SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Salesforce [NYSE: CRM], the Customer Success Platform and world's #1 CRM company, today delivered LiveMessage, ushering in the next generation of conversational service through its industry-leading Service Cloud. LiveMessage personalizes service communication by providing any company with the ability to engage customers via messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or SMS/MMS, directly within Service Cloud. Companies can either use Service Cloud Bots to streamline the information gathering process or easily integrate 3rd party bots via Bring Your Own Bot (BYOBot) to accelerate their transformation to conversational service.
Messaging is the #1 activity people do on their mobile phones—80 billion messages1 are sent every day and the number is only growing2. Consumers want to message with brands the same way they communicate with family and friends, because it is fast, personalized and private. However, up until now, messaging apps have been disconnected from CRM, creating more work for companies and leading to a disjointed customer experience.
Connect with Customers through Conversational Service
For eight years, Salesforce has been an innovator in customer service—at the forefront of major customer service shifts around social, in-app service, live video and more. Messaging is the next major leap in customer service, and with LiveMessage, Salesforce is again setting the industry standard. Natively integrated with Salesforce's entire Customer Success Platform, LiveMessage lets companies choose which messaging app(s) they want to deploy and seamlessly aggregates the conversations right into the Service Cloud Agent Console. New innovations announced today include:
- LiveMessage General Availability for Messenger and SMS/MMS allows companies to communicate with their customers via Messenger or SMS—the first in a series of messaging apps that LiveMessage will support. Companies can add messaging capabilities to their existing 1-800 customer service phone numbers and be up and running on Messenger and/or SMS within a day. For example, a customer who has a question for their financial services firm can text their issue directly to the firm's existing 1-800 number or message them directly on Messenger. A service agent can easily access the customer's records from the Service Cloud Agent Console and respond on Messenger quickly and easily, as though having a conversation with a friend. Once the issue is resolved, the conversation is automatically appended to the customer's record in Service Cloud, and the conversation can be picked up again at a later time if the customer has additional questions.
- New Service Cloud Bots empower customer service agents to be more productive with bots that automate data gathering and connect to relevant account records and service cases in the Service Cloud. For instance, a Service Cloud Bot could be deployed by a retailer to obtain the customer's name, address, email and issue that they were contacting the store about. If the customer has a simple question, such as how to exchange an item, the bot can message a link to the customer automatically. However, if the customer has a more complicated request, such as making a change to an order that has already shipped, Service Cloud's omni-channel intelligent engine will automatically send the case to the available agent most qualified to answer the question and empower them to answer questions faster using the information gathered by the bot.
- Bring Your Own Bot (BYOBot): There is a thriving ecosystem of bots being built by third-party companies to do things like troubleshoot common product problems or answer basic questions about store location and hours. Because Salesforce offers an open, API-first platform, companies can easily connect existing bots using the LiveMessage API for a BYOBot. For example, a hospital could have an existing scheduling bot used to book annual check-ups for patients. When it's time for the annual physical, an event in Salesforce is triggered that tells the bot to message the patient with three potential appointment times. The patient selects one of the appointment times and the appointment is confirmed directly within their preferred messaging app. If the patient needs a different time, their conversation is routed to the best agent using omni-channel intelligent routing.
Comments on the News:
- "Customer service will fundamentally change with the explosion of mobile messaging apps. The best customer service today is conversational and on the customer's terms," said Mike Rosenbaum, EVP, CRM Apps, Salesforce. "LiveMessage seamlessly blends CRM and mobile messaging in an intuitive way that's easy for companies to deploy."
- "Our main focus is giving customers an experience that is A Cut Above and great customer service is a huge part of that," said Frank Leary, VP Customer Experience, The Wendy's Company. "Using LiveMessage, we've turned our 1-800 number, listed on every food bag we distribute nationally, into a two-way text messaging platform that lets us provide faster, smarter and more personalized service to our customers."
- "With over 1 billion people using Messenger every month, the Messenger Platform is becoming a go-to channel for businesses to connect with their customers and drive outcomes from raising brand awareness to providing excellent customer service," said Jeremy Barton, Messenger Partnerships, Facebook. "LiveMessage allows any company using Salesforce to seamlessly integrate Messenger conversations directly into their CRM, unlocking enormous potential for people to interact with brands they care about."
- "Customers increasingly demand that service be on their terms, and messaging will be a critical differentiator. Salesforce LiveMessage is the first solution that makes messaging a viable and scalable channel for service contact centers of all sizes," said Rebecca Wettemann, Vice President of Research, Nucleus Research. "As bots get smarter and can do more, we will see more companies deploy messaging and provide better, faster and more personalized customer service while driving down service costs."
Service Cloud, the world's #1 customer service platform, personalizes conversational service across every channel. Whether connecting with a customer via conversational messaging, video chat, web chat, in-app, email, phone or even communicating directly with a connected product, Service Cloud helps leading brands drive competitive advantage with service by enabling companies to create a consistent experience across every channel. Companies that have deployed Service Cloud have seen an average of 48 percent faster case resolution, 45 percent decrease in support costs, an average of 47 percent increase in agent productivity and an average of 29 percent increase in customer satisfaction, according to a third-party research report sponsored by Salesforce.3 Salesforce has been recognized as a leader for eight consecutive years in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Engagement Center.4
Pricing and Availability
- LiveMessage is generally available as of December 13, 2016. LiveMessage starts at $75 per user, per month for one messaging type. Organizations need to have at least the same number of Service Cloud licenses as LiveMessage licenses. LiveMessage is currently available on Salesforce Classic and is expected to be available on Salesforce Lightning in the second half of 2017.
- LiveMessage support for Messenger and SMS/MMS is generally available as of December 13, 2016.
- Service Cloud Bots are generally available as of December 13, 2016 as part of the LiveMessage license.
- LiveMessage API is currently in pilot and is expected to be generally available at no additional cost in Summer 2017.
- To learn more about Salesforce LiveMessage please visit: https://www.salesforce.com/products/service-cloud/features/livemessage/
- To learn more about Service Cloud, please visit: https://www.salesforce.com/service-cloud/overview/
- Discover how Service Cloud can help companies deliver personalized service to their customers via Trailhead: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/trail/service_cloud
Connect with Salesforce
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- Follow @salesforce and @servicecloud on Twitter
Salesforce, the Customer Success Platform and world's #1 CRM, empowers companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com.
Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase Salesforce applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CRM." For more information please visit http://www.salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.
1 Facebook, 2016 F8 Developer's Conference: http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/12/11415198/facebook-messenger-whatsapp-number-messages-vs-sms-f8-2016
2 Source: Juniper Research, "A2P Messaging: Key Vertical Opportunities & Grey Route Traffic 2016-2021", Windsor Holden, Sept. 19, 2016; Press release: Messaging Revenues to Decline by $600M as Traffic Increases by 200%
3 Source: Salesforce Customer Relationship Survey conducted March 2015-May 2015, by an independent third-party, Confirmit Inc., on 4,600+ customers randomly selected.
4 Gartner, Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center, 04 May 2016