Salesforce Harnesses AI for Next-Gen SMB Customer Service

By Pedro Hernandez | Posted February 13, 2017

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is more than a promising technology trend for Salesforce. It's an attainable and transformational means of enabling businesses of all sizes to deliver exceptional customer service.

The San Francisco-based cloud customer relationship management (CRM) software giant is "democratizing AI," Jamie Domenici, vice president of Product and Small-and-Medium Business Marketing at Salesforce, told Small Business Computing. In that spirit, the company launched Service Cloud Einstein today.

By placing powerful, yet easy-to-use AI tools into the hands of small and midsized business (SMB) customer service organizations and their employees, Service Cloud Einstein helps businesses of all sizes capitalize on the power of advanced analytics, Domenici said.

It Doesn't Take a Genius

Unearthing business-improving insights from mountains of customer data used to require data scientists or training complex business intelligence software tools. Service Cloud Einstein's AI and machine-learning capabilities does this behind the scenes, allowing users to focus their efforts on solving issues and making their customers happy instead.

The Einstein Supervisor component, for example, provides smart data discovery and operational insights in real time. It surfaces trends that helps support managers not just run a tighter ship, but empower their workers to solve issues faster and prevent small hiccups from becoming a full-blown crisis.

Traditional customer service tools offer supervisors "no real view into how they should be prioritizing their time," said Martha Walchuck, director of Product Marketing at Salesforce. During a live demo, she showed how managers can not only monitor changes in their operational metrics as they happen (wait times, queues, etc.) and quickly determine the customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) of their teams, but also predict customer satisfaction. With this increased visibility, managers can fine-tune their departments and optimize their workflows for improved outcomes.

Best Foot Forward

Einstein Case Management, meanwhile, employs "machine learning to understand what the customer needs," said Domenici. Cases are automatically created, prepopulated, and if need be, elevated. "When they know everything they need to know from the beginning, it changes the dynamics of the conversation," she said.

Now, a customer service representative's time can be better spent delivering solutions faster rather than tracking down answers or finding someone who can. It's a win-win; customers get the answers they need and agents get a fulfilling workday, where their talent and expertise      

"SMBs need to be efficient and they can provide faster service when cases are automatically classified as they come in and routed to the correct agent (who knows what the case is about before picking up the phone)," wrote Domenici in a blog post. "The information needed to resolve cases is instantly displayed in the agent's console, so they are equipped with everything they need to know before engaging with a customer."

Finally, Service Cloud Einstein's Intelligent Mobile Service app for iOS and Android helps field service workers and technicians make the most of their time on the road.

Salesforce Harnesses AI for Next-Gen SMB Customer Service

Using advanced algorithms, the app prioritizes service requests based on a variety of factors, like the severity of an issue, in real time. It also optimizes appointment scheduling and routing, helping businesses deliver timelier and more efficient service. This allows field workers to "hit every single stop and deliver the best service as fast as you can," said Domenici.

Sometimes those service requests can take field personnel into areas with spotty cell coverage. Intelligent Mobile Service features an offline mode that allows workers to access pre-loaded CRM data and get the job done. When users are once again enveloped with a network signal, Salesforce automatically syncs so that everyone is on the same page.

Service Cloud Einstein from Salesforce is available now. 


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