This is the first in Jolt Consulting Group’s series of reviews of Salesforce Field Service Lightning and Service Cloud vs ServiceMax, the two leading service management software solutions built 100% natively on the platform.

We will compare Salesforce and ServiceMax products in major functional areas beginning with call center management solutions. Service Cloud has strong call center management while ServiceMax is not configured out of the box and users have to create functionality using tools and custom code for complex processes. 

[Stay tuned for our next review on ServiceMax and Salesforce functionality for Install Base/Asset Management and Preventative Maintenance. Follow us on LinkedIn for updates on all our field service and call center service management tips and expertise.]


Comparison of Call Center Management Solutions:
Salesforce vs. ServiceMax

Let’s begin by looking at the way Salesforce and ServiceMax handle Call Center Management along a number of different dimensions:

1.     Support Channels: Offering customers multiple channels to contact the business about a question or issue is extremely helpful—including the ability to submit cases, questions, or ideas through email, phone, web forms, chat and communities—and can assist with call deflection. This also allows the customers to choose their preference. There is also the possibility of a public knowledgebase that can also assist with call deflection.

a.     Salesforce strives and succeeds in meeting all of these needs for different support channels and a knowledgebase with Service Cloud.

b.     ServiceMax does not come with multiple support channels available, but users can develop these capabilities.

2.     Case Handling: Service management companies strive for first call resolution on every case, but sometimes it is not possible. Mechanisms to ensure that time is not wasted is important. Tools for call center and technical support agents are necessary to handle customer questions and resolve problems quickly and accurately.

a.     Salesforce Service Cloud has strong case handling functionality including case queues, assignment rules, entitlement processes, case teams, and escalation rules that are very easily setup. There are separate administration screens specifically designed for users to capture processes, queues, and SLAs and extend the functionality to capture the necessary elements the business needs.

b.     ServiceMax’s primary focus is on field service and requires configuration and development to be utilized as a call center centric solution. Companies need to create processes and entitlement checks to support call center features through Salesforce’s standard administration and developer tools.

3.     Collaboration and Communication: Service management companies want to ensure that their customer is informed of every action taken and that customers know the status of their issue. Users want to be able to communicate internally with ease and make sure those customer interactions are related to the case so any individual can view the case and know everything that has occurred, what is currently happening, and what the next steps are.

a.     Salesforce Service Cloud offers an extensive amount of collaboration and communication with simplistic ways to configure auto-response rules, customer/employee notifications, email templates, and communicate with other employees through chatter or chat. Case settings can be activated and customized to alert users to know when a case is assigned or unassigned to them as well as other types of notifications. Service Cloud can configure Case Teams and Chatter Groups and users can use @ mentions to get visibility to a case or follow a case to get all the updates on that record by anyone. These are powerful collaborative features for call center management.

b.     ServiceMax does not currently have the out of the box settings for auto-response rules, specific notifications, case teams, or groups. However, these can be created using the workflow rules, flows, and processes provided when purchasing ServiceMax. Users are also able to utilize the chatter features like case feeds, @mentions, groups, and chat.

4.     Knowledge Base: Knowledge base assists service agents to resolve cases effectively and immediately. They can find answers to questions quickly and if an answer does not exist in the knowledge base they can write a draft for publishing to ensure other agents don’t have to go through all the different troubleshooting steps that they had to.

a.     Service Cloud by Salesforce offers a sophisticated knowledge base platform that allows for versioning, creating drafts, and assigning specific users to publish them and maintain them. Users can categorize the articles, set up tags and keywords for reliable searches, as well as access some great filtering capabilities.

b.     ServiceMax does not currently have a knowledge base offering with its platform.

The following chart gives an overview of the call center management capabilities of ServiceMax and Salesforce Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning, showing whether different components are standard out of the box or require configuration or development work.

Call Center Management Components for Salesforce Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning vs. ServiceMax

Comparison chart of call center management for ServiceMax vs Salesforce products

Standard:  Standard out of the box functionality.
Config.:  Standard functionality that can be configured.
Dev:  Requires development and/or customization.
$$:  Requires extra product and/or license.