Salesforce, the Customer Success Platform and world’s number one CRM company, has today announced LiveMessage, which ushers in the next generation of conversational service through its industry-leading Service Cloud. LiveMessage personalizes service communication by providing any company with the ability to engage customers via messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or SMS/MMS, directly within Service Cloud. Companies can either use Service Cloud Bots to streamline the information gathering process or easily integrate 3rd party bots via Bring Your Own Bot (BYOBot) to accelerate their transformation to conversational service.

Messaging is the number one activity people do on their mobile phones—80 billion messages are sent every day and the number is only growing. Consumers want to message with brands the same way they communicate with family and friends, because it is fast, personalized and private. However, up until now, messaging apps have been disconnected from CRM, creating more work for companies and leading to a disjointed customer experience.

Connect with Customers through Conversational Service
For eight years, Salesforce has been an innovator in customer service—at the forefront of major customer service shifts around social, in-app service, live video and more. Messaging is the next major leap in customer service, and with LiveMessage, Salesforce is again setting the industry standard. Natively integrated with Salesforce’s entire Customer Success Platform, LiveMessage lets companies choose which messaging app(s) they want to deploy and seamlessly aggregates the conversations right into the Service Cloud Agent Console. New innovations announced today include:

LiveMessage General Availability for Messenger and SMS/MMS allows companies to communicate with their customers via Messenger or SMS—the first in a series of messaging apps that LiveMessage will support. Companies can add messaging capabilities to their existing 1-800 customer service phone numbers and be up and running on Messenger and/or SMS within a day. For example, a customer who has a question for their financial services firm can text their issue directly to the firm’s existing 1-800 number or message them directly on Messenger. A service agent can easily access the customer’s records from the Service Cloud Agent Console and respond on Messenger quickly and easily, as though having a conversation with a friend. Once the issue is resolved, the conversation is automatically appended to the customer’s record in Service Cloud, and the conversation can be picked up again at a later time if the customer has additional questions.

New Service Cloud Bots empower customer service agents to be more productive with bots that automate data gathering and connect to relevant account records and service cases in the Service Cloud. For instance, a Service Cloud Bot could be deployed by a retailer to obtain the customer’s name, address, email and issue that they were contacting the store about. If the customer has a simple question, such as how to exchange an item, the bot can message a link to the customer automatically. However, if the customer has a more complicated request, such as making a change to an order that has already shipped, Service Cloud’s omni-channel intelligent engine will automatically send the case to the available agent most qualified to answer the question and empower them to answer questions faster using the information gathered by the bot.

Bring Your Own Bot (BYOBot): There is a thriving ecosystem of bots being built by third-party companies to do things like troubleshoot common product problems or answer basic questions about store location and hours. Because Salesforce offers an open, API-first platform, companies can easily connect existing bots using the LiveMessage API for a BYOBot. For example, a hospital could have an existing scheduling bot used to book annual check-ups for patients. When it’s time for the annual physical, an event in Salesforce is triggered that tells the bot to message the patient with three potential appointment times. The patient selects one of the appointment times and the appointment is confirmed directly within their preferred messaging app. If the patient needs a different time, their conversation is routed to the best agent using omni-channel intelligent routing.

 “Customer service will fundamentally change with the explosion of mobile messaging apps. The best customer service today is conversational and on the customer’s terms,” said Mike Rosenbaum, EVP, CRM Apps, Salesforce. “LiveMessage seamlessly blends CRM and mobile messaging in an intuitive way that’s easy for companies to deploy.”

“With over 1 billion people using Messenger every month, the Messenger Platform is becoming a go-to channel for businesses to connect with their customers and drive outcomes from raising brand awareness to providing excellent customer service,” said Jeremy Barton, Messenger Partnerships, Facebook. “LiveMessage allows any company using Salesforce to seamlessly integrate Messenger conversations directly into their CRM, unlocking enormous potential for people to interact with brands they care about.”

Pricing and Availability
LiveMessage is generally available as of December 13, 2016. LiveMessage starts at $75 per user, per month for one messaging type. Organizations need to have at least the same number of Service Cloud licenses as LiveMessage licenses. LiveMessage is currently available on Salesforce Classic and is expected to be available on Salesforce Lightning in the second half of 2017.

LiveMessage support for Messenger and SMS/MMS is generally available as of December 13, 2016.

Service Cloud Bots are generally available as of December 13, 2016 as part of the LiveMessage license.

LiveMessage API is currently in pilot and is expected to be generally available at no additional cost in Summer 2017.

Additional Information
To learn more about Salesforce LiveMessage please visit: https://www.salesforce.com/products/service-cloud/features/livemessage/

To learn more about Service Cloud, please visit: https://www.salesforce.com/service-cloud/overview/

Discover how Service Cloud can help companies deliver personalized service to their customers via Trailhead: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/trail/service_cloud

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