Cloud computing giant Salesforce.com is eyeing more ways to make the customer service experience a mobile-compatible one, with today's launch of Service Cloud Mobile.
Following Salesforce.com's $70 million acquisition of cobrowsing start-up company GoInstant this summer, Service Cloud Mobile marks what Michael Peachey, senior director of solutions marketing at Salesforce.com, calls "one of our first integrations of the GoInstant technology" with its Service Cloud product. Cobrowsing for mobile, which will be generally available in the second half of the year, allows an agent to access a mobile customer's screen upon that user granting permissions to the agent.
Another new feature included in Service Cloud Mobile is Mobile Service Cloud Communities, which essentially allow a customer to "live" in an app if they please. Hypothetically, a gamer using his smartphone might need help advancing to the next level or may wish to chat with peers for advice.
"We've enabled a Help button as a question mark in the application, and if I go ahead and touch that, I'm taken to a community experience where I can see knowledge articles about the game, and get access to a community of experts talking about the game," Peachey told CRM. Mobile Service Cloud Communities is available now at no extra cost to enterprise and unlimited edition Service Cloud customers.
Also launched today was a mobile chat capability to enable live-agent interaction straight from a mobile device, and Service Cloud Touch, which gives connected agents a way to resolve customer issues from Android, Amazon Kindle, and Apple mobile devices.
Salesforce.com, which heralded the launch of its Touch Platform during its annual Dreamforce user conference, provides enterprises with a way to develop native, HTML5, and hybrid apps to be deployed on mobile devices. A Sales Cloud Touch application was developed this fall, giving salespeople access to sales applications on their device of choice. Peachey says all of the Service Cloud Mobile features are HTML5-based, and can be embedded in companies' native applications or mobile-capable Web sites.
"We asked ourselves, 'How are we going to deliver incredible customer service experiences on these mobile platforms so it's not just about calling a 1-800 number from the mobile phone that you're holding in your hand,'" Peachey says. "This is about applications that you're running on your phone…and how you embed customer service technologies into them."
While some companies are still in the strategic phase of deciding whether or not to optimize their site for mobile or to build out a hybrid application, mobile applications in and of themselves are continuing to advance. Functionality is improving, like JetBlue's launch of its Version 2 mobile app this week that gives travelers access to detailed weather reports, airport terminal maps, mobile boarding passes, and real-time push notifications for flight updates. Customer service delivered straight from an app is the next wave of the mobile future.