Update: The following article may contain outdated information.

Close your eyes for a moment and think back to your last customer service experience. What was it like? Was it as bad as this interaction with Comcast or was it a pleasant one? Maybe it was somewhere in the middle. No matter what the customer service experience was like, there were defining moments along the way.

Now imagine being able to talk to the person face-to-face with live video. Imagine being able to show the customer support agent exactly what the problem is using the camera on your mobile device. Imagine how much faster that issue could be resolved with being able to annotate a screen during video to point to exactly what you’re experiencing.

Help is on the way. In fact it’s already here.

Salesforce has just announced a solution, called SOS for Apps, that offers live video support at the touch of a button. This is great news for call centers and customer service departments, however there are a few problems with SOS for Apps. To start, it won’t be available until 2015 unless you were one of the lucky few selected for the beta period. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though.

Again, help is on the way. SightCall has a solution that has a proven track record since 2007 and it has been live in the AppExchange for months already. Let’s take a look at the two offerings to find what’s right for your company.

If you are looking for a solution today, SightCall is the only one available in the AppExchange. The companies selected for the Salesforce SOS for Apps beta were chosen long ago and to even be considered for the SOS beta, your mobile app needed to be fully developed already.

Both Salesforce SOS for Apps and SightCall offer one-touch access to a human support agent, just like the Amazon Mayday button, as well as screen sharing. However, camera sharing and capturing and sharing pictures is only available with the SightCall Video Support Agent. Drawing tools and one-way video to protect a customer’s privacy are offered by both but SightCall allows for screen annotations whereas SOS only provides simple drawing tools.

To initiate a call, both SightCall and SOS offer the ability to embed a button on mobile applications for mobile device access but unlike SOS for Apps, SightCall also extends the offering to desktop users as well. Even though you might see more people coming to your company website or app from mobile, desktop computers still provide nearly half of all visitors. Internetretailer.com wrote a great post on mobile/desktop eCommerce trends that supports both mobile and desktop functionality. Additionally, most people use mobile to browse and make purchases on desktops, making it important to offer customers both options.

Speaking of mobile, SightCall is available for both iOS and Android along with every desktop browser. SightCall can be built into your app even as you’re developing it. SOS for Apps is only available for mobile and to start with that means only completely developed apps on iOS. Sorry Android users, for now Salesforce is only going with Apple.

Co-browsing is a key feature for both the SightCall Video Support Agent as well as Salesforce SOS for Apps, allowing both the agent’s and customer’s mouse pointer to be visible to both during a call. This feature allow either the agent or customer to point to something on-screen when the other is having trouble finding the information. The customer support agent can push a URL to the customer’s screen in order to initiate a co-browsing experience once a call has been started.

Another innovative feature offered by SightCall Video Support Agent is the ability of the customer to use their smartphone or tablet to take a picture and send it right to the support agent in real time. SOS for Apps is simply a one-way video call, only allowing customers to see an agent and not point out exactly what the problem is. This is also useful for identification in high security interactions with privileged information.

Along with the announcement came more information about SOS for Apps. While SightCall offers support that spans the entire globe, Salesforce will only be available in North America during the trial period.

One last key feature of the SightCall Video Support Agent is the ability to view a customer’s support history while on the call. This allows a customer support agent to know if the customer has had a problem similar to the current one previously or know how to approach the issue. SightCall Video Support Agent provides reporting on all support communication which gives both support agents and customer service managers further insight into customer/agent interactions. Insight into the customer’s support history is critical to providing a positive experience.

If you’re looking to add live video customer support to your website or mobile app today, the choice is clear. SightCall Video Support Agent is a mature product with years of real use cases behind it, driving its continual improvement and vast array of features that SOS for Apps can’t. SOS for Apps may have the marketing machine of Dreamforce at their back, but that’s where the advantage comes to an end. And, that marketing won’t help your company when a customer is trying to resolve an issue and needs live video to help solve the problem. SightCall Video Support Agent will.