It's called Jive Social Customer Service Solution, and its Jive's official entrance into the customer service market. Is it enough?

Collaborative or Social, Customer Service

You all know Jive Software -- one of the biggest and first to market providers of social software solutions. It tops all the analyst reports, many organizations love it, there's a third party app market to support it and it went public late last year to much fanfare.

Now it taps into the new, burgeoning market of customer service. According to Esteban Kolsky:  

During the first six-to-nine-months of 2012 most Customer Service organizations are focused in understanding communities, seeing where they place in their strategies, and how they can use them better for collaborative and social customer service. Although most of these organizations are not yet engaged in acquiring the technology, the latter part of this year and into next year will be crucial for vendors to be in this market (if they want to become key players).

And there are a number of key players already tapping into this market including Telligent, Moxie Software, Lithium and GetSatisfaction, and we've seen CRM-based solutions like Salesforce's

Kolsky calls it collaborative customer service which I kind of like better than social customer service, but we know which term will win out in the end. Regardless, as we have discussed many times over the past year or so, customer communities are a huge element of today's organizations customer experience strategies and it's only natural that Jive would join the pageant for the best solution.

Editor's Note: Check out Customer Service Virtual Communities: Focus on the Experience First and 10 of the Best Social Business Communities & Why They are Important.

So where's Jive's offering fitting into the mix?

Jive's Take on Social Customer Service

First, it's built on the Jive social business platform -- that's kind of a given, I know. Second, it is a packaged solution that offers a number of capabilities including:

  • Case Management and CRM Integration: Here's a bit of that back-end business app integration (note the SSO feature) that people say Jive doesn't really do. In this case, some of the vendors are:, Microsoft Dynamics and SugarCRM.
  • Social Media Monitoring & Engagement: This comes courtesy of Jive Fatham, the free social media monitoring solution.
  • Mobile Access: For both customers and service agents can work remotely via their mobile devices.
  • Outlook Integration: Gotta work with email still don't you?
  • Facebook Integration: Link to your Facebook page and bring questions asked there into the community. Likewise push back any answers for those questions.
  • Gamification: Through integration with BunchBall, you can offer fun ways to encourage customer to participate and win rewards.

Jive Social Customer Service

Essentially, you are getting a package that combines internal communities with external communities to support end-to-end customer support without a lot of jumping around. And to get more capabilities from Jive partners, you can hook in things like surveys or translations from the Jive App Market.

Said Curtis Gross, senior technical marketing manager at Jive Software

Customer service does not stop at the firewall,” Gross concludes. “Current solutions only allow customers or customer service agents to work on issues, but what happens when they do not have the answer? They need to talk with the product expert that actually had a hand in creating the product. Jive allows a case to go from customer, to customer service agent, to product expert in order to get the answer from the source. And that answer lives in one place so it can be reused and socialised to better increase agent effectiveness and grow the employee knowledge base.”

It's not live quite yet, hanging out in private beta land, but expect it before the end of the first quarter -- which isn't that far away. StrongMail (a company we did a case study on not that long ago) uses the new Social Customer Service Solution, as does T-Mobile.

So, It is Enough to Over Take the Others?

It's a relatively new market, but one that is getting more attention all the time. I haven't seen much from Lithium in terms of new functionality, but I expect it must be working on something, Moxie comes out with new features all the time and Telligent is well known for not just its external community capabilities, but its thought leadership in the area.

Interested to know what you think. Will Jive take this social customer service market by storm?