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Truth is, every single customer interaction should not only generate value for the customer, but also for the company as a whole. This is why omni-channel customer success solutions – like MindTouch – are in high demand.

The number of customer touchpoints have increased steadily over the past couple of years. And though self-service is still the most popular, it is not a stand-alone solution. Modern customer success organizations (many of whom use Salesforce Service Cloud)  still need to engage with customers when a problem escalates and/or to resolve a complex issue.

By creating a system that captures insights and data from all channels, companies can strategically optimize their self-service capabilities to better engage customers. This will help them identify customer pain points, streamline channel switching, and identify weaknesses in their self-service help center. In effect, customers will be able to self-serve more effectively.

So what should you do when you’re thinking about creating an omni-channel customer success engagement center? We’ve put together a simple checklist combining features from both MindTouch and its Salesforce Service Cloud integration to help you and your customers succeed.

Get a 360 view of your customer.

Determine what their goals are.

Track from their first interaction all the way through their entire lifecycle.

Streamline channel switching to reduce customer effort during their journey.

Offer real-time analytics and insights.

Listen and respond to feedback.

Have subject matter experts contribute content.

Capture and reuse solutions so agents won’t be asked the same question twice.

Create a publishing workflow to maintain the quality, consistency, and security for your docs.

By understanding what your customers’ goals are, what content they’ve already read, and what queries they’ve searched for, etc. you can reduce customer effort and incentivize learning.

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On Thursday July 17th and Friday July 18th, MindTouch hosted a live webinar workshop about Customer Success best practices, trends, and tactics. MindTouch CEO Aaron Fulkerson shared valuable data from Forrester Research, other customer success evangelists, and our own customers. Due to high demand from our viewers, we agreed to share our presentation:

Customer Success: Accelerating User Adoption by Rapidly Creating Product Experts

Today’s customers expect brands to support them throughout the entire ownership lifecycle and will jump ship (and churn) if it takes too much effort to become a product expert. Building a Customer Success strategy requires a collaboration across many departments in your organization and a new way of thinking about how you deliver content to your customers.

Aaron Fulkerson, CEO of MindTouch, a provider of cloud based customer success software, will explore how leading businesses including, Intuit, Success Factors, Salesforce Verizon, MakerBot and RSA Security, Zuora, Pentaho, RichRelevance deliver higher quality service to their customers, lower the barriers to success, and increase brand advocacy. You will leave this session with solutions and actionable next steps for achieving success in this new era of customer engagement.

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Matt Atherton is the Owner of purpleplanet – Software Solutions, a Germany-based web solutions company. purpleplanet has been working with MindTouch since 2012 and has proven to be an effective and reliable resource for design, site branding and creation and implementation of custom widgets. 

In this blog post, I’d like to reveal some tricks and tips for enhancing your MindTouch pages using effective styling, pre-defined MindTouch widgets and some basic DekiScript.

To start us off, we’re going to focus on adding a box to the top of an article that contains information about the page author and some basic statistics about the article itself. Here’s the result we’re aiming for:

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As you can see, the new box incorporates:

  • Page Author – which can be linked to an email address, LinkedIn page, etc.
  • Job Title and Company – with a link to the company’s homepage
  • Page Views
  • Page Updates
  • Page Votes

The method for creating this new “widget” is two-fold.

Building the Template

First, we need to create the template that gathers all this information together. To do this, navigate to your site Templates and create a new template with this path:

http://www.mysite.com/Template:Custom/Views/Author

Once your new template page is in place, you need to create a Dekiscript block, in order to add the variables required for the elements of our new widget. To do this, first “Edit” the template page, then choose “DekiScript” from the “Styles” drop-down. Make sure the following code is added inside the red-bordered DekiScript area:

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Now that we have these variables declared, we can define the structure of the widget beginning with the author information. This should also be contained inside the DekiScript area we just created, below the variables we added in the first step:

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Finally, we add in the statistics counters, which will sit on the right side of the widget. Here’s our final DekiScript block:

code2

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Now that we have the correct information coming through, the final stage of the template build is to style the elements. Beneath the DekiScript block, inside the new Author template, add a blue-bordered CSS block (Styles -> CSS) and paste in the following CSS:

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Stage two of the process is to call this template into place on a page. This requires a list of values to fill the variables which will then be passed into the template as arguments. Open the page where you wish to add the author widget and add the following code inside a DekiScript block at the top of your page:

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The values here will need to be amended for each page you add this widget to. If you leave the ‘name’, ‘companyname’, or ‘companyurl’ out of this argument list, the values will be automatically added, as follows:

  • name: the name of the page Author stored in MindTouch
  • companyname: the site name in the Configuration of your MindTouch site
  • companyurl: the URL of your MindTouch site

For more information on branding, please head over to the MindTouch Customer Success Center.

Security Improvement for All Site Visitors

  • In order to reduce risk of generic passwords, creating new passwords will not allow the term “password” in the password.
  • The anonymous user, which is the user that all unauthenticated site visitors browse a MindTouch site as, could accidentally be added to a security group via the Control Panel by a Site Administrator or a SAML SSO misconfiguration. This would have allowed all site visitors to access the private content permissioned to be viewed by the security group.

Bug Fixes for All Site Visitors

Bug Fixes for Site Administrators

  • The Page Editor configuration preview in the Control Panel would not load, and appeared to be stuck in an endless “loading” mode.
  • In the Control Panel’s File Restore section, an extremely long page title would not wrap broke the layout of the view.

Bug Fixes for Content Managers and Site Authors

  • (Internet Explorer 8 Only) Site History did not display events by date from newest to oldest.
  • The Semi-Private page restriction, which is used to hide page links in navigation menus and search results from unpermissioned users, was allowing web crawlers to potentially index hidden pages. Semi-Private pages are not designed to be secure, but rather not discoverable (if a user has a link to the page URL in an email, for example, they can see the page). No Private page data was exposed, but search engines such as Google could have indexed Semi-Private pages.
  • Page deletions did not appear in the Site History and User Contributions views.
  • Dragging and dropping an image into the blank area around the Page Editor’s editable content area would not upload the image.
  • Page article type drop down selection list would appear behind the “Add Comment” button below the drop down, instead of overlapping it.
  • Block quotes would appear behind a page’s table of contents menu.
  • When creating a new link on a User Guide page, if the page title was extremely long, the text would wrap and cover up the button to save the link. This made saving the link impossible, as the button was not clickable.
  • When editing a page, if a table had multiple cells, you could not highlight the text in multiple cells and delete them all.

New MindTouch Documentation

New MindTouch Training Video

New Feature for Site Visitors: Improved German User Interface Localization

New Feature for Authors and Content Managers: Page Classification Manager General Release (Out of BETA)

  • The Page Classification Manager is now ready for General Release, and available to all Authors and Content Managers. The Page Classification Manager is a utility for batch applying classification changes such as page article type or page stage status in a page hierarchy. The Page Classification Manager can be found in the Site Tools menu. You can learn the finer points of managing page classifications by reading this article on MindTouch Success.

Announcing Upcoming Performance Optimization: Page Caching for Anonymous Site Visitors

  • In the upcoming weeks we’ll be deploying a series of performance enhancements to increase page loading speed for your site’s anonymous visitors. Since these enhancements employ the use of content caches in the MindTouch infrastructure, some modifications to pages won’t be visible to anonymous visitors immediately. Moving, deleting, restricting, and granting permission to pages take effect immediately, where as changing content in the page will take longer as the content is cached for anonymous visitors. As we get closer to rolling out these changes, we’ll explain more of the behavior changes in detail.

Bug Fixes for Authors

  • When viewing page revisions and page content differences, the revision dates and times were not in the timezone preferred by the author. MindTouch users can select their preferred timezones by following these instructions on MindTouch Success.

New MindTouch Documentation

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It takes far too much effort to wait around for a support agent to come to the rescue. This is why many customers turn to self-service.

The web is full of information. Some useful, others not. Customers choose to brave these wilds to hunt down what they need. The journey is far from ideal, yet 71% still prefer to self-serve. It is clear that customers want to be their own hero. Businesses exist to arm their customers with the skills to succeed against all odds. If done right, this is how you build an army of brand-loyal evangelists.

Businesses need to ensure that their self-help centers meet the needs of their customers. To do achieve this, businesses need to: 

  1. Make it simple to find and absorb knowledge. Customers should not have to rummage through multiple pages in a help center to discover what they need. Documentation should be easily surfaced, optimized for SEO, and targeted to resolve goals (which often involve multi-step problems) versus immediate, break-fix questions.
  2. Make it possible to trust in the accuracy of what you find. Documentation should be up-to-date, accurate, and clearly written. The customer should be able to easily resolve their problems just by reading the documentation. If they cannot, the content would need to go through a couple of revisions.
  3. Enable customer contribution and collaboration. Customers become more invested in brands that “listen” to their needs. It is important to give your customers a voice. There are many subject matter experts that exist both within and outside of your organization. Tap into this knowledge source and leverage their experiences to make your help center self-improving.

Simple right? Unfortunately not. Sometimes the easiest expectations are the hardest to meet. There are many ways to get from point A to point B, and often, businesses make mistakes, lose sight of their customers’ expectations, and start focusing on the wrong things. This is why all stakeholders in a business, whether they’re customer-facing or not, need to be able to quickly get customer insights and analyze customer behavior.

Businesses can create “stickier” help centers by understanding the context of a customer’s past interactions with different knowledge content. This will allow them to provide consistent, personalized service in every channel so that they can deliver a seamless customer journey.

Bottom Line: Help your customers be their own hero. Create opportunities for your customers to succeed through self service. And in time, you’ll win their undying dedication and loyalty.

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When our customers speak, we make it a priority to listen. At MindTouch, customer feedback is never a burden, but rather a source for product inspiration.

Just last month, we built out and released a set of table editing features that was inspired by customer feedback. Our customers had suggestions – we listened, worked out solutions, and implemented them. Now, these advancements are delivering a lot of value to all of our customers and their subsequent users (product managers, techcomm editors, marketers, subject matter contributors, designers, etc).

In particular, the table editing features help by:

  • delivering a smoother, more consistent UI and UX which decreases the learning curve for new authors. This adds a lot of value as businesses will not need to invest as much funds into training,
  • increasing productivity, as authors can create and release high quality, technical documentation faster.
  • reducing customer effort so that authors, be they internal or external to your company, will not have to figure out workarounds and deal with bugs.

If you haven’t had a chance to test out the new table editing features, you should give it a try as these advancements will drastically improve your editing experience.

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Before the upgrade, when you wanted to merge cells, you had to do the following:

  • Right click on a cell
  • Select Cell in the right click menu
  • Click merge left/right/up/down

Problem is, this only worked for the cell that you clicked in. With this new enhancement, you can select multiple cells at once, simply right click, and select “Merge Selected Cells”. This reduces the effort exerted and the number of steps needed to merge multiple cells together.

Vertical Align

We’ve made it easier to vertically align content within a cell. When you right click on a cell, you can select Vertical Align and then choose top, middle, or bottom. Previously, this feature was hidden within the cell properties window which required numerous clicks to access.

Table Handlers

InsertColumnTo make it easy to quickly add and remove rows and columns, we’ve created table handlers at the top of the columns and to the left of the row.

This lets you quickly expand and contract your table with ease. To access this, all you need to do is click on a cell and the table handlers will appear. You can also manually select the table handle option by right clicking and selecting from the drop down menu. The later option is best when you’re working within a long and wide table (it’ll save you a lot of time as you won’t need to scroll back and forth to add/delete a row or column).

Cell Selecting and Coloring

Previously when you tried to select a group of cells, it would highlight the whole row as opposed to a specific set of cells. Now you can simply highlight multiple cells at once by selecting and dragging your mouse over the cells that you want to select. After you have selected the cells, you can change the background color by selecting the background color icon in the editor.

Conclusion

As always, we appreciate all the feedback that you’ve provided and strive to make MindTouch an easy to use but powerful customer success tool. For more information about these enhancements, please read the documentation in our Success Center.

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Customers should never need to complain to a support agent. They should be able to directly self-serve and achieve their goals.

Insight into customer behavior can help businesses deliver such high quality self-service. The new MindTouch feature for Customer Insights helps businesses pin-point the needs, goals, and pain-points of their customers. This insight can decrease customer effort, increase NPS scores, and serve as a driver for customer success.

UserViewedWhat is User View and Search Activity?

The Customer Insights provides very granular reports on individual users who visit a help center that’s powered by MindTouch. This feature can be used internally, within your MindTouch powered help center (for site administrators), or externally, by dynamically integrating into Salesforce Service Cloud (for customer-facing agents).

You, as a business, can overview a users’  page and search activity to determine which help articles were viewed, how long each article was viewed, and the number of times an article was viewed.

This Customer Insights functionality also lets you see what search queries were submitted and how many times a particular query was searched. You’ll also see an overview of the activity history and timeline of any user who enters the help center.

3 Reasons Why You Should Care About Customer Insights

UserSearched

  1. As a support agent, you’ll never share an article that your customers have already poked at or read. Clearly understand what your customers’ problems are and even resolve potential downstream issues.
  2. As a customer success manager, you’ll be able to look at individual customers’ behaviors to get an idea of their psychology.
  3. As a knowledge or documentation manager, you’ll be able to use the Customer Insights feature in conjunction with MindTouch knowledge analytics to get a deep understanding of what docs are working and which ones need improvement.

How Does It Work

The Customer Insights functionality is extremely intuitive. To start, you need to make sure that you have site admin level permission to access the page. Then, simply go to your control panel, access your user management tool, select the user section on the left sidebar, then pick your user! It’s so simple that you’ll be able to quickly pull real-time information about your customers.

To get more details on how this feature works, please check out this article in the MindTouch Customer Success Center.

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With approximately 63% of MindTouch customers actively using Salesforce Service Cloud, we are highly invested in making sure that our customers have the best Salesforce resources at their fingertips. This is why we have created a Top 50 list of Salesforce Influencers to identify, chart, and highlight the accomplishments of thought leaders in this space.

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, you would benefit greatly should you choose to connect and follow these Salesforce thought leaders. MindTouch has been researching and publishing these reports to the customer success community since 2009 by using data generated from Little Bird to amplify customer success, create new relationships, and spark discussions.

If you’ve never heard of us before, here’s a quick run down – MindTouch is an omni-channel, customer success solution that powers the online self-service, help centers of top tier companies like: MakerBot, Paypal, Accenture, Intuit, Zuora, and more. We integrate seamlessly into most CRMs, including Salesforce, and are industry partners with Zendesk, Salesforce, SAP, and Amazon.

08f374d53d9b3155c92f057a260f5554_400x400Before jumping into the list, we would like to give a shout out to two Salesforce visionaries – Alex Bard and Gary Benitt (founders of Assistly which was later acquired by Salesforce and rebranded as Desk.com).

Bard (current SVP & GM Salesforce Service Cloud & Desk.com) and Benitt (current COO at Desk.com & VP of Operations at Salesforce) are both instrumental in driving the customer service strategy at Salesforce Service Cloud. Make sure to follow these leaders at @alexbard and @garybenitt

Don’t forget to reach out to us directly @MindTouch!

Top 10 Salesforce Service Cloud Influencers

  • @Benioff – Marc Benioff
  • @MikeGerholdt – Mike Gerholdt
  • @CRMFYI – Jeff Grosse
  • @petercoffee – Peter Coffee
  • @dandarcy – Dan Darcy
  • @michaelforce – Michael Farrington
  • @sfdc_nerd – Becka Dente
  • @SFDCMatt – Matthew Lamb
  • @GeraldineGray – Geraldine Gray
  • @ReidCarlberg – Reid Carlberg

Top 20 Salesforce Service Cloud Influencers

  • @dcarroll – Dave Carroll
  • @parkerharris – Parker Harris
  • @dschach – David Schach
  • @mattybme – Matt Brown
  • @TooSaaSy – Salesforce SaaSy
  • @hammnick – Nick Hamm
  • @SFDCFoundation – SalesforceFoundation
  • @DarthGarry – Garry Polmateer
  • @jeffdonthemic – Jeff Douglas
  • @GeorgeHuSF – George Hu

Top 30 Salesforce Service Cloud Influencers

  • @forceDotMom – Brandy Colmer
  • @metadaddy – Patt Patterson
  • @amber9904 – Amber Boaz
  • @KevinSwiggum – Kevin Swiggum
  • @adamse – Adam Seligman
  • @apexsutherland – Alex Sutherland
  • @marcusnelson – Marcus Nelson
  • @joshbirk – Josh Birk
  • @charlieisaacs – Charlie Isaacs
  • @quintonwall – quintonwall

Top 40 Salesforce Service Cloud Influencers

  • @singhns – Narinder Singh
  • @aognenoff – Andy Ognenoff
  • @jaredemiller – Jared Miller
  • @kswensrud – Kraig Swensrud
  • @justagirlygeek – Maria S Belli
  • @jhoskins – Joshua Hoskins
  • @bob_buzzard – Keir Bowden
  • @TehNrd – Jason Venable
  • @nikpanter – Nik Panter
  • @forceguru – Ankit Arora

Top 50 Salesforce Service Cloud Influencers

  • @jpseabury – JP Seabury
  • @crmdr – Rhonda Ross
  • @dlog – Mike Leach
  • @dhoechst – Daniel Hoechst
  • @rathergeeky – Jenna Weiner
  • @JustEdelstein – Justin Edelstein
  • @GordonEvans – Gordon Evans
  • @andrew_sf – Andrew Hill
  • @imperialstout – Brad Gross
  • @eliz_beth – Elizabeth Davidson

Are you on our influencer list? Congratulations, here’s your badge! You’ve earned it for your work in pushing the edges of your field. You’re an innovator who’s elevating and promoting your field. Thank you. Grab the code below and display your badge with pride. You’re in excellent company.

You can use this snippet to add your badge to your website or blog:

<a href="http://mindtouch.com/blog/2014/07/08/2014-top-50-salesforce-bloggers-influencers/" title="MindTouch Top 50 Most Active Salesforce Bloggers and Influencers"><img src="http://mindtouch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/salesforceinfluencer_badge.jpg" alt="Most Active Salesforce Bloggers and Influencers" border="0" ></a>

If you are interested in guest blogging, please make sure to reach out to us directly @MindTouch with the hashtag #guestblogger and we’d be glad to connect.

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“The learning curve for DITA is steep. MindTouch, on the other hand, is so intuitive that we were productive from day one.”
- Chantel Brathwaite, Senior Technical Writer at Pentaho

Pentaho, as an open-source provider of reporting, analysis, dashboard, data mining, and workflow capabilities, needed a way to increase collaboration with internal and eternal subject matter experts, create a more responsive publishing system, and unify the documentation into one single source. This is where MindTouch comes in.

Customer Success is the driver of all things that we do at MindTouch. As an omni-channel, self-service solution, we provide businesses with the tools to enhance their customers’ and agents’ online service to drive success. This results in a higher ROI as businesses create a more effortless customer journey, empower agents with valuable insight into customer behavior, improve the ease of collaboration, and enable high-quality documentation to be created more quickly and accurately.

pentaho1“[Before MindTouch], builds were a lengthy process, would sometimes fail for a variety of bizarre reasons, and troubleshooting each fiasco would bog down the entire documentation process.”
-Sandra Wagner, Senior Technical Writer at Pentaho

The MindTouch platform is easy to brand, has an intuitive interface, and adds value right out of the gate. No third party consultants or implementation teams are needed; MindTouch is ready to use right out of the box.

To learn more about MindTouch, please check out our Customer Success Center for more info.