Customer Support

HCI Uses Service Cloud to Provide Excellent Customer Service

Human Capital Institute (HCI) was founded on the principle that strategic Human Capital Management is the most powerful lever for performance and growth. Since 2004, HCI’s research-based learning solutions have helped leaders, human resources, and talent management professionals plan for, acquire, engage, and develop their people.  Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, HCI’s industry-recognized certification programs and conferences are delivered all over the world and virtually.


HCI’s Client Support team needed new tools to improve the customer support experience and align their internal operations with those of the Sales team. Thanks to their longstanding relationship with Cloud Next Level, they knew that they could use native Salesforce functionality to integrate sales and support efforts, but they also knew they couldn’t do it without some expert help.

  • The Client Support team managed help tickets through a group email in-box; The same team addressed other requests with phone calls and internal email requests making it difficult to stay organized.
  • Sales team members often couldn’t see their customers’ requests nor the Client Support team’s responses. So, they were uncertain about how and when to follow up.
  • The responses to client requests weren’t always consistent with HCI’s company standards and brand image.
  • The Client Support team needed better documentation around the business processes in order to train additional staff. If turnover occurred or additional support was needed it could mean a loss institutional knowledge and inconsistent results.

Our old process for handling cases was through email. This became inefficient because it was difficult to track and communicate with the various stakeholders at HCI. Salesforce Service Cloud now supplies us with a 360-degree view of every client’s interaction. We can see all sales opportunities and cases that come to us in one place. That reduces the margin for error and increases the information around client activity. The opportunity handoff to the Sales team is quick and efficient as a result.


HCI had access to essential Service Cloud functions with their existing licensing. Activating the features and functionality of Service Cloud presented the right solution with no additional licensing fees. The solution was approached in two phases:

  1. Implementation of Service Cloud features
  • Service console
  • Email to case
  • Email templates
  • Quick text
  • Related automation
  • Training in application and reporting functions
  1. Understanding of the full functionality of Salesforce Service Cloud enabled CNL to create a roadmap for future enhancements for continuing customer experience improvement
  • Webchat
  • Telephony integration and call recording
  • The Knowledge product

When a case comes into our queue, several things now happen automatically that have improved our customer experience and efficiency. First, we are alerted about the origin of the case–the website, email, text, or other. Then, various field automation assists us in prioritizing our response based on certain keywords in the case submission. The keywords allow us to escalate in an emergency and to ensure that cases are routed to the right resource. It also helps in planning for enough resources to efficiently close cases to the satisfaction of our client. 


After the initial discovery and exploratory phase, CNL activated Service Cloud and implemented features tailored for HCI needs. Together HCI and CNL developed a business process using Salesforce best practices and based on HCI’s desired outcomes.

  1. CNL built out Email-to-case.
  • Everyone with Account or Contact relationships can view case history and status.
  • Client Support team members are now working inside of Salesforce, so they have a 360 view of clients making for a better service experience
  • Training on user experience was thorough and documented for future users.
  1. Customization
    • Email templates reflect HCI branding and company-approved answers to FAQs.
    • CNL and HCI together created a business process around cases
      • Cases are all categorized by type (web access, product customization, account, and financial questions)
      • Escalation rules were set for sticky problems and VIP customers
    • Reporting and Dashboards for Client Support team members and management to view and monitor case metadata.
    • Other HCI departments were trained on the “case object,” so cases created in-house follow a consistent solution path.
  2. Automation
    • Field automation makes categorizing cases and problems quantifiable and trackable.
    • Case automation based on contact, type of problem, and particular product means cases get funneled to the appropriate internal resource for prompt resolution.
    • Escalation rules make sure customers with problems related to accessing the system have priority.

Maintaining a consistent brand image is very important to HCI. CNL helped us to extend our brand image and messaging through email templates for our Services Team. 80% of the email is prewritten, and we only need fill in a few pertinent details to personalize it. Our brand messaging remains consistent. 


Cloud Next Level Results:

  • With Service Cloud, HCI’s Client Support team is able to close 2 to 3 time more cases, add calls and chat, reduce close time, and create a better overall customer experience.
  • Tracking increased to 100% with cases coming from Calls and add Live chat
  • Implementation of CSAT on Cases to evaluate Customer service reps resolution handling
  • Reduce close case time by more than 20%
  • In the first five months of implementation, over 2000 cases were closed by three agents
  • Cases are categorized based on general inquiry, product, sales, finance (invoice receipt) allowing for faster funneling to the appropriate contact or solution
  • Email templates assure company branding and messaging is accurate and consistent.
  • 100% adoption of the solution
  • First-call resolution has greatly improved
  • Cases that are sales opportunities get moved to the appropriate salesperson easily
  • Leads are delivered to the sales team more quickly
  • Management has insight from dashboards and reports to balance resources on the Client Support team
  • Customer satisfaction ratings have increased, validating the hard work of the Client Support team.

Automatic responses after a client submits a case extends our brand. It’s fast, professional, and reassuring to clients who quickly receive acknowledgment of their requests.  When a case is complete, a Customer Satisfaction Survey is automatically triggered for client feedback. It is important that we monitor our work. through the eyes of our clients.