Salesforce adds some artificial intelligence to customer service products

Last Fall when Salesforce introduced Einstein, its artificial intelligence initiative, it debuted with some intelligence built into the core CRM tool, but with a promise that it would expand into other products over time. Today it announced it was adding Einstein AI to its Service Cloud customer service platform.

The goal is to make life easier for customer service reps and their managers. For the reps, it gives information that is supposed to help them better understand the needs of the customer they’re dealing with. For the managers, it’s been designed to help give deeper insight into their customer service center operation. The ultimate goal is improving the key customer satisfaction metric known as CSAT.

For the customer service rep, it starts with how the call gets routed to them. It uses underlying intelligence to route the call to the best available rep based on known information, and it provides the rep with some background before they even interact with the customer.

All that should help the CSR do their jobs better and be more efficient with the customer. They also get fed some data on the right side of the customer service window, which the system thinks will help improve the CSAT score.


Einstein case management window. Photo: Salesforce

This could be a case of too much information when you’re dealing with a customer because it forces you to look at the classification that Einstein believes is the correct one for this interaction. You also have to absorb several data points, which Einstein has determined could be having an impact on the projected score. That’s all well and good, but viewing this data requires taking your attention away from the customer.

Regardless, that individual CSAT data gets compiled into a view for the customer service manager, who can see how the customer service team is doing in terms of agent availability, the size of queues and wait times at any given moment. All of this is useful in compiling and improving that all important CSAT score.

Salesforce has been developing its artificial intelligence technology for some time. As I wrote at the time of the announcement in September:

The company pulled together 175 data scientists to help create Salesforce Einstein, while leveraging acquisitions such as MetaMind, PredictionIO and RelateIQ. In fact, MetaMind founder Richard Socher, holds the title of Chief Data Scientist at Salesforce now. Salesforce Einstein will touch every one of its products in some way eventually.

Indeed today’s announcement is a continuation of that original vision, and we can expect that over the coming months and years, additional Salesforce products will get the Einstein treatment.