With customer service and support playing a more critical role in the overall customer experience, organizations of all sizes are revamping these applications with an eye toward increasing the amount of revenue generated per satisfied customer. To help enable that, Salesforce today unfurled a new edition of its service desk application that is delivered as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application.
Leyla Seka, vice president and general manager for Desk.com at Salesforce, says the Desk.com Business Plus edition provides service managers with more granular control over which agents are employed to handle different calls, while providing a customer health mechanism through which alerts are generated when a customer contacts customer service, for example, more than once in a given month.
In addition, Salesforce is making available a software development kit (SDK) that makes it possible to extend Desk.com out to mobile devices, and to plug third-party applications directly into the Desk.com management console.
In general, Seka says that SaaS applications such as Desk.com are the future of customer relationship management (CRM) because it’s really through the service desk application that most organizations actually engage their customers. Seka also notes that given the fact that it’s a whole lot more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to sell additional products and services to an existing one, the single highest priority inside most organizations today is to make sure existing customers are happy.
The degree to which that vision becomes a new business reality remains to be seen. But it is true that most CRM applications have little to do with the actual customer. For the most part, they are used to manage the sales force. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the billions of dollars invested in CRM applications have been a waste. But it does suggest that some rebalancing of customer experience priorities might be in order.