Salesforce.com is adding messaging network Twitter to its Service Cloud, a SAAS solution that groups Google search, Facebook connections and online communities into a cloud-based customer service channel. With Twitter in place, SMBs and enterprises can monitor the adoption and discussion of their newest products.
announced March 23 that it is adding Twitter to the Salesforce.com Service
Cloud, a software-as-a-service solution begun in January that groups
Google search, Facebook connections, online communities and discussion forums
into a cloud-based customer service channel.
For the user, this means that the Service Cloud dashboard now offers a
Twitter tab, which leads to a screen with a search bar under the title
"Search Twitter for Service Issues." By typing a product name into
the search bar, such as "x84 headset," the user can see whatever
public conversations are occurring in real time via Twitter about the product.
Once the data from Twitter has been sucked into the Service Cloud, the user
has additional options. A "monitor" tab allows an individual Twitter
conversation thread to be followed within the Salesforce.com interface. The
user can "tweet" the original conversation starter (send it as an
instant message), post a message within the community or drill into the
Salesforce.com database for an internal solution to an issue mentioned on
Twitter, which can then be posted on Twitter.
For example, if someone writes on Twitter, "My x84 headset is
broken," a service agent monitoring the Twitter feed in the Service Cloud
can tweet the user and offer a fix. If the problem with the headset is a
commonly recurring issue, the agent can pull up information from the database
and send it to the entire community involved in the Twitter conversation
As for Twitter being used as an enterprise customer service tool, "this
is still the early days," Rebecca Wettemann, an analyst for Nucleus
Research, said in an interview. "What is interesting is seeing which new
channels of communication are becoming part of the whole communications
The cost of running a Salesforce.com Service Cloud starts at $995 per month;
it allows users to create an online customer community with unlimited usage for
up to 250 customers and a contact center with up to five agents, and
connect with native cloud-computing sites such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.
Twitter, along with Facebook, YouTube and other social networks and
applications, has been increasingly adopted for enterprise use, a fact that's
led to much
debate over whether these messaging and collaboration tools are truly effective
announced on March 6 it is introducing a search feature on its main
site that will allow users to search through conversation threads and monitor
those trends generating the most tweets.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.