Helpshift to Salesforce Integration — Where Peanut Butter meets the Jelly

The leading in-app support company Helpshift just released a seamless integration with the Salesforce Service Cloud. This integration is now available on AppExchange.

Here a copy of the press release for your convenience, followed by my analysis:

Helpshift Announces New Integration Capabilities for Its Customers on the Salesforce AppExchange, the World’s Leading Enterprise Apps Marketplace
 SAN FRANCISCO — (BUSINESS WIRE) — MAY 25, 2017 — Helpshift today announced an integration with new capabilities available on the Salesforce AppExchange. This integration is meant to improve the mobile user experience by enabling service agents to deliver support to app users directly from within their Salesforce Service Cloud Dashboard — In-app! When a customer contacts support from inside the Helpshift-enabled app, a Salesforce case is created that the agent responds to, creating an in-app conversation. Customers get notified via banners, notifications and badges, enabling them to continue at their pace.

“Organizations are seeing an explosion in demand for mobile solutions from their customers,” said Esteban Kolsky, president of thinkJar, a customer strategies advisory firm, “and they quickly realize they can’t offer outdated and incomplete solutions without real time data. Direct integration with systems of record are at the core of their strategies to support this trend.”

Built on the Salesforce Platform, the Helpshift integration is now available on the Salesforce AppExchange.

Enterprises can benefit in the following ways:

In-app Messaging: Helpshift’s new integration capabilities allow existing Salesforce customers to provide support to mobile customers, which extends their ability to reach mobile customers where it matters: Directly in the app, and supported by the smartphones’ powerful notification mechanisms.

Enhanced Knowledge Capabilities: Helpshift’s FAQs optimized for the native mobile app experience are combined with the Salesforce Knowledge Base. They appear inside the Salesforce Knowledge Base through a one-time mapping and can be maintained directly in Salesforce. Automatic synchronization ensures that the FAQs are always up-to-date in the mobile app.

Agent Management: Support for mobile customers can be delivered from inside the Salesforce Dashboard. Cases are directly created in the Salesforce Service Cloud when a Helpshift customer initiates a conversation. There is no need to switch to Helpshift. No tab change, no context switch, no training is required; the process remains unchanged for the agents, ensuring zero disruption and high efficiency.

Data Management: Customer data and metadata from Helpshift is available to Salesforce agents as part of the case in the Salesforce Service Cloud.

“As mobile becomes the primary medium customers use to connect with brands, the ability to provide customer support through all touch points is vital to creating deeper engagement and brand loyalty,” said Abinash Tripathy, Founder and CEO at Helpshift. “The enterprise no longer has to choose between uprooting their entire customer support structure and meeting customers where they spend most of their time — on mobile devices. Now the enterprise can provide a support experience for mobile customers and support agents can meet their needs quickly while continuing to do what they were doing within the Salesforce Platform. Everyone wins.”

“Everyone and everything is getting smarter and more connected than ever before, and companies are looking to transform the way they connect with customers, partners and employees,” said Kori O’Brien, SVP, ISV Sales, Salesforce. “By leveraging the power of the Salesforce Platform, Helpshift provides customers with an exciting new way to receive support experience across mobile touch points.”

Salesforce, AppExchange and others are among the trademarks of Salesforce.com, inc.

About Salesforce AppExchange

Salesforce AppExchange is the world’s leading enterprise apps marketplace that empowers companies to sell, service, market and engage in entirely new ways. With 3,500 partner apps and more than 4 million customer installs, it is the most comprehensive source of cloud, mobile, social, IoT, analytics and artificial intelligence technologies for businesses.
 About Helpshift:
 Helpshift bridges the disconnect between conventional customer service channels like email and phone support, and a growing consumer base that lives in a mobile-first world. As consumers do more on their mobile phones and have a strong preference for messaging as their primary mode of communication, Helpshift’s customer service platform provides instant answers and messaging right within the mobile app. The Helpshift SDK also easily integrates with third party tools and allows for highly-personalized support and user segmentation. Through this highly-streamlined support system, companies can resolve issues more efficiently, boosting customer satisfaction in the process. Companies such as Viacom, Virgin Media, Microsoft, Western Union, Flipboard, WordPress, and thousands of other industry-leading brands, startups, and developers use the Helpshift platform to provide in-app support. Helpshift is installed on 2 Billion devices worldwide, and serves 400+ million mobile customers monthly. To date, Helpshift has raised more than $38.2 Million and is backed by Cisco Investments, Intel Capital, Microsoft Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures, True Ventures, and Visionnaire Ventures. To learn more about Helpshift, visit https://www.helpshift.com/and follow @helpshift on Twitter.

The integration enables Salesforce Service Cloud customers who run Helpshift to power their mobile in-app support to leverage the capabilities of Helpshift right from the Salesforce dashboard. The Helpshift FAQs get mapped to and managed from the Salesforce knowledge base and are deployed to the mobile devices, including changes that happen over time.

Conversely, a Salesforce case is created for a mobile user who initiates a chat from within the Helpshift powered mobile app. This case contains all relevant data and meta data from the end user’s phone for efficient processing by the service agent through a configurable mapping between Helpshift data and the fields of the Salesforce case object.

The service agents work on this case as they would on any other case, using the Salesforce screens and workflows they are used to. No additional training to deal with another system is required; nor is it necessary to do a context switch between the two service back ends. Replies sent from the Salesforce Service Cloud appear in the in-app chat, thus contributing to a high user experience.

My Take

This is an important step out of CustServ Hell towards CustServ Heaven.

Beyond all hype and rave of bots the conversational UI, messaging, is the single most important development in current interaction design. This is especially true for mobile users who exhibit little patience with apps that do not work and then do not let them find help immediately. Mobile users, too, do not want to change from their application to the phone (application) in order to get support. They want to be able to efficiently search an FAQ — even without connectivity — and contact support from within the app if they do not get the answer they need from there. They want it now — and then at their pace. This is nothing short of a paradigm shift as it flips the support model from company defined to customer defined. The next step will be voice, in combination with speech-to-text capabilities, in addition to text. Not many companies can address this paradigm shift at the moment.

For both, Salesforce and Helpshift the benefits are immediately visible. The Salesforce eco-system gets the solution to an issue that needs resolution. Helpshift is an early, if not the first, provider of this solution within the thriving eco-system of the leader.

For both, Helpshift- and Salesforce customers this is very good news, as this integration allows them to run their customer engagement centers more efficiently by avoiding a second, independent, back end with its own user interface and own set of customer master data. Instead there is a seamless integration that allows for great and non-disruptive user experience as the service agents do not need to change their workflows nor are they forced to change from one application to another. This tremendously benefits joint Helpshift- and Salesforce customers, too. Additionally, these companies enjoy the security of their investments staying protected while they have their feet in the doorway to where future leads us: A mobile first world. Those who talk of AI-first are looking inside out instead of outside in.

To me, combining best-of-breed capabilities like those of a leading provider of in-app support, that Helpshift is, with the undisputed leader of Customer Engagement Center solutions proverbially fits like peanut butter and jelly (or like bread and butter, as we Germans would say).

What I am waiting for now, is getting this solution integrated into other leading customer service solutions, starting with Microsoft Dynamics, SAP CEC, Pegasystems, Oracle, but also looking at SugarCRM and Zoho, and possibly further competitors in the tier 1 and tier 2 race of solutions. As this is an API-based integration, I am confident, that this will happen, very confident actually.