On Wednesday, Salesforce announced the next generation of its Service Cloud Einstein, which combines the company's CRM with three services that tap artificial intelligence (AI) and guided processes to help companies improve customer service through automation.
Companies can use Einstein Bots for Service, now generally available, to automate routine service requests, according to a press release. The bots can respond to a customer request immediately, and gather basic information from the customer to free up an agent's time, as well as hand off customers to the right agent when needed. The bots use machine learning and natural language processing to improve after every customer interaction, the release noted.
Lightning Flow for Service, also generally available, helps businesses deliver guided service processes, which take customers through self-service interactions, according to the release. The service also guides how an agent works through fulfilling requests and resolving issues, removing some of the guesswork from interactions with customers.
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Then, Einstein Next Best Action—currently in beta—uses rules-based and predictive models to provide customer service agents with smart, contextual recommendations for customers, the release said. These actions can alert agents to these recommendations directly within the Service Cloud console, leading to faster case resolution as well as upsell opportunities, according to the release.
Together, these three services can enhance the customer experience, the release said. It offered the example of a customer who loses their credit card and goes to the company website for help. An Einstein Bot will initiate a chat session, and gather initial details about the customer and what happened. Then, the bot will pass the chat thread on to a human agent to speed up the card replacement process.
A Lightning Flow workflow then takes the agent and the customer through a step-by-step process to resolve the issue. Finally, Einstein Next Best Action will examine the conversation and the customer's history, and suggest that the agent inform the customer that they qualify for free travel insurance. The agent can do so, closing the loop, and can then move on to the next case.
Salesforce launched its Einstein AI platform back in 2016, with the goal of infusing AI throughout its clouds. Continuing to leverage AI in this suite of products can only help Salesforce hold onto its lead in the CRM space, as more enterprises look to use the technology to improve processes.
"Almost every company looking to compete on customer service is looking at how they can leverage AI, but for even large companies it's often a question of resources," Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of research at Nucleus Research, said in the release. "With this release, Salesforce further accelerates time to value for companies that want to better understand and service customers by scaling Salesforce's expertise, depth and breadth of data, and AI models that are laser focused and trained for customer interaction."
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Salesforce announced the next generation of Service Cloud Einstein, which combines the company's CRM with services that use AI to help companies improve customer service.
- Companies can leverage Salesforce's Einstein Bots for Service, Lightning Flow for Service, and Einstein Next Best Action to automate parts of the customer experience, and provide human agents with more information.
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Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.