“For [eight] years, Salesforce has been focused on delivering better, faster, smarter and more personalized customer service solutions,” Bobby Amezaga, senior director of product marketing for the Salesforce Service Cloud, wrote in a blog post. “Today, we enter a new era of conversational service, where customers can communicate with businesses the same way they do with their friends.”
The platform is the fruit of Salesforce’s acquisition of HeyWire, a customer engagement company it bought in September. After rebranding HeyWire's platform as LiveMessage, Salesforce said it hopes the new service will become a cornerstone of the customer service strategies of its clients.
LiveMessage will make it easier for customers to get in touch with companies by freeing them from having to sit in front of a web browser. It should also help agents maintain multiple text conversations with customers at the same time, helping them boost productivity and increase ROI (return on investment).
The tool will allow companies to add Facebook Messenger and SMS capabilities to their existing customer service phone numbers, enabling their customer service agents to connect with their customers directly within Salesforce’s Service Cloud Console.
The LiveMessage platform also comes with a new collection of service bots capable of gathering basic customer information such as mailing address, contact information and last purchase. Salesforce said the bots can even respond to simple FAQs, which would spare customer service agents from mundane tasks and allow them to focus on solving more complex customer inquiries, leading to more meaningful customer relationships.
In his blog post, Amezaga also said that the new bots should help companies keep their agents happier, more engaged and more productive. “Bots are so hot right now. Nearly every company I meet with these days is either using bots currently or plans to in the future,” he said.
To support that trend, Salesforce said it will be offering a “BYOBot” option for their clients, enabling companies to continue to use their existing, pre-programmed bots directly with LiveMessage to make it easier to integrate the new platform with existing workflows.
Because LiveMessage is built on the Salesforce platform activation and configuration can be done in as little as one day, according to the company. Currently, the platform supports SMS/MMS and Facebook Messenger domestically and internationally, although Salesforce plans to add other popular messaging apps in the future. Companies will be able to activate messaging support for those channels as soon as they are supported.