Social CRM


Zoho Boosts Its Social Enterprise Creds


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Zoho has enhanced its menu of offerings by incorporating social media into its customer support features. It has also added a Facebook social media integration point to its flagship application. The changes went live on Thursday, added automatically to the applications.

These two developments — the Facebook integration point and the social media enhancements to the customer service features — are modest compared to the company’s massive overhaul to its suite at the end of last year.

Facebook Integration

“We still view it as important for our users and for the direction we are taking Zoho, which is a focus on the social enterprise,” Raju Vegesna, Zoho evangelist, told CRM Buyer.

The Facebook integration, for instance, follows a connection with LinkedIn, which was included in the overhaul that rolled out in December 2011.

Like the LinkedIn integration, the new Facebook functionality allows users to pull information from Facebook about a contact in the Zoho CRM system. Users can also send a direct message to a user’s Facebook page without leaving the Zoho environment.

A Social Customer Support Channel

The customer support enhancement allows users to communicate with their own customers through Twitter and Facebook, alongside any other support channels.

The system lets users define keywords to monitor Twitter feeds, and if they choose, their tweets can be automatically be converted into tickets. Similarly, by defining keywords for Facebook, certain posts on a Facebook page can automatically be turned into tickets. Or, the conversion to ticket can be done at the behest of an agent.

“It can then be assigned to any of the support reps, allowing them to look up the customer’s records and whatever responses have been made to him via that tweet,” Vegesna explained.

The assistance is seamless to the end user, he added. “The social channel — in this case Twitter and Facebook — has become just another avenue through which customers can receive support.”

Emergency Social Escalation

Users can also set up faster service-level benchmarks for tickets that come through Twitter and Facebook to meet customers’ real-time expectations, including an emergency escalation policy.

“Let’s say a company receives a flurry of tweets about the same subject in a short period of time,” Vegesna said. “The system’s escalation policy allows a user to set certain rules; if it receives 10 or more tweets on a certain subject within 10 minutes, then this particular support person should be summoned to deal with the event.”

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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