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Desk.com Makes Help Desks More Mobile, Social

By Erika Morphy
Feb 3, 2012 5:00 AM PT

Salesforce.com unveiled a new customer service help desk tool this week. Desk.com works with customer requests delivered over a social network.

Desk.com Makes Help Desks More Mobile, Social

(click image to enlarge)

It is the byproduct of Salesforce.com's acquisition of Assistly last year. However, it is no mere product integration, Alex Bard, former Assistly CEO and now vice president and general manager of Desk.com, told CRM Buyer.

"Desk.com has been built from the ground up to work with Salesforce.com, although it can also be a standalone product," he said. "We've been working on it around the clock since the acquisition."

Desk.com lets users work with customers over any major social network. The companion Desk.com Mobile module gives companies mobile access to the application so they can answer queries on the fly.

Integrated Feature Set

The application includes Facebook and Twitter integrations that work with other support channels -- such as email, phone and Web -- allowing the agent to see all customer requests on one desktop.

Desk.com Mobile is iPhone- and Android-compatible, and it can run on any smartphone that supports HTML5. It displays the same support cases and filters, and it provides the same access to customer files as the desktop agent does.

Case-management features in both application let users reassign, change groups, change status, change priority for cases, and modify customer information associated with cases.

Reporting metrics, in another module called Desk.com Reporting, include data on how many cases customer service agents have opened, resolved, replied to, reassigned or reopened. There are 12 prebuilt reports providing data for average handle time, time to first response, first contact resolution rate and more.

Desk.com became generally available this week. Pricing starts at US$49 per full-time agent per month for unlimited usage. Flex pricing is available for $1 per part-time agent per hour.

Desk.com Mobile is also generally available now at no additional cost for full-time agents. Desk.com Reporting is scheduled to be generally available in Q1 of 2012.

Small Company Challenges

A key user of Desk.com will be small businesses, Bard predicted.

"Service is one of the fastest-growing areas of demand for small businesses," he observed. "Also, companies of all sizes, including SMBs, are finding their customers are increasingly reaching out to them via social media -- and they expect to be heard through that channel."

Easy to Implement

Another Desk.com attribute that will be important to small companies, Bard said, is its easy implementation.

One customer did it on its own over a weekend, he noted. By Monday, service reps were ready to plug into the app and start fielding inquiries.

"Most small business don't have dedicated call centers or strong internal tech departments," said Bard. "They need something that doesn't require a consultant to install."

Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.

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