Salesforce launches Service SOS, an enterprise version of Amazon's Mayday button

Salesforce launches Service SOS, an enterprise version of Amazon's Mayday button

Summary: Salesforce plans a limited beta of Salesforce1 Service SOS, which takes Amazon's Mayday concept and makes it available to enterprises. Can companies get their operational act together to support it?

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Salesforce has launched Salesforce1 Service SOS, a mobile support effort that mimics what Amazon has done with its Mayday button. The difference is that Salesforce's SOS service will allow any customer to add a Mayday button to their mobile application assuming they can get their operational ducks in a row.

A few months ago, I pondered enterprise applications for Amazon's Mayday button. One suggestion was that Amazon should white label Mayday as a service. Salesforce beat Amazon to the punch.

In a nutshell, SOS, integrated with Service Cloud, allows customers to integrate live agent video or audio support through an Apple iOS or Android mobile app. On the service end of the equation, a customer service agent can connect with the app customer and have data update in real time to offer personalized assistance.

"It's really the Mayday experience brought to market for any company," said Larry Robinson, vice president of product management for Service Cloud. "Most apps don't have customer service integration. We want any company to play like Amazon does."

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Salesforce's SOS integration will launch in a limited beta in June and the company is looking for five customers to work with before expanding it. One key point about SOS or any enterprise Mayday button is that there's a lot of work on the back-end operations needed to make the service hum. Consider:

  1. An enterprise needs to respond quickly and Amazon's 10-second initial benchmark sets a standard.
  2. New agents may be required to staff an SOS service.
  3. Companies will also have to mine their customer base to initially target the most lucrative customers to drive returns.

Robinson said Salesforce has identified 20 customers who may work well in a beta to smooth out the SOS implementation kinks.

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A demonstration of the SOS service revolved around American Express' Inspirato vacation service. Salesforce and American Express haven't deployed the technology but the two partners are talking. In a statement, Salesforce referenced Cars.com, Philips, and Stanley Black & Decker as good fits.

Gaming companies and retailers with concierge services are other possibilities, said Robinson.

Salesforce said pricing will be announced when SOS is generally available.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Mobility, Salesforce.com

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