• April 25, 2014
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Salesforce.com Launches Salesforce1 Service Cloud SOS

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Salesforce.com yesterday launched Salesforce1 Service Cloud SOS, allowing companies to put an SOS button, similar to the Amazon Kindle Mayday button, directly inside any mobile app to give their customers instant access to a support agent.

The SOS button can be branded, placed anywhere in the mobile app, and made available to whichever customers the company wants, according to Larry Robinson, vice president of product management for Salesforce Service Cloud.

The Service SOS app is completely integrated with the Salesforce1 Service Cloud, which Salesforce first unveiled at its Dreamforce users conference in the fall, so the agent is immediately alerted once a customer clicks on the SOS button. Once the agent responds, the app provides live video support and on-screen guided assistance, allowing companies to deliver instant and personalized customer service within any mobile app.

Salesforce1 Service SOS is specifically for use with native mobile apps running on iOS and Android devices. The mobile app is planned for private beta starting in June and should be commercially available later this year, according to Robinson.

Salesforce1 Service SOS offers the following capabilities:

  • SOS button with routing to the right support agent.
  • Agent Video Support: With Service SOS, customers will be able to summon service agents through live audio and one-way video. By tapping the SOS button, an available service agent will appear on the screen to provide instant, anytime support within the mobile app.
  • On-Screen Guided Support – Service SOS will allow companies to deliver agent-guided assistance. A customer can instantly share his mobile screen, at which time an agent will see a mirror-image view and can draw on the screen to provide personalized step-by-step guidance.

Robinson says there is "an amazing number of use cases" for Service SOS, especially in the financial services, retail, and automotive industries, but sees it going far beyond. "It has applicability virtually anywhere that companies want to connect with their customers," he says.

"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.com, in a statement. "As the mobile device becomes every consumer's channel of choice, it is important companies meet their customers where they are. With Salesforce1 Service Cloud SOS, companies will be able to transform the way they connect with their customers for the mobile era."

"As a company, we've made a huge investment in mobile so that our entire application stack is available on mobile [devices]," Robinson says.

Last year, salesforce.com doubled down on mobile and introduced a series of Service Cloud solutions, including Mobile CommunitiesSalesforce Chatter Mobile in July; Salesforce Platform Mobile Services, a set of mobile tools and frameworks designed to make the creation and deployment of mobile apps easier for enterprises, in April; and Service Cloud Mobile in February.

Service SOS, Robinson adds, takes advantage of the growing Internet of things, where more than 50 billion devices of all kinds are connected to the Internet. Most of those connections occur via mobile apps, which saw 102 billion downloads in 2013 alone.

"Over 90 percent of those apps have inadequate help or no help at all," Robinson says, "so this is a tremendous opportunity to bring customer service to this environment."

Because of that, Robinson says Service SOS "is hitting the market at just the right time."

Robinson says Salesforce has been working on this type of solution for quite a while, but the Mayday button on Amazon's Kindle really brought the technology to the forefront. "What we'd seen from Amazon was somewhat inspirational," Robinson says. "The novelty is an advantage, and certainly Amazon has benefited from that."

But, Robinson points out, Salesforce, in offering the Service SOS button to companies, "is not being reactive to demand, but innovative in its approach to customer service."

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