The idea is to manage customers through mobile browsing on touch based devices, on the cloud. Salesforce’s logic is that mobile is not going anywhere any time soon and that engaging with customers on those platforms they will be seen as technologically progressive and able to reach more people. If companies can connect just about everything in the chain, that is, customers, employees, partners and products, Salesforce thinks firms will be able to gain a clear advantage in engagement.
This especially matters, according to Salesforce, when customers are simply expecting a better level of engagement with companies. It is no longer good enough to have an email address that will respond in five business days – a Twitter account is not optional. Salesforce goes so far as to say the days of traditional call centre servicing are “for the era of landlines” – although we suspect the many call centre workers will disagree, not to mention frustrated people customers who require talking to a person who can engage with a level of empathy rather than bound up by software restrictions.
Of course, people will have to staff these services, signalling a switch from traditional customer service to paid-for instant messaging. A question is if that, too, could eventually be mostly automated.
Salesforce’s product offers ‘service cloud mobile chat’, where customers will be able to chat in real time similar to sending an SMS. Cloud touch, meanwhile, will be a way for service staff to interact with customers from tablets and smartphones so they are “no longer tethered to a desk”.
Co-browsing should be out and ready in the second half of 2013, though there’s not a price tag set yet. Mobile Service Cloud Communities is generally available now, and so is Service Cloud mobile chat, provided you’re a Service Cloud Enterprise or Unlimited Edition customer. Service Cloud Touch is out and packaged with all Service Cloud editions.