Salesforce Launches New Tools To Boost Mobile Customer Service

The new in-app customer support offering from Salesforce, announced Thursday, includes an Amazon Mayday-like SOS button that instantly puts users in touch with agents for live, on-screen video help. The new cloud-based Service for Apps will also enable companies to provide customers with in-app knowledge bases, chat support, case monitoring and tap-to-call access to phone support.

While Salesforce SOS is available now, the other app tools are scheduled to roll out in private beta later this year. Salesforce said Service for Apps will let enterprises easily embed multi-channel customer service directly into their mobile apps and fills a gap in existing customer relationship management. While 88 percent of mobile users' time is spent in apps, most organizations aren't yet making mobile a part of the service experience, according to Salesforce.

Smaller businesses looking to improve their mobile support for customers will have another new tool from Salesforce: Desk.com for Apps. Powered by the Desk.com customer support app, the new SDK, currently in private beta, will let small and midsize enterprises embed support into native apps for iOS and Android devices.

Demand for 'Instant, Always-On' Service

"The mobile app revolution has created a new requirement for instant, always-on service," said Mike Milburn, senior vice president and general manager of Service Cloud for Salesforce. Salesforce's new Service for Apps will allow companies to "deliver a whole new level of service to customers" from within their apps, he said.

There is currently "an immense gap between mobile adoption and success customer service and support on the mobile device," according to recent research from Gartner Inc. Despite the widespread use of mobile devices today, only 20 percent to 40 percent of customer interactions occur on such devices, and less than five percent of customer service is "one and done" on mobile devices, Gartner said.

Moving forward, Gartner...

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