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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 1:16 AM

Salesforce announced Salesforce Messenger, a way for customers to communicate directly with brands through the Salesforce platform. As an example, a person who knows they're going to miss their flight, could message the airline and obtain a new booking in a familiar way, just by chatting in Messenger.

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Number sooner had Facebook announced it was opening up Messenger for developers to construct bots, when two players with an eye on sales and service in the enterprise — Salesforce and Zendesk — announced new products to manage Messenger traffic on their respective platforms.

Salesforce announced Salesforce Messenger, a way for customers to communicate directly with brands through the Salesforce platform. As an example, a person who knows they're going to miss their flight, could message the airline and obtain a new booking in a familiar way, just by chatting in Messenger.

The company sees this as a way to enhance communication across all its areas of business — sales, marketing and service. The fact is the lines between these three areas which used to be crystal clear are blurring for both brands and customers alike, Rob Begg, VP of product marketing for social products at Salesforce explained.

He doesn’t look rolling out another communication platform as a problem for companies already used to dealing with customers through multiple channels, whether that’s through an app, social, email, phone or web chat client. As Salesforce sees it, this is just another channel to manage and they'll incorporate it into the full view of the customer that could include a record when you called, emailed or messaged the company.

Zendesk also announced a new Messenger product today called Zendesk Message that'll fit in with its customer service focus. When customers interact with a brand via Messenger, they may obtain an automated response if that’s appropriate or they may hear from a human. From a CSR perspective, they can look the Messenger interactions on a timeline and recognize the nature of the interaction, while emotional between message threads quickly.

“Today’s businesses should meet customers wherever they're and combine the personal touch of human interactions with the convenience of automated activities through bots,” Royston Tay, common manager of messaging at Zendesk said in a statement.

While chat bots may seem exotic now, in brief order it’s very likely they'll become as common as using social channels love Twitter and Facebook to be engaged in with brands. Love those social channels, there will be rules of engagement that determine the proper way to approach customers without spamming them and companies will necessity to memorise what types of interactions are appropriate.

Just as you recognize when someone is spamming you by email or on Twitter, it'll become readily obvious what the best practices are in chat soon enough. As with any new channel, brands should perceive their way and memorise how to utilize this channel as another way to communicate and interact with customers.

Featured Image: chainarong06/Shutterstock

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