Salesforce Introducing Service SOS Button for Mobile

In its own interpretation of Amazon's Mayday button -- a live support system on Kindle Fire HDs -- Salesforce.com is introducing what it's calling the future of mobile app support with the Service SOS for its Service Cloud. The concept manifests as an SOS button inside mobile apps.

Like Amazon's Mayday, Service SOS offers live video support and on-screen guided assistance. The idea is to help companies deliver more personalized customer service within mobile apps. So far, Cars.com, American Express and Stanley Black & Decker, among others, are using the new CRM tool.

Here's how it works: Customers can call up a service agent through live audio and one-way video for real-time, personalized assistance within a mobile app. Salesforce offered the practical example of a mobile banking customer who wants to ask about a charge. With Service SOS, the customer can connect with a service agent to dispute the transaction in seconds.

"The mobile phone has become the dashboard of our lives -- we use it to manage how we interact with not only people, but products and companies," said Alex Bard, executive vice president and general manager of Service Cloud at Salesforce. "As the mobile device becomes every consumer's channel of choice, it is important companies meet their customers where they are."

Rethinking Mobile Customer Service

If you pull back the mobile apps market lens, you can see why Salesforce is pushing in this direction. According to market research firm Gartner, mobile app stores will see annual downloads reach 268 billion in 2017 and drive a total revenue of $77 billion. Both downloads and revenues are set to grow 27 percent a year between 2012 and 2017.

Market research firm Forrester backs that up. According to its "Mobile App Stores, Worldwide" report, customers are downloading more than 800 apps per second at a rate of...

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