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Enterprise cloud powerhouse Salesforce has added new tools to its Service Cloud that help address customer service problems while people are in mobile apps, making it possible to reach customers that are increasingly glued to phones and tablets instead of PCs.
“We’re doubling down on mobile and this is no exception,” Alex Bard told VentureBeat. “This is an Apple-like experience for collaboration and solving your issue.”
Salesforce and its CEO Marc Benioff have been betting on mobile apps and experiences for a long while. The outspoken Benioff even suggested back in October that Windows 8 would be “the end of Windows,” because mobile devices had become the go-to devices for workers and consumers. And in this case, Salesforce is betting further on mobile by making Service Cloud way more usable with smartphones and tablets.
So let’s say you spot a suspicious bank charge on your account while you are inside your bank app on the iPhone. Salesforce’s update makes it so that the bank can easily add some HTML5 code to the app and you can talk to customer service rep via chat with one click.
“We provide the best platform that can be integrated into your company’s apps,” Bard said. “These can be integrated easily into an app or a mobile web page.”
Chatting with customer service via your app isn’t the only new feature to Service Cloud. The update today also include three other big updates:
- Co-browsing for sales associates: Co-browsing tech lets you and a customer associate browse on the same screen. Service agents can collaborate with customers about how to use an app by working directly with them. Input from either person registers on the screen.
- Mobile Service Communities (forums): Salesforce’s Communities are essentially forums that allow an app’s users to communicate with each other and let the company moderate those communities. If you have an answer about how something works in an app or a game, you can simply go to the community and ask.
- Service Cloud Touch for mobile devices: The company’s Service Cloud Touch app, which helps engage with your customers and leads, has been optimized to support the iPhone, iPad, Amazon Kindle, and Android devices. Ideally, this will make service agents more mobile.
The feature on here that sticks out the most here is co-browsing. Bard told VentureBeat that this is the first real use of the co-browsing tech it wanted when it bought GoInstant for $70 million in July 2012. It’s particularly cool because you’ll be able to simultaneously move the screen with an associate to show them the problem. Then the customer rep can address the problem faster.
“This creates a much better experience for answering questions and doing things inside a mobile app,” Bard said.
Salesforce says co-browsing will be generally available in the second half of 2013, while the other three features are now available today.
Service Cloud has more than 34,000 customers including GE, Chipotle, Comcast, Activision, KLM, Yamaha, and TED. It claims that its clients see a 37 percent decrease on average in first call resolution time and a 36 percent decrease in support costs.
Photos via Salesforce