Enterprise CRM and software-as-a-service provider Salesforce.com has launched Service Cloud 3, which integrates several social-oriented elements in order to help companies capitalise on the opportunities provided by social media, the company said.
The software allows companies to engage with users on sites such as Twitter and Facebook using dedicated services or on other websites such as blogs, forums and discussion groups using Radian6 for Salesforce, the company said in its announcement on Thursday.
"The proliferation of social technologies has forced a massive shift in the customer service industry and the sheer volume of social media conversations places incredible demands on today's contact centres," Salesforce said in a statement. "An unanswered, public complaint can cause a company to lose decades of hard-earned brand equity overnight. A seemingly innocuous afternoon tweet can become an internet sensation by the next morning if left unaddressed."
In order to allow businesses to directly address customers, Service Cloud 3 allows cases to be created out of individuals' status messages on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites for follow-up by a customer-service agent. The platform will also support video calling, including to devices such as the iPad 2, for faster resolution, Salesforce said.
By combining real-time social analytics with tools to track things such as customer conversion, channel reports and identification of sentiment and trends, Salesforce said that interactions can be easily prioritised across any channel, including phone, email, chat or social communities using an optimised interface designed to reduce the amount of clicks and scrolling required.
The platform also includes the collaborative, Facebook-style, Salesforce Chatter service, which allows customer service agents to consult with each other and internal experts, while keeping track and sharing knowledge in the articles they follow in real-time, the company said.
Using the optional Live Agent service — priced at $50 (£31) per agent, per month for Salesforce customers — users can also embed a customer service live chat window within its company’s webpage. Live Agent also integrates with Service Cloud 3, meaning no additional installation is required, and is scheduled for release before the end of August.
The Salesforce for Facebook element is scheduled for release on the AppExchange marketplace before May and will be free to Professional, Enterprise and Unlimited edition customers. Radian6 for Salesforce is scheduled to enter a private beta before May and is aiming for a full release before the end of October.