Salesforce Works Toward Building 'Customer Companies'

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Salesforce.com added new mobile customer service solutions to its offerings, the company announced this week. Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff spoke about the new focus for the company, and demonstrated the new features, at an event at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York on Tuesday.

The company currently offers three cloud-based products: the Marketing Cloud, which offers social media monitoring and marketing support; the Sales Cloud, for sales force automation and CRM; and the Service Cloud, for customer service, support, and help desks.

In order to help its clients service consumers who are on the go, Salesforce introduced the new Service Cloud Mobile offering this week, expanding on the Service Cloud. It includes a mobile chat capability and new co-browsing technology that allows agents to assist customers on mobile devices via a web browser, helping them with whatever website issue they have.

Additionally, Salesforce introduced Service Cloud Touch, which is optimized for mobile devices and allows service agents to manage and resolve cases on the go, via a variety of mobile and tablet devices. Lastly, the company shared its new branded mobile communities that allow customers to connect with industry experts, peers, or company representatives, to solve a variety of issues.

The new Service Cloud Mobile is part of a move by Salesforce.com to help its clients connect with customers easier and when they are on-the-go. In his keynote speech at the Salesforce event on Tuesday, Benioff shared insights on how to “become a customer company,” which is a new overall company focus for the enterprise software giant. The presentation included comments and examples from clients including NBCUniversal, Unilever, and the Obama campaign that are working to do that.

“Here we are in the beautiful new space now with the cloud, wireless networks, and all these new devices and everything is becoming connected,” Benioff said. “A customer revolution is the next logical place in this industry. We are going to connect with customers in entirely new ways

After a video showing the ways the Obama Campaign leveraged Salesforce during the election, Alex Bard, SVP and GM of Service Cloud, demonstrated the technology that was used, and Benioff brought up Michael Slaby, chief integration and innovation officer for Obama for America.

When asked about his advice for companies working to be customer-centric, Slaby said, “Start at the core of who you are, what your values are, what is your mission, and then think about how technology can empower your organization. It’s not about technology for the sake of novelty; it has to be about purpose.”

The event also highlighted Unilever with a video showing how the company uses Salesforce to track its social media campaigns and interactions with consumers online and via mobile. Alex Dayon, president of applications and platforms for Salesforce.com, demonstrated how Unilever is able to connect with its partners and agencies to run campaigns in real-time, including connecting mobile components.

Then Unilever CIO Willem Eelman spoke to Benioff, about how the technology function is becoming more integrated within the company: “My [IT] teams work within the business, and I meet with the CMO very regularly, and we brainstorm on what’s next, and then execute on the things we’ve dreamt up.”

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