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Salesforce Chatter Bridges Social and Mobile CRM Divide

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Posted March 19, 2013 By Pedro Hernandez     Feedback

Chatter gets a big update that brings core Salesforce CRM functionality within easy reach of mobile users.

Chatter updates are nothing new, but the latest upgrade finally bridges the gap between consumers empowered by social media and mobile customer relationship management (CRM), enabling organizations to dive headlong into the era of "instant engagement," according to Salesforce Chatter Executive Vice President Nasi Jazayeri.

"The new Salesforce Chatter delivers the next generation of social and mobile CRM to customer companies, transforming the way they connect with their customers in entirely new ways. Now every company employee can put the customer first to deliver amazing sales, service or marketing experiences right from the feed," said Jazayeri in prepared remarks.

Chatter is branching out from its social media-inspired beginnings. Users can now use one of Salesforce.com's popular features to launch straight into common CRM tasks from their Apple iPads, Android smartphones or any number of mobile computing devices.

"For the first time ever, now companies will be able to access, create and act on customer information within Salesforce – all in the Chatter feed, from any device," boasts the company. The goal is to help organizations tailor their sales, marketing and customer care operations to quickly respond to -- and capitalize on -- today's hyper-connected consumers.

Starting today, Chatter allows users to access all of the information on customers stored in Salesforce. Sales leads, campaigns and customer accounts are within reach directly from Chatter. Combined with real-time updates and the product's mobile-friendly underpinnings, users can brainstorm more readily, respond quickly to customers and seize opportunities faster, regardless of time and place.

That's the crux of Chatter's new "customer first" capabilities, asserts Jazayeri. "It is hard to think of a more direct way that technology can impact a company's growth by helping every employee put customers first in every action and at every moment. And as these mobile-enabled interactions proliferate, it will be impossible for companies and their employees to imagine how they ever worked without them." he wrote in a blog post.

In the second half of 2013, users will be able to act on Chatter updates -- forward marketing collateral, for example -- directly from the feed, "making every moment actionable" said the company. Chatter has also gained the ability to create tasks and custom actions or edit information and use files and photos, thanks to the new publisher functionality.

While this may all come across like a big warm hug around customers, the company hints that enabling these functions in Chatter has some serious productivity-boosting potential.

Salesforce reports that in a survey of 5,500 Chatter customers, respondents experienced a 25 percent reduction in meetings and a 26 percent cut in email use, on average. They also came up with 29 percent more collaborative ideas and saw a 34 percent increase in employee engagement.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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