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Entitlement Management


One of the challenges many organizations face today is not being able to track whether they are resolving their customers’ issues within an acceptable time frame, and the consequence of this issue leads to poor customer satisfaction. Another related challenge is that agents are not being able to quickly identify if the customer on the phone is really entitled to get customer support, as the agent spends a lot of time in searching many disparate systems to find the answer, and again this leads to increase in call time and cost of price per call. To address all these challenges, Salesforce has introduced an efficient Service Cloud console feature called Entitlement Management to improve customer experience and reduce cost.

Entitlements in Salesforce enable agents to instantly find out whether the customers are eligible for support, match customers with the appropriate level of service, and manage customer service costs more effectively. So, by creating service timelines for cases, now agents and managers can easily track the progress against service milestones to make sure service level agreements are being met. All of these benefits together result to quick issue resolution, reduced service cost, and most importantly happy customers.

Features of Entitlement Management
Entitlement management includes the following features to help you provide the correct levels of service to your customers:

Entitlements Verification
Support agents can verify whether the customers are eligible for support before creating cases for them. A typical usage of entitlement verification as follows:
1. First, a customer calls support.
2. Then, a support agent searches for the caller’s information such as Account, Contact, Asset, or Service contract.
3. Now, the agent verifies if one of them above has an active entitlement on their Entitlements related list section.
4. If the customer is eligible for support, finally the agent creates a case from the entitlement.

Service Level Creation
Users can create and maintain different types of service contracts that would get different kinds of customer support. Warranties, subscriptions, or maintenance agreements are a few examples. Here, each service contract can include specific products covered under the agreement.

Portal Access Provision
Salesforce allows us to add the Entitlement feature to Customer and Partner portals, so the external, portal users can view their service contracts, entitlements, and create cases with correct entitlements.

Reporting on Entitlements and Service Levels
Salesforce Administrators can create custom report types to define report criteria from which users can create and run reports on entitlements and service contracts.

Entitlement Models
There are three types of Entitlement models available in salesforce to provide support for different types of customers.

1. Entitlements only
Support agents verify that contacts or accounts are eligible for customer support before they create cases.
2. Service Contracts with Entitlement
Support agents verify that a contact is eligible for support based on a service contract such as warranties, subscriptions, and maintenance agreements.
3. Service Contracts with Contract Line Items and Entitlement
Support agents verify that a contact is eligible for support based on line items in a service contract.

Useful Terminologies used in Entitlement Management
The following are key terminologies used in Entitlement management, and it is important for us to understand what they are and how they work together in Salesforce.

1. Service Contract
Service contracts are agreement between you and your customers for a specific type of customer support. Service contracts can represent different kinds of customer support, such as warranties, subscriptions, or service level agreements (SLAs).

2. Entitlement Processes
Entitlement processes are timelines that include all of the steps or milestones that your support team must complete to resolve cases. Each process includes a set of rules to enforce the correct service level for your customers.

3. Milestones
Milestones are required steps in the support process, and they are the metrics that represent service levels to provide to each of your customers. Examples of milestones include First Response and Resolution Times on cases.

4. Milestone actions
These are time-dependent, workflow actions that occur at every milestone in an entitlement process. Examples are sending an email alert to a user before or after SLA violation or updating fields automatically.

How to create Entitlements in Salesforce?
The following steps explain how to set up and use the complete Entitlements feature for Support users.

1. Go to Setup > Customize > Entitlement Management –> Settings.
2. Enable Entitle Management.

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3. Add Entitlement Name field to Case page layout.

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4. Add the Entitlements related list to account, contact, and asset page layouts, so agents can verify entitlement from the detail pages of these objects.
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5. Now, Go to My Settings->Display & Layout->Customize My Tabs->Add Entitlement Tab.
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6. Go to Setup > Customize > Entitlement Management –> Milestones.

7. Click New Milestone and enter a Name, Description and set Recurrence Type and click ‘Save’ button. There are three types of recurrence types:
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8. Add Milestone Status and Milestone Icon fields to Case page layout.
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9. Go to Setup > Customize > Case > Case Milestones > Fields.

10. Add the fields and save the page layout.
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11. Go to Setup > Customize > Entitlement Management –> Entitlement Processes.
12. Click New Entitlement Process and enter a name and description.
13. Select Active to enable the process.
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14. And Now, Click ‘New’ button in Milestone related list.
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15. Create a milestone, set the filter criteria and click save.
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16. Now, open the Milestone you created in the last step.
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17. Now define the milestone action for the milestone created in the previous step. The three types of actions are Success actions, Warning actions, and Violation actions. For example, you can send an email alert to a user when a case is closed on time (success action) or send an email to a user two hours before the first response is near violation (warning action), and etc.
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18. Click ‘Entitlements Tab’, specify start and end dates. The status of the Entitlement record is determined by your organization’s current system date and the entitlement’s start date and end date. The available statuses:
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19. Create a Case record and edit the Case Milestone record before closing the case.
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20. Edit the milestone, enter completion date and click‘Save’ button.
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21. Now you can see milestone status on the case is marked as Completed.
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Conclusion
The Service organizations can reap the ultimate benefits of Entitlements in Salesforce to instantly verify if the customers are entitled for support, effectively track the progress of service timelines for cases, and most importantly get notified for any SLA violations on time. The end results are increased agent productivity, reduced cost per call, and increased customer satisfaction.

Reference
Entitlement Management Implementation Guide (Salesforce.com, Winter 14) from
https://login.salesforce.com/help/pdfs/en/salesforce_entitlements_implementation_guide.pdf