Introduces New Salesforce Essentials Features today introduced new features for Salesforce Essentials designed to enable small businesses to communicate with customers in their preferred channels. The features include support for conversations across a variety of social media channels, the ability to have real-time conversations from a website or help center, and native phone support.

Expanding on existing support for Facebook pages and Twitter, Salesforce Essentials now offers support for Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and YouTube. For Facebook Messenger, small businesses can have real-time conversations with their customers over the platform. When a customer sends a company a message using Facebook Messenger, the message is routed to an employee who can have a live conversation using Messenger directly from within Salesforce Essentials. With Instagram and YouTube, the employee is notified when the customer makes a comment on a post or one its videos, and can respond from within Salesforce Essentials.

“We’re committed to making sure that our Salesforce Essentials customers have the ability to support their customers directly where they’re at. Whether they’re using Facebook or Instagram or YouTube alongside some of these tried-and-true channels like phone and chat, we are bringing all of these capabilities together and the game changer for the small business is the fact that they get to do it all from a single screen, all in Salesforce, so that they have a single view that ultimately allows them to push support out to those customers regardless of which channel that customer is engaging them in,” says Marie Rosecrans, senior vice president of SMB Marketing at Salesforce.

In terms of having real-time conversations from a website or help center, small businesses can add a Salesforce chat widget to their website or help center that routes chats to an employee who can have multiple chat conversations from within Salesforce. It also provides the employee with a complete view of the customer’s profile, allowing them to view previous interactions, case history, open sales opportunities, and other information from within Salesforce. “Customers today expect real-time engagement. Now we have the ability for our Salesforce Essentials customers to introduce a chat widget either on their website or their help center so that they can engage with customers using chat. The best part is that the employee on the receiving end of that chat sees all of that previous interaction that they’ve had with that customer so that that engagement with them can be highly personalized,” Rosecrans says.

As for native phone support, small businesses can make and receive customer calls with Lightning Dialer for Essentials, an out-of-the-box call center solution built into Salesforce Essentials. When an employee makes or receives a call, the customer’s profile and account information is available via a pop-up screen in Salesforce, providing them with context and customer history. Additionally, calls are automatically logged within the contact and account activity history of Salesforce. “We’re giving our Salesforce Essentials customers the ability to engage both inbound and outbound calling by putting some call center functionality directly into Salesforce Essentials. The best part about this is that all of the information that you need to know about that customer, before you place that call or as that call is coming in, is right there at your fingertips,” Rosecrans says.

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