What is Salesforce Service Cloud Voice?

If you are looking for a friendly functional overview around Salesforce Service Cloud Voice, this article is for you. Get some black coffee without SUGAR.

Terminologies ๐Ÿฅฑ

My goal here is to ensure that maximum people understand this article. To achieve this, I’ve included some old terminologies and background information to provide the necessary context.

๐Ÿ PSTN Public Switch Telephone Network: These are the traditional telephone communication networks which use combination of wires and switches. These are solely to establish a connection between two phones and make you talk.

๐Ÿ PBX – Private Branch Exchange: It’s a private arrangement within an organisation’s branch to setup a network of internal phones. Have you ever used extension numbers within your offices to make internal calls? PBX setup manages and operates those calls. Traditional PBX was just used for Telephony routing but with IP PBX & Cloud PBX these possibilities have increased.

๐Ÿ IP address – Internet Protocol Address: This is a way how each one us in humanity connects over internet. Every single device on internet has a special unique ID called as IP address. The communications happen between IP addresses over the internet infrastructure.

๐Ÿ IP Telephony: Telephony system these days operate over internet technology. Internet uses concepts like fibre optics, wireless communications etc. in which data travel fast and possibilities are more. IP Telephony refers to telephone services that operate over the internet using IP addresses. With IP Telephony, we can use any device with an internet connection, microphone, and speaker to make calls. This technology has expanded beyond voice calls, enabling us to send text messages, media files, voicemails, and video calls.

๐Ÿ VoIP – Voice Over IP: VoIP is a subset of IP telephony, that enables you to make phone calls over internet. In this, we send RECORDED VOICE PACKETS over the internet lines using codecs to achieve calling possibilities. Since we are using the internet, we are not limited to just the VOICE format.

๐Ÿ CTI – Computer Telephony Integration: CTI integrations allow you to access IP telephony services on your connected devices. It’s literally a software based phone like experience on your computer device. CTI provide you with dialpad like softwares that enable you to make calls.

๐Ÿ IVR – Interactive Voice Response:To set ‘Pain by Imagine Dragon’ as your caller tune, press 1 or say YES‘. If this sounds familiar, it’s because of IVR, which leverages speech generation and detection to collect user information. Call centre agents receive this information in real-time, enabling them to provide an efficient service experience via the CTI experience. Going forward, AI will add more power to this process in many ways.

Open CTI ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป

Now in order to use a telephony provider services inside Service Cloud, one can leverage Open CTI. It is a Javascript SDK to integrate CTI servers into your Salesforce instance. While this is a developer effort, you as a customer don’t always need to do it yourself. The telephony provider that you will choose/have might have a compatible OR an in-house built package available on Salesforce Appexchange marketplace. You can plug it in and start using their Open CTI soft phone in your service console. Both Classic and Lightning environment have their own SDKs which are not cross compatible with each other.

Call Centre โ˜Ž๏ธ

To make CTI work in Salesforce one has to first setup Call Center configuration. The core CTI integration setup is necessary before adding the Softphone utility in your service console. In order to setup same, one has to create a Call Centre Definition File which helps the SDK connect to your Telephony provider. Most 3rd party Appexchange CTI packages provide you this definition file.

Finally, Service Cloud Voice ๐Ÿฅฅ

While many still use Open CTI as their own developed solution or third party CTI providers, its often too tedious to manage and keep maintaining. This is where Salesforce Service Cloud Voice comes into the picture. This native CTI integration offered out-of-box works seamlessly with omni-channel experience. It auto generates Call Center setup for you. For same it also auto creates an Amazon AWS Connect instance (Amazon’s Telephony Setup) for you on the fly. You can just port or buy a new number in AWS Connect and start using Amazon as your Telephony provider instantly.

Telephony provider ๐Ÿ“ž

Instead of auto configured AWS Connect, with Service Cloud Voice you can also bring your own Third Party Telephony Provider. It still has many features that help you operate efficiently. So, there are in total three ways to configure SCV:

  1. AWS Connect instance auto-configured by Salesforce integration
  2. Bring your own AWS Connect instance
  3. Bring your own 3rd Party Telephony provider

Service Cloud Voice is available in Enterprise and Unlimited editions as an add-on licenses. However, if you are Government Cloud instance, the first AWS connect option is not available for you for obvious compliance reasons.

By default with the first option, Salesforce creates two connected apps inside your instance for you:

  • One that allows your SF users to log into AWS Connect Call Centre from Salesforce.
  • Second for AWS Connect automations (Contact Flows) to be able to perform CRUD operations into your Salesforce instance for the voice processes.

Incase you are going with ‘Bring your own’ approach, you will have to set most things yourself.

Contact centre ๐Ÿ“ฎ

I know this is a bit confusing, we had Call Centre Before and now Contact Centre. You still need the Call Centre definition file to complete the actual backend CTI integration. But, Contact Centre is more of a functional wrapper for your Call Centre use cases. Imagine you have different physical call centres setup across different territories or geographical regions. That can be setup using Contact Centre. So, the Telephony Integration remains same. Its good for reporting, distributing workloads over departments or geographic regions as an example.

IVR setup ๐Ÿฆ„

You need to perform IVR setup on Telephony Provider side be it OpenCTI or Service Cloud Voice. In Service Cloud Voice, you get some pre-built building blocks to setup IVR inside AWS connect. You can also use these sample building blocks to extend use cases as per your business process. These building blocks are:

  • Sample Contact Flows: These are automation flows for your IVR processes to handle all types of incoming and outgoing communications.
  • Lambda Functions: To extend the capabilities of your Contact Flows you can also leverage writing custom code using lambda functions. The sample Lambda functions can: create voice call records in Salesforce, initiate real-time transcriptions, save transcripts to Salesforce, sync contact trace records and voiceCall records, provide CRUD capabilities for your Salesforce instance.
Phone number porting ๐Ÿ”ข

If you already have a phone number with other provider and want to port it to AWS connect, you can do that. But, this needs a little extra care and pre-planning around various aspects of it. As a quick recommendation, never stop your existing connection or number before successfully porting and testing. Instead, till its done route the traffic on a different number.

Sales voice ๐Ÿ’ฐ

If a Sales user has access to Sales Engagement and Service Cloud Voice feature, then they can also use their list views and work queue to make a direct call to customers using Click-To-Dial feature.

Features to expect ๐Ÿซ
  • Agents: check voice status, answer/make calls, use desk phone, voice ID detection to avoid frauds, add/transfer to another agent/queue, pause call recording, call converstation sentiment analysis, listen and collaborate on call recordings, link calls to contact records, take notes on call, call transcripts, wrap up a call, etc.
  • Supervisors: Train your agents during live calls, listen into a voice call, interrupt voice calls (barge-in), change agents groups/queues, analyse call recording insights, view real time insights about Amazon Connect Contact Center and view KPIs.
Customisations ๐Ÿงœโ€โ™‚๏ธ

There is a well define matrix for options for customisations and limitations from Salesforce around voice implementation that you can review here:

  1. Customisation Options: https://help.salesforce.com/s/articleView?id=sf.voice_customizations_by_telephony_model.htm&type=5
  2. Considerations & Limitations: https://help.salesforce.com/s/articleView?id=sf.voice_limitations.htm&type=5
Important notes ๐ŸŽ

While this is a native integration with AWS connect, your billing + support is a bit divided between both Service Cloud Voice and Telephony provider. If you are going with default AWS connect option, the billing is based on IVR utterances + service cloud minutes + telephony provider minutes [AWS connect].

For troubleshooting support, if you are going with AWS connect option, you can raise any issues directly to SF. Incase itโ€™s related to AWS, Salesforce will alias on your behalf with AWS. If you are going with partner telephony then there is a matrix for whom to reach in which scenarios.

You get reports to view the usage and costs within Salesforce. You have wire transfer/cheque as a payment option for telephony minutes [AWS], whereas Salesforce payment options are flexible.

While Salesforce takes care about most of the issues here, I would recommend having a trusted implementation partner on your side who is efficient not just in Salesforce but also one who is comfortable with navigating AWS environments as well (Especially Connect and CloudWatch). You can use AWS CloudWatch to monitor & log events in AWS Connect for troubleshooting reasons.

Here is an official demo from Salesforce: https://salesforce.vidyard.com/watch/KSUdQKem3mwSPgbH1kJhNX

Thank you for reading till the end โค๏ธ

Please feel comfortable to send me your queries if you have any (Salesforce/Non-Salesforce), always happy to connect.


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