Last September, Salesforce bought social customer service SaaS startup Assistly for $50 million-plus to help expand its service cloud offerings to small businesses. Today, Salesforce is debuting a brand new Assistly-inspired social and mobile customer service platform for small businesses, called Desk.com.
As you may remember, Assistly helped companies collect and organize all of their customer conversations into a prioritized actionable list and equips support staff with the tools to respond to customers. The application allows businesses to filter conversations, access customer histories, automate processes and even tap into social media conversations on Facebook, Twitter and other sites. And Assistly provides users with key metrics and analytics, such as case volume, interaction volume by channel, response time, service levels, agent performance and more.
Desk.com includes much of the same help desk functionality as Assistly but with a few changes. As Assistly co-founder and vice president and general manager, Desk.com, Alex Bard and explains, the customer service platform has been completely rebuilt from the ground up, including the infrastructure and back-end. There’s a new user interface, new APIs, a new HTML5 mobile client, and a new reporting service. Additionally, Desk.com is launching with an in-depth integration with Salesforce’s CRM Sales Cloud, so you can see customer service cases in the CRM product and more.
Built with social at its core, Desk.com allows small businesses work with and respond to customers over Twitter, Facebook and more. Basically, Desk.com integrates Twitter and Facebook customer service comments with other channels like email, phone and web within the agent desktop. Agents can also see data on how many cases customer service agents have opened, resolved, replied to, reassigned, or reopened—regardless of who was assigned the case. Desk.com includes twelve pre-built reports providing data for average handle time, time to first response, first contact resolution rate, and more.
Salesforce is also touting the simple deployment of Desk.com for small businesses. With only four required fields, a company can register for its own social help desk in a matter of seconds. Desk.com also provides a checklist to help companies get started, and each task that a company works through earns the company flex hour credits that anyone in the company can use.
Clients can use the Desk.com HTML5 mobile app to respond to customers on the go from a variety of devices, including iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Users respond to support cases using the same filters from their desktop client and access the entire macro library without having to type long replies. Users can also re-assign, change groups, change status, change priority for cases, and modify customer information associated with cases.
Pricing starts at $49 per full-time agent, per month, for unlimited usage. Salesforce says there is flexible pricing is also available for $1 per part-time agent, per hour. Desk.com already has a number of well-known web companies using its customer service platform including Yelp, Square, Spotify, Vimeo, Pandora, and One Kings Lane.
At the time of the acquisition, Salesforce’s CEO and founder Marc Benioff said of Assistly: Salesforce has spent over a decade democratizing enterprise applications in the cloud…The Assistly acquisition doubles down on that strategy by putting us at the heart of the new trend of customer service help desk applications that have instant sign up and zero-touch onboarding, expanding the potential reach of the Service Cloud to millions of companies around the world.
Salesforce already offers the Service Cloud to companies, which helps businesses connect with customers across both traditional and social channels, and counts customers such as Southwest Airlines. For Salesforce, this is a way to aggressively go after the small to medium-sized business community who needs a simple and mobile SaaS for help desk support. Desk.com will face competition from another popular customer service app for small to medium-sized businesses, Zendesk.
And unsurprisingly, social and mobile are central to how Salesforce is positioning Desk.com to be the premier (yet cost-effective) customer service alternative for businesses and companies. Next up for Salesforce’s new products—leveraging the Rypple acquisition with the launch of a human talent management SaaS Successforce.