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Service Cloud Lightning Snap-ins aim for connected service

Service Cloud Lightning Snap-ins and two-way video are recent enhancements designed to give customers a better experience and agents a more complete view of customers.

Salesforce has brought new capabilities to Service Cloud to help unify fragmented customer experiences.

Customers want immediate, timely, relevant service in whichever communication channel they prefer -- whether that's by phone, email, social media, live chat or company websites. But friction-free customer service can be thwarted by companies' inability to bring together the customer data generated in these disparate channels.

But according to a Northridge Group State of Customer Service Experience survey, 61% of consumers have to interact with a company on more than one channel to resolve a customer service issue. Having to traverse multiple channels just to resolve an issue or get questions answered creates a bumpy ride for customers, according to Mike Rowland, director of the customer experience practice at West Monroe Partners, based in Chicago.

Unveiled this week, Service Cloud Lightning Snap-ins are designed to stitch together this fragmented customer journey as customers traverse various mediums. It brings a more mobilelike experience to traditional Web browsing, as well as two-way video chat. These enhancements strive to relieve the effect of excessive channel toggling -- a splintered customer experience -- and make it easier for agents to get that 360-degree view of customer issues.

"Customers are switching between products, services, the Web and mobile, and it's all just one experience to them," said Eric Bensley, director of product management for Salesforce Service Cloud. "Service used to be one channel, and now, it's every channel."

New unified Snap-in SDK for Web

Having to traverse multiple channels just to resolve an issue or get questions answered creates a bumpy ride for customers.

Salesforce has created a software development kit (SDK), built on the programming framework Salesforce Lighting, to ensure a more seamless, contextualized customer experience on the Web. With the SDK, service agents can get data from customer incident case records, knowledge base articles and live chat interactions all within one interface in the agent's console.

The idea is also to extend the user's experience of app-based browsing to the Web. With Snap-ins, the user can receive new information that dynamically changes based on his behavior. So, for example, a user who is browsing knowledge base articles on the Web, a service agent can try to reach the customer on the phone for more expeditious service.

"Companies have to adapt to customers, not the other way around," Bensley said. "That's how companies are going to make their name and differentiate."

New Salesforce SOS button with two-way video

In 2014, Salesforce rolled out an SOS button in the Salesforce Service Cloud Service Console -- the dashboard agents use to serve customers. Now, Salesforce has added two-way video. It eliminates a prior hurdle, where customers have wanted the ability to demonstrate a problem on their end, but were only able to view from the agent side. Now, they can also show video to resolve a problem.

Stanley Healthcare in Waltham, Mass., now uses two-way video chat so that nurses can learn how to apply tags to infant ankles to ensure babies are tracked and connected with their mothers throughout their time at the hospital. The video chat feature is also native to Service Cloud, so she can see knowledge-based articles, get other information and view video all within the app.

"The service agent can now see the environment that the customer is in," Bensley said.

Pricing and availability

  • Service Cloud Lightning is generally available now and editions start at $75 per user, per month.
  • Service Cloud Lightning Mobile and Web Snap-In SDKs are expected to be generally available in June 2016. Service Cloud Lightning Cases are expected to be generally available for iOS in June 2016, and will be forthcoming for Android and Web. Snap-In SDKs will be included for users with a Service Cloud Lightning Enterprise license or greater at no additional cost. Users requiring authenticated access can purchase customer Community Cloud licenses.
  • Salesforce SOS, now with two-way video functionality, is generally available for iOS and Android, and will be forthcoming for Web. SOS functionality starts at $150 per user, per month for users with a Service Cloud Lightning Enterprise license or greater.
  • Service Cloud Lightning Live Agent Chat is expected to be available in pilot in June 2016 for Web, and will be forthcoming for iOS and Android. Live Agent is $75 per user, per month for users with a Service Cloud Lightning Enterprise license or greater.

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