Supporter engagement

5 reasons to use Service Cloud for your nonprofit contact center

Many nonprofit organizations rely on contact centers to support mission-critical activities like donor outreach, helplines and crisis centers, voter registration, among other important services.

Many technology solutions exist for organizations looking to satisfy their call center needs internally, while outsourcing is an option for organizations that choose to use an outside or external party. Note that we use the terms “contact” and “call” center through this blog post–the major differentiator is that contact centers typically offer omni-channel support through telephone, email, chat, SMS, and potentially other communication methods, while call centers are usually just telephonic.

Salesforce Service Cloud was recently named a leader in customer service by Gartner and offers an excellent option for organizations implementing contact centers. Here are five reasons why…

1. Service Cloud Supports a Wide Variety of Contact Center Needs

Service Cloud is built to support contact centers through omni-channel, self-service and live communications, including web, email, chat, social, mobile, and voice–more on voice later! What was once a function assigned to disparate staff, contact centers can be the most significant engagement platform an organization manages.

The quality of the supporter experience with donors, clients, or members can have significant implications for the performance and reputation of a nonprofit. In addition, Service Cloud helps staff be more efficient, so more money is available for program funding or other technology investments.

Service Cloud functionality is focused on the agent workspace, providing the agents or contact center staff access to tools and data in a single unified view: Service Console. Contact center agents may be responsible for managing cases at scale and Service Cloud’s Console enables staff to multitask easily across cases and disparate channels.

When implementing Service Cloud, it’s customary to configure the system to create workflows to deliver automated processes and leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) for intelligent routing, next best actions, and chat conversations. Both supporter and staff interfaces can be customized to meet functional needs and deliver the best experience.

2. Service Cloud is Built on Salesforce CRM

Perhaps the most compelling reason to adopt Service Cloud is because it’s built on the Salesforce platform, providing the ability to have your data all in one system without siloed or bifurcated data. Stakeholders across the organization have a 360-degree view of all supporters and their engagement with the organization.

Being on a single platform has other key advantages:

  1. Cost. For 501(c)(3) organizations, Salesforce’s donation program provides unparalleled value.
  2. Simplicity. Single platform with simplified licensing and fewer integrations to develop and maintain.
  3. Usability. Consistent user interface across all applications.
  4. System maintenance. Salesforce’s Software as a Service (SaaS) model means updates and releases are pushed to every client automatically. This is done without breaking existing functionality, which reduces the cost of maintenance. Clients have access to a large community of talent, including system administrators and a robust partner network to support managing internally or by using partners.
  5. Reporting. Robust reporting using standard tools and advanced analytics when needed.
  6. Security. Flexible security model to ensure data is protected and only authorized users can view and change data appropriate to their role at the organization.
  7. Expandability. Build the system that your organization needs today and scale to accommodate additional functionality in the future.
  8. Innovation. Salesforce continues to innovate at scale, helping to ensure your organization never falls behind and extending the life of the system.

3. Service Cloud Supports Virtual and Distributed Teams

Traditional call center systems have historically been installed on servers that live on premise or have limitations on how they’re accessed. Salesforce is built from the ground up as a cloud-based system, providing web and mobile-based access from virtually anywhere. This enables call center staff to work remotely without any special hardware or software. One of the key lessons learned from COVID-19 is the need to plan for the eventuality that staff will need to be distributed. Having a distributed team also provides flexibility in staffing and can reduce operational costs.

4. Service Cloud Has a Voice, Too

Until recently, adding voice capability to Service Cloud meant integrating with a separate telephony system through CTI (Computer Telephony Integration). This has been (and still is) a viable option for using Service Cloud in a call center and managing outgoing and incoming calls from a single application.

The introduction of Service Cloud Voice has made implementing a call center much easier by pre-integrating Service Cloud with Amazon Connect, a top-tier cloud telephony product from Amazon Web Services (AWS). The key benefits include:

  1. All Cloud solution – no infrastructure to purchase or lease
  2. Voice recording and transcription
  3. Outbound calling
  4. IVR and Intelligent routing and queuing of inbound calls
  5. Advanced call analytics
  6. Powered with Einstein – next best action recommendations
  7. Simple licensing: Service Cloud Voice is an add-on to Service Cloud and licensed on a per-user basis
  8. No need to purchase Amazon Connect separately – license options are inclusive of Connect platform and telephony minutes

5. Service Cloud is Included in the License Grant for Nonprofits

Some organizations aren’t aware that the nonprofit donation provided by includes Service Cloud! Any 501(c)(3) can apply for the license donation and receive ten free Enterprise Edition licenses of Sales Cloud and Service Cloud and additional licenses are available at a steep discount for those organizations with large call centers. For nonprofits already using Salesforce and the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) for fundraising and program management, implementing and customizing Service Cloud can be a superior option than acquiring a separate system.

Contact us to learn more about using Service Cloud for your contact center.