Alex Williams| Techcrunch
Salesforce.com is launching Service Cloud Mobile, a package of four new features, including mobile co-browsing, in-line community support for game apps and a mobile chat capability. A fourth feature, designed specifically for customer service reps, allows agents to use mobile devices to give personalized support by connecting internally to get questions answered through a lightweight activity stream experience.
The new features are part of Salesforce.com Service Cloud and demonstrative of what executives say is the company’s plan to “double down” on mobile in 2013.
The mobile co-browsing feature is based on the GoInstant acquisition it made last fall. It provides a simple way for a customer service agent to share a browser with a customer. After receiving an inquiry from the customer, an agent can use the mobile co-browsing feature to show the customer around a site. The idea is to offer a shared experience for shopping or whatever the customer is looking to do.
Salesforce.com has a track record of providing support to gaming companies such as Activision. With its new in-line service capability, a customer using a game app can click on a link and get help from other gamers without leaving the app.
A new mobile chat offering means that a customer can ask questions in a chat window from within the mobile app they are using. For example, a customer can chat with a bank agent about her balance.
Salesforce.com executives cite Forrester data that shows how excellence in customer service has dropped precipitously since 2009. People just don’t interact with customer service in universally the same way they did a few years ago.
By putting tablets in the hands of customer service personnel, Salesforce.com is hoping it can provide agents a way to provide immediate, personalized help. Agents can interact through a real-time feed with other co-workers to provide assistance for a customer.
All of these new features are not a new product in itself but more so new add-ons for the Salesforce.com Service Cloud.
Mobile is the new way for people to get support. It’s estimated by Gartner Research that there will be 1.8 billion smartphones by 2014. With that rise will come the need for a new generation of support tools that make it easy for people to get the service they need.
Salesforce.com comes out of the desktop age and much of its technology is designed for that kind of experience. Adding new features like these makes sense but a whole new generation of services are emerging such as Base that Salesforce.com will increasingly face. It’s a shift that will force Salesforce.com to look internally at its own architecture so it can focus on the mobile experience that is increasingly a fundamental aspect of the way we live and work.