Salesforce beefs up analytics, reporting features

Summary:The customer support application for small companies now includes 12 pre-populated reports that track agent and help desk performance.

New features include 12 pre-populated reports to help measure customer service agent performance.

While some small companies still shy away from business intelligence and analytics tools, they can be powerful differentiators, especially in the area of customer service. So the Salesforce is adding a series of preconfigured reporting features that can help them make more informed decisions.

The updates fall into three primary areas:

  1. 12 prepopulated Activity Reports that track and measure things like support volumes or wait times
  2. Agent Performance Reports that enable managers to see how many cases have been resolved, replied to, assigned or re-opened
  3. Labels & Macros Reports that help people across the company better understand the sorts of issues that are surfacing, which can help improve the entire company's understanding of customer inquiries

The features, which are currently being tested by approximately 125 customers, should be generally available by early December, said Tony Kavanagh, chief marketing officer for It allows managers to consider information such as which sorts of cases are taking the longest to address. It also them to do things like set alerts if wait times exceed certain levels. "We call this concept being able to offer 'whole company' support," he said.

The idea is for small companies to get ahead of potential problems and share them beyond the help desk, so that design teams, sales representatives or product managers have a better idea of how to prioritize or focus their attention. You have to be part of the Plus plan to take advantage of this, which costs $39 per agent per month if billed monthly, or $29 per agent per month if billed annually.

HotelTonight, a mobile application and service that provides last-minute hotel room deals and bookings for spontaneous lodgers, is using the new features to help stay on top of response times. "It's a far friendly way for us to get at the data that is necessary for us," said Patrick Cheeseman, head of customer support for the company, which has about 115 employees. "It's not just for my department, it's a company-wide initiative."

Topics: SMBs, Cloud


Heather Clancy is an award-winning business journalist specializing in transformative technology and innovation. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. In a past corporate life, Heather was editor of Computer Reseller News. She started her journalism lif... Full Bio

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