Salesforce.com has added new social networking features to its Service Cloud customer service platform.
The new features will make better use of crowd sourcing tools and networking services such as Twitter and Facebook to answer user queries, the firm said.
Among the new features is a Facebook application and a Twitter plug-in which will allow companies to receive questions about products and suggest answers.
The new features will also let companies view Twitter and Facebook postings about their products by way of the Service Cloud page on Salesforce, and allow customer service representatives to contact users directly with answers.
Salesforce also plans to host a new crowd sourced database of third-party queries and best practices. Companies can access documents from the database and email users with direct links to the articles.
The company said that the new features are being implemented in response to changing ways in which users look up information.
Alex Dayon, senior vice president of Service Cloud product management at Salesforce, explained that the company had found users increasingly looking to search engines and social networking services to answer questions.
"It is really about the market. The customer service market is shifting away from the old way of calling a service representative," he said. "It puts a massive stress on the existing environment."
Salesforce is now hoping that moving to new sources of data will allow it to lure businesses away from the traditional call-centre approach to customer support.
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