Salesforce today launched the Desk.com App Hub. The company calls it a “one-stop shop to easily deploy partner apps that extend [the use of] Desk.com.”
Desk.com is Salesforce’s customer support application for small and midsize businesses. SMB businesses use Desk.com to manage customer support interactions coming over email and social channels. With Desk.com, businesses can set up FAQs and knowledge bases that their customers access via Facebook, websites, and mobile apps.
Desk.com also can be used to create macros to automate the handling of certain types of customer matters, for quicker turnaround times. Desk.com offers self-service and mobile self-service tools for end customers.
With this new partner App Hub, small businesses and midsize businesses using Desk.com will have access to apps from more than 50 partners. Partners include e-commerce platform Shopify, live-chat software Olark, email marketing software MailChimp, virtual-telephony company RingCentral, and dashboard app Cyfe.com.
“Desk.com has a good feel for fast-growing SMBs that have a ‘service-first’ mentality,” said CRM industry analyst Brent Leary. “Because of this, Desk.com is able to help these high-growth companies handle their rapid growth, but not drop the ball on customer experience.”
Today’s announcement addresses a stumbling block facing small and midsize businesses. That is, how do you leverage data learned via one customer support channel, elsewhere across the company? For example, do people in other departments know that a particular customer support issue exists and how or whether it was resolved? How do you funnel customer support data to the product team, and vice versa?
That’s where the App Hub and third party apps come in.
“This is big news for SMBs,” emphasizes Leary. “The App Hub simplifies the process of discovering quality business applications. Beyond that, it makes it easier for Desk.com users to work across these apps, right from within Desk.com.” (Read more from Leary about the news’ impact on small businesses.)
According to a research study by the SMB Group, the challenge that most small and midsized businesses face is that customer service is often disconnected from other areas of the business — shattering any hope of an accurate single view of the customer. Only 21% of SMBs integrate their apps without the help of a third-party.
Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) bills itself as the #1 CRM company. It’s known not only for the Salesforce application that coordinates customer leads and sales, but also for applications such as Force (employee software), Pardot (marketing automation), Community Cloud (collaboration tools), and Analytics Cloud (data analytics).
Salesforce also offers its Service Cloud, a customer service application for enterprise customers. Desk.com, though, is designed specifically to meet the needs of smaller businesses.
Leyla Seka, Desk.com’s General Manager and Senior Vice President, said recently that “Desk is a quick way for a small business to get a service center up and running.”
According to a Desk.com customer survey, most businesses get set up to use Desk in 1 to 3 business days. For businesses with 1 to 3 employees, the time tends to be just one day to deploy Desk.com.
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