Just named to Forbes' list of "The World's Most Innovative Companies" for the seventh year in a row, Salesforce
recently updated its cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) offering to make it easier for businesses to quickly launch customer communities, knowledge bases, and other advanced services.
The next generation of Salesforce Service Cloud includes partner apps and an app builder as well as new mobile and productivity capabilities.
Salesforce said the updated Service Cloud is designed to help companies better meet modern customer expectations for fast, personalized, and multi-channel service. It's aimed at both large organizations with hard-to-upgrade legacy customer service systems as well as smaller businesses that need immediate CRM services that can grow as they do.
Drag-and-Drop, Code-Free Setup
One of the new features in Service Cloud is Service Out-of-the-Box that lets users "build a modern customer service center in a single day." It includes pre-built case management capabilities and code-free setup for a variety of customer support services as well as support for email and social media integration.
Through updates to AppExchange and Lightning App Builder for Service, Salesforce users can also deploy new service components through simple drag-and-drop actions. The AppExchange marketplace includes partner apps for call center management, telephony, Internet of Things asset tracking, and industry-specific apps such as healthcare-based patient education.
Salesforce has also added new capabilities to its Lightning Service Console desktop interface to help customer service agents resolve cases more quickly. Case Kanban, for example, provides a visual dashboard to make it easier to prioritize cases, while Community Agent 360 lets representatives view customers' recent histories on support communities, online content, and article comments.
Such new features make it much easier for companies of all sizes to offer differentiated services for their customers, according to Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of research for Nucleus Research Inc.
Cloud CRM Paves Way for AI, More
Salesforce has also updated its Service Cloud Mobile app for iOS and Android, adding new support for case management and prioritization as well as push notifications to help agents stay up to date with customers' latest needs.
In addition to boosting current CRM capabilities, cloud-based contact center technology also helps companies better position themselves to take advantage of future advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and predictive computing, according to Tim Pickard, senior vice president of marketing for the contact center service provider NewVoiceMedia.
"One way to ensure your customer service stays up to par for the age of AI is by moving your contact center to the cloud," Pickard wrote today on the Salesforce blog. "Cloud contact center technology allows you to acquire and leverage the customer data that is necessary to power AI's machine-learning, needs-predicting power. It also enables you to automate processes so that data can be collected more quickly."
Forbes yesterday ranked Salesforce as the top business in its 2017 list of The World's Most Innovative Companies, putting it ahead of Elon Musk's Tesla Motors for the first time.