren’t qualified to solve, which takes time away from their primary area of expertise. Additionally, transferring cases limits their visibility and ability to learn from teammates.

With swarming, the case owner remains the primary agent for the case life cycle. The key difference is they can now easily access and collaborate with the appropriate experts within the company. 

At Salesforce and Slack, we gave our own agents the tools and structures they needed to work efficiently and focus on making customers happy. We first redefined our strategy and restructured our support teams into groups, or swarm pods, based around particular skill sets. 

We continued to rout customers to specific case owners, to ensure just one agent served them throughout the process. Yet we gave these agents the ability to reach out when they needed help on complex cases. They could initiate a swarm request in Service Cloud or Slack and bring in cross-functional experts based on their skills, capacity, and availability.

When the request comes in, a pod of experts reviews the issue and provides solutions to the case owner. Other people who need to stay informed, such as an account executive or technical account manager, can be added to the swarm. Creating swarm pods puts the customer at the center of the support experience, giving them quicker access to a wider range of expertise from a team of support engineers.

Each of our swarm pods supports a different Salesforce product, although some pods offer a specific skill set or specialty. Support engineers collaborate within their pods, and can also jump into other pods to help. There’s no need to escalate a complex issue — a case owner can quickly connect with the right person or people to resolve the issue.

Slack gives our support pods the flexibility to work together to resolve even major issues quickly through the use of our Expert Finder tool in Service Cloud. The Expert Finder is embedded in the Slack swarming workflow and helps connect service teams automatically to the right swarm experts based on skills, availability, and capacity. 

Salesforce has seen a 26% reduction in case resolution time since introducing a tierless support model using swarming with Slack.

This approach allows our engineers to resolve customers’ problems faster, while also shielding customers from the complexity and multiple hand-offs of a traditional support model. A unified Digital HQ for Service allows our teams to drive efficiencies and become more effective at scale. Incorporating automation into workflows and processes also frees up our teams to focus on other important tasks, including strengthening customer relationships.

As a result, Salesforce has seen a 26% reduction in case resolution time since introducing a tierless support model using case swarming with Slack, despite an increase in customers and case volume over the same period. 

With the case swarming process, our engineers are regularly collaborating with engineers in other pods. They are also working with highly skilled experts in their area of expertise. They’re constantly learning from each other, accelerating their skills, and broadening their knowledge. 

Meanwhile, “pod leads” can coach and mentor their teams in a real-time, collaborative way, instead of the traditional, review-style management approach.

As a result, the company gains a more effective support team, while engineers gain additional skills and knowledge for their own professional development. When teams succeed, their service quality and employee retention often increase as well.

Ultimately, swarming has improved collaboration between our support teams, managers, and customers. The success of swarming for our service teams has led us to test how it could benefit other teams across Salesforce. 

When product teams leverage a centralized Digital HQ for Service, their access to real-time feedback improves efficiency and creates better customer experiences. Teams can monitor issues as they unfold, identify ongoing challenges, and come up with new ways to improve products for customers.

Even in a highly collaborative service department, swarming improves customer service by allowing teams to share knowledge, experiences, and resources in real time. When service providers have the right knowledge, experts, and tools to solve cases, they gain the confidence they need to “lean in” for true personal connections that build loyalty for life.

Give customers an all-digital, human-centered experience with Salesforce and Slack.