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Salesforce Foundation LogoOn Monday of this week I was really excited to take part in the Salesforce Foundation’s London BizAcademy week.

The Foundation is at the heart of Salesforce.com's culture, donating 1% of their equity, product and time to good causes. As part of the Foundation’s work, Salesforce holds BizAcademy weeks around the world where they bring in groups of disadvantaged 15-20 year-olds and give them a crash course in business and technology, helping them to move into careers with Salesforce customers, partners or Salesforce themselves. As they say on the website “It’s ‘the Apprentice’ where no one gets fired and everyone gets hired.”

As a Salesforce partner we were delighted to be asked to participate and this week I presented a workshop on contact centres to this year’s London BizAcademy. It was the first day of the course, and in the morning sessions the students had received an introduction to Salesforce.com and Radian6.

I kicked off with the story of my arrival into the world of technology. More of that is on my blog - but I had studied agriculture at university - not technology, and I felt it was useful for the students to know that its never to late to get geeky!

Salesforce Foundation BizAcademy
The Heathrow workshop in action

As it was a 3pm slot and slides kill interactivity at the best of times we ran three workshops for the students.

The first workshop was based on a previous blog post about planes landing at Heathrow. We asked two teams to pretend they were air traffic controllers and prioritise 6 planes coming in to land. Each plane had a characteristic - low fuel, VIP’s on board or meeting a connecting flight perhaps.

The second workshop elaborated on this, and asked the teams to think about a contact centre and prioritise the next six calls in the queue, as well as directing each call to a particular department. Each call again had a characteristic - an open sales opportunity, a happy client, a client with an open support case for example.

The purpose of these workshops was to help the students see that not all calls are created equal. Answering calls in the order they arrive, and then deciding where to route them is very inefficient and gives callers a very impersonal experience. Building a customised call plan linked in with Salesforce can turn this on its head and allow very big companies to give a very small company experience to their clients.

We then moved on to a workshop on metrics - using a story of how American Airlines allegedly saved $40,000 a year by removing one olive from each of their meals to explain how very small savings per call can add up to big savings for contact centres. The two teams had ten minutes to come up with as many metrics that a Customer Service Director might be managed on. Average Handle Time, Average Wait Time, Call Length, Cost per Call all featured in the answers which was fantastic.

Salesforce Foundation BizAcademy
Some great questions were asked

To conclude I brought this all together with a demonstration of how NewVoiceMedia is integrated with Salesforce. I showed how businesses can build a call plan in the cloud and deliver calls to agents across the globe. The students saw how we could prioritise calls in the queue, and also deliver a personalised experience based on the data held in Salesforce.

The students asked some great questions about contact centres, and my own personal experiences in life and I hope that they came away with a little bit of the passion that I have for all things cloud. And if anyone asks them what an ACD or a CLID is - these guys and girls know the answer!

We hope you have enjoyed this post and found it useful. For more information on the Foundation's work just visit the Salesforce Foundation site.

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About Charlie Cowan

Charlie is passionate about cloud computing and how it can help real businesses to run more profitably.

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