As Forrester Research analyst Kate Leggett pointed out in a recent Enterprise Apps Today article about social CRM, "organizations need to proactively jump on the bandwagon to be able to implement social media channels" into their existing customer support strategies.
Startups like Assistly, which Salesforce.com purchased in 2011, sell “social listening” technologies while vendors that have traditionally served the contact center market are incorporating social monitoring and response features into their products. Thanks in part to these products, Leggett said, “Channels are beginning to coalesce.”
Jive Software yesterday launched a Customer Service Solution built on its Social Business platform. According to Jive, the key feature that differentiates its solution from those of competitors is its ability to support both external customer communities and internal communities where customer service agents can share expertise and collaborate to resolve customer issues. Jive offers "bridging" to connect the internal and external communities.
Among the features included in the Customer Service Solution:
- Out-of-the-box integration with CRM and case management systems from vendors including Microsoft, SugarCRM and Salesforce.com.
- A Facebook integration that automatically pulls customer questions from a company's fan page into a customer community and pushes answers back to the Facebook page.
- Integration with Microsoft Outlook, that allows customer service personnel to participate in their community and connect with colleagues directly from Microsoft Outlook.
- Social media monitoring and engagement features to help customer service agents proactively identify possible problems and directly engage with customers who have issues, questions or suggestions.
- Gamification capabilities from partner Bunchball that may help drive community engagement.
- Support for multiple mobile platforms, including iOS, Android and BlackBerry, so customers and service agents can post questions, access resources and participate in discussions directly from mobile devices.
- Lingotek, which enables customers to translate the documents and content into their chosen language, thus expanding the addressable audience.
- SurveyGizmo, which offers pre-built templates to help service agents design and execute surveys to collect actionable customer feedback.
The software is now in private beta, and Jive expects it to be broadly available at the end of the first quarter.
Jive will discuss social customer service trends and best practices and demonstrate how the the Social Customer Service Solution works during a March 28 webcast featuring guest speakers from Accenture and ThinkJar. You can register for the webinar online.