Salesforce Boosts Mobile Customer Service Capabilities
Service for Apps allows companies to embed services such as live chat into mobile customer service applications.
Mobile is becoming an increasingly important part of customer service. A recent survey of U.S. adults by Software Advice, a company owned by Gartner that researches and reviews help desk software, found 77 percent of those ages 18 to 24 use mobile devices at least once per month for customer support. The number was nearly as high for consumers ages 35 to 44, with 75 percent of them using mobiles more than once a month for customer support.
To help companies provide customer service in a mobile environment, Salesforce is rolling out Service for Apps, which makes it possible to embed services such as live chat into mobile apps.
Service for Apps includes five services that can be embedded within mobile apps:
- Chat for Apps, an instant messaging feature that allows customers to communicate with a customer service agent and provides agents with contextual information regarding customer issues
- Tap-to-Call for Apps, which enables customers to access live telephone support from within the mobile app
- Knowledge for Apps, which allows companies to offer knowledge articles and FAQs within an app and also convert crowdsourced content into knowledge articles
- Cases for Apps, which enables customers to share photos and location information with agents and also allows agents to escalate cases to experts who can more quickly resolve them
- SOS, which connects customers to an agent for video support, screen sharing and other interactive features that help agents navigate customers through more complex issues
According to Salesforce, the new product builds on other Service Cloud features, including the intelligent routing engine it introduced earlier this year. Among other things, the engine determines which cases should go to which agent, based on factors including the agent's skill set, their case history and current workload.
Salesforce also introduced Desk.com for Apps, a new software developer kit designed to help SMBs embed support into their mobile apps.
Pricing starts at $135 per user, per month for the Service Cloud. SOS, which Salesforce likens to the Mayday button Amazon uses on its Kindle Fire devices, is now available and is priced at $150 per user, per month with an Enterprise Edition license of Service Cloud. Chat for Apps, Tap-to-Call for Apps, Knowledge for Apps and Cases for Apps will be in private beta later this year, and pricing will be announced at the time of general availability. Desk.com for Apps is currently in private beta, and pricing will be announced at the time of general release.
While the new Salesforce software focuses on services offered by human agents, Craig Borowski, a market researcher at Software Advice, said companies will ultimately shift toward more self-service mobile options such as FAQs, knowledge bases and virtual agents.