Salesforce launches Service for Apps, makes SOS generally available

Salesforce's new tools are designed to bring multichannel customer support to mobile apps.

Salesforce on Thursday launched new multichannel customer service tools for mobile applications and made Salesforce SOS generally available.

The tools, dubbed Service for Apps, are part of Salesforce's Service Cloud are designed to allow companies to build in customer support into mobile applications. Salesforce SOS is similar to Amazon's Mayday button.

What Salesforce is trying to do is position its Service Cloud for the day when mobile applications are the primary service vehicle. Gartner recently found that 20 percent to 40 percent of customer interactions were happening on mobile devices, but less than 5 percent of customer service available on a smartphone.

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In other words, customer service is missing in action on most mobile devices. Sarah Patterson, service cloud product marketing, said Salesforce has been migrating from mobile browsers to in-app service and now is rounding out its portfolio.

Also: Priv: A look into a Salesforce Service SOS pilot | Salesforce launches Service SOS, an enterprise version of Amazon's Mayday button | Salesforce adds more intelligence, data science to Service Cloud

"We realized we had to offer in-app service. SOS was the first step in this effort," said Patterson. "We've expanded the suite of functionality for in-app support."

Here's a look at what a customer and service rep would see during an interaction.

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Service for Apps includes:

  • Chat for Apps, a instant messaging service so customers can reach a service rep easily.
  • Tap-to-Call for Apps, which is a direct line to live phone support.
  • Knowledge for Apps, which allows knowledge bases, help and FAQs directly into an app.
  • Cases for Apps, a way to monitor cases via an app and use a camera to add to tickets.
  • SOS, which brings live video support, guided assistance and screen sharing.

Service for Apps will go into beta in the second half of the year with the exception of SOS, which is already available.

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Early customers of Service for Apps includes Capital One, Intuit and Eurostar.

Along with the effort, Salesforce rolled out Desk.com for Apps, which is a new software developer kit aimed at small businesses.

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