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Use CloudCollect to improve your Collections Cycle

Small and large organizations alike have to manage the difficult task of collecting their customers’ bad debt.  But not all organizations have the same resources to do so. Large private companies employ fleets of collections agents to pursue customers for non-payment, and ultimately write down and sell off their bad debt for pennies on the dollar to third party collections agencies.  At the other end of the spectrum, smaller organizations often have no choice but to manage debt collection with a few team members who do this in addition to their regular day jobs. And public organizations like state and local governments, operating on tight budgets, often have little to no resources available to collect overdue payments and taxes from their constituents.

Regardless of the scope of your organization’s collections activity, there is one common and important thread: you will collect more debt if you reach out to your payers quickly, if you reach out in a personalized fashion, and if your outreach is flexible.  And the best way to act with speed, to be fully informed during your one-on-one interactions, and to understand what payment plans you might offer is to deploy intelligent, automated collections processes.

That’s where West Coast’s CloudCollect comes in.  A native Salesforce solution, available on the AppExchange, CloudCollect brings process automation and rich insights to your collections operations. Key features of CloudCollect include:

  • CloudCollect integrates with your billing, accounting and ERP systems to create a complete view of customer account and receivables status;
  • CloudCollect automatically creates collections actions and tasks that direct your customer outreach in email or by phone;
  • CloudCollect has a management dashboard providing insights into debtors, collector activity, and outstanding invoices and balances;
  • And more!

CloudCollect’s flexibility allows you to optimize your collections operations for both individual debtors as well as for your business customers.  Explore West Coast’s CloudCollect or contact us at 415-626-3493 or info@westcoastconsulting.com  today for more information.

February 23rd, 2022|Categories: Finance, Salesforce|

Our Favorite Trailblazers: Benafsha Irani

Benafsha Irani, founder of West Coast Consulting Group.

Benafsha Irani, founder of West Coast Consulting Group.

Benafsha Irani is a force to be reckoned with. As the founder of West Coast Consulting Group, Benafsha has traveled the world, launched innovative apps on the AppExchange, and helped grow and scale her business — all with a smile on her face.

“I feel like without Salesforce, we might have been boring,” Irani said laughingly. “But this has been such a fun journey!”

Read more to learn about this Trailblazer and where she draws inspiration to keep learning and find joy along the path to success.

How did West Coast Consulting Group get involved with Salesforce?

Benafsha Irani: When we started in 2004, we were based in San Francisco and we wanted to be part of something real that involved new technology. Marc Benioff had these “no software” stickers all over the city, and the entire team was curious to see how this software company could have “no software.” We went to hear Marc speak and were immediately hooked. It was a broad-thinking strategy that wasn’t just about software sales — he wanted to bring communities together and also incorporate nonprofit work into the industry. Not only that, but it was an agile platform that really works! There was so much we could do with just the click of a button. West Coast signed up to be a partner right then.

What was the first app you ever developed?

Benafsha: That’s an interesting story. We kept hearing “AppExchange is the thing!”, so after some encouragement, we launched our very first AppExchange app, called CloudCollect. We also now have a medical device sales app called MedTech SalesTracker, and we’re launching a marketing dashboard app soon. It’s all been a very fun journey, and I feel like Salesforce has really helped us do some exciting things along the way.

What’s your favorite app on AppExchange? Why do you love it?

Benafsha: My favorite app on the AppExchange is from Salesforce Labs, and it’s a dashboard app. I feel like most people don’t even know it exists, but it’s an app that helps you get started on some of the most powerful features of Salesforce, which are dashboarding and reporting. It’s a great place to see the power of Salesforce and it’s free!

Benafsha Irani pictured with Parker Harris at a recent Dreamforce event.

Benafsha Irani pictured with Parker Harris at a recent Dreamforce event.

Tell us, where was your favorite place to travel and why?

Benafsha: I can talk about travel a lot! I once went to the Maldives using my miles, and another time I flew my mom to Sydney because she always wanted to go to Australia. We celebrated her 60th birthday and even had dinner at the famous Sydney Opera House on her birthday. I also walked on the Sydney Harbor Bridge on that trip! I’m a little bit scared of heights, but it was an amazing experience.

What was the last book you read?

Benafsha: The last book I read was Michelle Obama’s book Becoming. I really liked it. She is very inspirational, and I love her confidence. You know, she gets things done. When she wants something, she does it, but in a nice way.

Are you streaming any great shows or movies right now?

Benafsha: It’s funny, but I’m not a big TV person. I have too much work to do normally, but when I do get a couple of minutes to relax, I like watching comedies. I feel like there’s so much unhappiness right now in the world. I like happy endings and the positivity of fun and silly movies.

Who would you consider to be the biggest influence in your life? We’d love to hear about them.

Benafsha: My grandmother. You could say the Americanized version of her name would be Kate, but it’s a Persian name: Katayun. She grew up in Iran in a village that’s now a UNESCO Heritage site called Yazd and she wanted to study and become a judge. But a rule came out when she was in high school that girls could only study until the 8th grade, so she had to give up her dream. But because she never really completed her education, she always told me to make sure I took the opportunity to study and become somebody. I took a lot of inspiration from her story.

What does being a Trailblazer mean to you?

Benafsha: I think Trailblazer in my mind is someone who is creative, doesn’t shy away from doing new things, and is always doing their best. It’s not just about making money and being a billionaire, it’s about giving your whole self and trying it all with a passion. For me it’s less about the materialistic outcome, and more the experience. Always be innovating and learning new things. That’s the fun part about being part of the Salesforce community.

What advice would you offer to those who are just starting out on the platform?

Benafsha: Understand the power of the platform! Many times people don’t even know what’s out there. Sometimes people have Sales Cloud and they think that’s all Salesforce offers, but there’s Service Cloud, Slack, and so much more. And it all really works together. People have to realize the power of the platform and make success happen.

Want to hear more about Benafsha’s path to accomplishment? See how Capital One is working with AppExchange partners like West Coast Consulting Group to support diversity efforts while extending Salesforce and driving business success. You can also explore innovations from diverse-owned businesses on AppExchange here.

Success with Service Cloud

Service Cloud is a valuable module for any organization that needs to deliver excellent service levels to a customer base where they want to sustain a long-running relationship.  Customer Service teams use Service Cloud to access information – both general about your products or specifically about the customer’s purchased services – rapidly in order to answer their questions, troubleshoot their issues, and schedule follow-up investigations, service visits or repairs when necessary.

West Coast Consulting Group has assembled a list of the Top 10 items to consider when planning your Service Cloud deployment.

      1. Create a single point of contact. When going live, the level of activity and emotion tends to run high and things can be chaotic if there are too many points of contact. Having a designated single point of contact from the customer team minimizes noise and confusion and makes the cut-over go much more smoothly.
      2. Ensure Tier 1 Customer Support readiness. Tier 1 Customer Support, every company’s first point of contact with customers, needs to be well prepared for the new system and should enter all cases in parallel one week prior to go-live. Be prepared for Day 1 so that your customers don’t experience delays in service because your Tier 1 support team hasn’t been trained to property raise and manage tickets.
      3. Test Email-to-Case connectivity. Test and ensure that your support team’s email is set up as system admin and associate it with Email2Case processes to ensure cases are routed correctly and responses from the customer are routed back to the cases. In order to ensure that it works prior to go-live, make the switch a few hours ahead of time  and test out this important functionality using communications to the real support email address from a simulated external customer’s email address.
      4. Enable all support users at least one week in advance. Ensure that all your support team’s users are fully operational within the Service Cloud environment at least one week prior to go-live and all access issues are addressed. Test login credentials, access levels, communications, escalation protocols, and don’t forget negative test cases to ensure they don’t have access to data, fields or tabs that they shouldn’t.


Ease Your Path to Salesforce Lightning

Long-time users of Salesforce rightfully have been leery of migrating from the original user interface, called Classic, to a new user interface called Lightning.  Launched in 2015, Lightning is a modern user interface that facilitates customization without code, enables a consistent, responsive experience across devices from PC to tablet to mobile, and makes it easy to connect a growing number of apps into the Salesforce interface for seamless user operations. Lightning is different from Classic in significant ways, and therefore needs to be approached with intent.

The West Coast Consulting Group team has worked with customers in every stage of Lightning adoption: from new Salesforce deployments over the past few years that started with Lightning and optimized their processes with Lightning-only capabilities, to long-time Classic users who have gone through the upgrade, to organizations for whom the time is not right to migrate from Classic but are working with us to develop their plan. We want to share the benefits of our customers’ experiences with you. (more…)