Adds Facebook to Call Centers

Paul Ferrill

Updated · Mar 04, 2011 (NYSE: CRM) has added support for Facebook to its Service Cloud call center and customer service application.

Service Cloud 3 now includes support for Facebook in addition to existing Twitter functionality. The online CRM leader announced the new functionality at its Cloudforce 2011 conference in New York today.

The new release also adds social media analytics to the contact center service.

Alex Dayon, Salesforce’s executive vice president of CRM, said in a statement that “Facebook and Twitter taught consumers to expect social customer service in real time. Service Cloud 3 is the next-generation social contact center that lets companies prioritize and manage a high volume of customer issues over any social channel.”

Service Cloud 3 also adds technology from Radian6 to monitor blogs, forums and discussion groups. Agents can engage directly with customers using any device, including the iPad 2, to deliver customer service in real time.

Salesforce for Facebook lets companies manage interactions with their fans in real time by converting Facebook wall posts and comments into cases within Service Cloud 3, and Salesforce for Twitter lets agents join conversations with customers on Twitter by creating cases and sharing knowledge from inside Service Cloud.

Radian6 for Salesforce is a new AppExchange app that lets agents work entirely within Service Cloud 3 to engage customers via Twitter, Facebook and other social channels such as blogs and video and photo sharing sites. Automated case creation adds social media content to Service Cloud 3 based on the customizable Radian6 workflow rules engine.

The new Service Cloud Console gives agents an optimized, tabbed screen for managing all social media and case activities with fewer clicks and less scrolling, while Chatter for Cases lets agents follow important cases in real time and collaborate as a team to resolve issues.

Service Cloud 3 lets companies prioritize social interactions across channels, such as phone, email, chat and social communities, according to built-in social analytics. Salesforce said agents will use the real-time insights to determine the best channel to respond to customers and tailor support strategies. The Social Analytics feature offers social channel reports, customer conversation analyses and social dashboards to help identify trends and alert managers to issues that are affecting the business.

On the customer service side, Salesforce Answers lets customers ask questions, post answers and vote on the answers they consider most helpful, and business-to-consumer portals give customers access to a round-the-clock site for case management, knowledge, help and training. Live Agent can be embedded into a company’s Web site for instant chat functionality and answers for customers.

Salesforce’s Service Cloud boasts more than 15,000 customers. Salesforce said a recent MarketTools survey of more than 6,000 of those customers found that companies that have deployed the Service Cloud have seen a 41 percent increase in agent productivity, a 34 percent increase in first call resolution, a 35 percent increase in customer satisfaction, and 85 percent reported improved customer service and support.

Service Cloud 3 is generally available today. Salesforce for Facebook is expected to be available later this quarter at no additional cost on the AppExchange for Professional, Enterprise and Unlimited Edition customers. Radian6 for Salesforce is expected to be available in the third quarter on the AppExchange. Live Agent will be priced at $50 per agent per month for customers and is expected to be available in the second quarter.

Follow eCRM Guide on Twitter

Paul Ferrill
Paul Ferrill

Paul Ferrill has been writing for over 15 years about computers and network technology. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering as well as a MS in Electrical Engineering. He is a regular contributor to the computer trade press. He has a specialization in complex data analysis and storage. He has written hundreds of articles and two books for various outlets over the years. His articles have appeared in Enterprise Apps Today and InfoWorld, Network World, PC Magazine, Forbes, and many other publications.

More Posts By Paul Ferrill