Salesforce Adds New Conversation Channels to Salesforce Essentials

Salesforce has delivered new conversation channels in Salesforce Essentials, the all-in-one CRM solution built specifically for small businesses. Salesforce Essentials empowers every small business to tap into the power of Salesforce with apps for sales and service that are easy to set up, use and maintain. Now small businesses can easily manage and engage with customers on their preferred channels including Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and YouTube—all while having a single view of the customer.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have been equalizing forces for small businesses—enabling them to reach billions of prospective customers and grow rapidly. As consumers have gotten accustomed to the instantaneous communication of these platforms, they expect a similar level of communication with the brands they engage with.

However, small businesses have limited resources and can’t always provide the level of support customers want. In fact, 58% of SMB leaders say meeting customer experience expectations is a challenge for growth over the next two years. Now, with new conversation channels in Salesforce Essentials, small businesses have the ability to engage with their customers across these modern platforms right alongside tried and true capabilities such as phone and chat.

With today’s announcement, Salesforce Essentials is providing everything a small business needs to offer world-class sales and service experiences to their customers. New features for Salesforce Essentials include:

  • Seamless conversations across social channels — Expanding on existing support of Facebook pages and Twitter, small businesses can now have real-time conversations with their customers over Facebook MessengerFor example, when a customer sends a company a question via Messenger, the message is routed to an employee who can have a live conversation over Messenger, directly from within Salesforce Essentials. With Instagram and YouTube, the employee gets notified when the customer makes a comment on a post or one of its videos and can respond from Salesforce.
  • Real-time chat conversations from website or help center Small businesses can add a Salesforce chat widget to their website, and have the chat routed to an employee who can maintain multiple chat conversations from Salesforce. This provides the employee with a complete view of the customer’s profile so they can step right into the conversation and view features like previous interactions, case history, open sales opportunities or other information within Salesforce.
  • Native phone support built into the #1 CRM — Make and receive customer calls with Lightning Dialer for Essentials, an out-of-the-box call center solution built right into the product. When an employee makes or receives the call, the customer’s profile and account information are immediately available with a pop-up screen in Salesforce, giving them the full context and customer history to provide fast and personalized service. Calls are automatically logged within the contact and account activity history of Salesforce, reducing manual data entry and making sure that information doesn’t get lost.
  • Easy channel setup with walkthroughs and live help —Salesforce Essentials offers small business customers a library of simple walkthroughs within the product to easily get set up with all of these new features in minutes—including guided overviews on key channels like Facebook Messenger, chat and phone. A team of Essentials Coaches is included in the U.S. and Canada during trials and the first 90 days of purchase to provide customers with any support needed via 1:1 live chat to get set up in no time.

“We all expect real-time instantaneous communication today—whether it’s with our family, friends or favorite brands. Now Salesforce Essentials is giving small businesses the tools needed to manage customer communications across all those channels in one centralized spot,” said Marie Rosecrans, SVP, Salesforce Essentials, and SMB.

Since launching in November 2017, Salesforce Essentials has quickly become the go-to solution for small businesses to scale and grow their business. Here’s how a few companies are using Salesforce Essentials:

  • G Photography — Owner and photographer Gwendolyn “G” HoustonJack is a portrait artist specializing in creating the lifestyle wall art of families and individuals. As G Photography began growing, the company outgrew all of the systems it was using and spent significant time on deals that were dead, to begin with. HoustonJack knew she needed to find a solution that grew and scaled with her company. “When I switched over to Salesforce Essentials, I literally screamed with happiness in my home office! It’s definitely life-changing. I never want to feel overwhelmed by my customer interactions. Rather, I want to feel aware and present,” saysHoustonJack. G Photography uses Salesforce Essentials to accelerate sales with a multi-touch workstream. With the standard sales dashboards in Salesforce Essentials, G Photography is able to keep all of her high priority deals, accounts and goals front-of-mind and never let these interactions fall through the cracks.
  • — Founded by CEO Chad Grills, his wife, and COO Stephanie Postles, and Chief Content Officer Ian Faison, brings stories and sponsors together to create high-quality podcasts and shows around evergreen business, tech, health and self-improvement topics. With just 10 employees, turned on Salesforce Essentials to track their roster of guests, manage their sales pipeline and focus on the customer experience—whether in the office or working remotely from their phones. “Salesforce Essentials helps us prioritize customer service and growth. As a small business, it’s important to build trust with your customers while also making revenue predictable,” says Grills. launched their first podcast in March of 2018, and now they operate a network of nine podcasts and a daily newsletter that reaches millions of business, tech and self-improvement fans.
  • PepTalkHer — Founder and CEO Meggie Palmer wanted to find a way to help women supercharge their success and close the gender pay gap. She created the PepTalkHer App, a coach in your pocket that helps women track everyday career wins and provides data to back up pay raise and promotion conversations. As a small business owner who is always looking for ways to save time, Palmer needed a technology and automation system to do the work for her and keep track of leads and potential revenue, so she turned to Salesforce Essentials. “Salesforce allows us to have a central hub of all of our prospective and current clients so that we can effectively market to them, talk to them and sell to them now and also into the future,” said Palmer. The PepTalkHer team uses Salesforce every day to help grow their community and empower women to reach their full potential.

Instagram and YouTube are generally available today. Both are included in Salesforce Essentials at $25 per user, per month. Facebook Messenger and chat are generally available today. Every Salesforce Essentials organization includes 1 license. Additional licenses can be purchased at $15 per user, per month. Lightning Dialer for Essentials is generally available today in the U.S. and Canada at $2 per 100 minutes.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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