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Summary

As in-app self-service becomes more common, enterprises will need more efficient ways to manage and track customer communications. This will be particularly necessary for businesses that want to provide IoT capabilities to their customers. Few enterprises have managed to create a connected mobile support strategy that allows customers to use self-service and then easily connect to live agent interactions for further information. Salesforce has the right set of capabilities to take advantage of this opportunity and deliver an integrated customer support experience.

Salesforce is well positioned to help businesses differentiate their mobile customer services

It’s impossible for businesses to ignore the shift in consumer behavior as more time is spent communicating and interacting with smartphones. Customers are downloading relevant business apps, carrying out transactions through self-service, researching info on mobile web pages, and posting support queries on social media. These customers need fully integrated support options. However, most businesses have not yet provided their customers with the tools to easily switch between mobile self-service and live agent chat or voice calls. Ownership of mobile application design, the ability to connect data across applications, and agent availability are all challenges that must be overcome.

At this year’s Dreamforce conference, Salesforce focused on its IoT Cloud and Thunder real-time processing engine, but the importance of its mobile customer service roadmap cannot be overlooked. Salesforce has a growing portfolio of tools integrated into its Service Cloud platform, including knowledge management, mobile chat, case management, and SOS for apps (a solution that allows agents to video chat with customers and provide on-screen guidance from within a mobile application). To successfully deliver these tools, Salesforce must ensure that the different stages of mobile customer care are connected through data and that agents have access to real-time customer information.

Customers should be able to remain within a mobile app or browser when they start a chat or phone call. Agents need to be able to toggle within an app between the data and a chat session, providing them with the context they need to deliver a more personalized service. At the conference, Salesforce explained how it was working with clients such as Capital One’s national small business division to envision and deliver the future of mobile customer service and in-app support. These mobile support tools make the most sense for businesses that have loyal customers continually using their mobile applications – for example healthcare providers, banks, airlines, transport authorities, and retailers.

Businesses that are providing IoT functionality for their customers also require in-app support options. For customers to make changes to their heating or car or review medication data, they will need access to mobile knowledge and communities. There will be times when something goes wrong and customers need to reach a representative. The connection between IoT Cloud and Service Cloud will be essential in ensuring modern applications deliver smoother, more efficient customer experiences. Salesforce provides the tools to integrate different pieces of customer data within its CRM platforms, Wave Analytics Cloud, IoT Cloud, and mobile service offerings; it should put even more emphasis on the importance of customer support in delivering IoT services.

Appendix

Further reading

“Salesforce positions Service Cloud as next-gen contact center cockpit,” IT0020-000158 (September 2015)

“The "Lightning" brand reflects the ongoing, but somewhat confusing, evolution of Salesforce’s Force.com,” IT0022-000474 (August 2015)

Salesforce1: Evaluating Salesforce's New Unified PaaS Platform, IT0022-000396 (July 2015)

“Salesforce platform attempts to disrupt corporate HR,” IT0020-000121 (May 2015)

Author

Aphrodite Brinsmead, Principal Analyst, Customer Engagement

aphrodite.brinsmead@ovum.com

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