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Improve Customer Service Using Artificial Intelligence

Learning objectives:

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe the value of artificial intelligence (AI) and the value it can bring to your contact center.
  • Explain how Einstein for Service delivers scale and productivity to customer service.
  • Discover the ways AI can help you deliver world-class customer experiences.

The Real Story on Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Contrary to what you may have seen in science fiction movies or read on social media, AI is not going to take over the world, or even take over your customer service job—but it is going to change a lot of things, as you learn in this unit. 

So what is artificial intelligence, anyway? At a high level, AI is the concept that we can program machines to think like humans. Examples of AI are popping up everywhere. If you’ve ever ordered anything using Alexa or asked Siri for a restaurant recommendation, you understand its benefits. AI isn’t a new concept—we’ve had the theoretical models for a long time—but it’s finally possible thanks to the availability of large amounts of data combined with the low cost of high-powered computing. 

How Machine Learning Works

Machine learning is the core driver of AI. It’s the process of using algorithms to tell you something interesting about your data without writing code specific to the problem you’re trying to solve. Said differently, it’s a way to have computers learn from data with minimal programming. Instead of writing code, you feed a machine data and it builds its own logical function based on this data. Here is a brief overview of a few of the most important components of AI.

  • Natural language understanding (NLU) refers to systems that handle communication between people and machines.
  • Natural language processing (NLP) is distinct from NLU and describes a machine’s ability to understand what humans mean when they speak as they naturally would to another human.
  • Named entity recognition (NER) labels sequences of words and picks out the important things like names, dates, and times. NER involves breaking apart a sentence into segments that a computer can understand and respond to quickly.
  • Deep learning refers to artificial neural networks being developed between data points in large databases. Just like our human mind connects the dots to give us insights, deep learning uses algorithms to sift through data, draw conclusions, and enhance performance.

It All Relies on Data

So how does all this machine learning stuff work in practice? Well, it all starts with training data. That’s a set of data you give to your data model to help it learn. The more data you feed your model, the more accurate and helpful it gets.

When you feed training data to your machine learning model, that data is defined by a set of attributes and characteristics. It’s up to the model to determine how to make sense of all these attributes. So how does the model decide what attributes are most important to build the best model? The algorithm weighs the different features of your model to determine the best set of attributes, that when combined into an equation, solve a specific problem.

Because machine learning depends on data to work properly, data hygiene is critically important. If you have clean, well-organized data then you will have a much more seamless AI deployment. If on the other hand, your organization hasn’t historically maintained good data hygiene—if there are incomplete customer records or duplicate accounts, for example—the task ahead is a tougher one. It will require manual work from you and your organization to clean the data before using it to train your AI, but that work will pay off in the form of a much more accurate AI deployment.

Smarter Customer Service with Einstein

Solving customer concerns quickly while trying to understand the big picture is a challenge for contact centers, especially when you have to sift through an account history that may have hundreds of data points. That’s why we’ve built Einstein into our product, to make it easier for any customer of any size across any industry to deploy AI and use it in their contact center, empowering you and your agents with the predictive intelligence you need to drive increased customer satisfaction. 

  • Increase deflection and reduce handle time. Einstein Bots can resolve routine customer requests and seamlessly hand off the customer to an agent if an issue requires a human touch.
  • Turbocharge agent productivity. Einstein Agent gives your agents intelligent, in-context suggestions, helping them do what they do best—help your customers.
  • Rapid deployment and time-to-value. Einstein for Service is preintegrated with Salesforce and your existing service channels, and comes with an out-of-the-box, intuitive user interface.

Einstein helps you deliver a transformational customer service experience, and it’s built into your existing Service Cloud deployment. By using AI and machine learning—in real time—the following features make everyone in the contact center smarter and more effective.

  • Einstein Bots automatically resolve top customer issues, collect qualified customer information, and seamlessly hand off the customers to agents, meaning increased case deflection in the contact center and reduced handle times for agents.
  • Einstein Agent drives agent productivity across the contact center. Through intelligent case routing, automatic triaging, and case field prediction, Einstein Agent significantly accelerates issue resolution and enhances efficiency.
  • Einstein Discovery helps managers take action with predictive service KPIs. By serving up real-time analysis of drivers that impact KPIs, like churn or CSAT and suggested recommendations and explanations, managers are empowered to make more strategic decisions for their business.
  • Einstein Vision for Field Service automates image classification to resolve issues faster on-site. Just by taking a picture of the object, Einstein Vision can instantly identify the part, ensuring accuracy for the technician and boosting first-time fix rates.
  • Einstein Language brings the power of deep learning to developers. They can use pretrained models to classify text by the sentiment as either positive, neutral, or negative, and then be able to classify the underlying intent in a body of text. Put it all together, and you have the ability to process language across unstructured data in any app.

AI for Everyone

Great customer experiences start with a great agent experience, and that’s why we want to make AI easy to use for every agent. By doing so, AI can automate the simple tasks so agents are empowered to focus on the customer. Rather than spending time working through a backlog of basic inquiries, agents can instead dedicate their time to handling the complex issues that require more of a human touch and in turn, drive more value for the business.

It’s not just agents who benefit from artificial intelligence, AI provides benefits for service managers as well. With AI, managers enjoy greater efficiency across the contact center and less strain on their agents. When bots can offload routine requests, it frees agents up, supercharging their productivity. And through predictive service KPIs, managers are better equipped than ever to have greater insight into the health of the contact center and their teams.

Your customers also benefit because CRM-connected AI is able to personalize the experience, taking their tastes, interests, and context into account during service. Customers get the help they need faster, when they want it, on any device, and enjoy increased case resolution so they can quickly get an accurate answer. 

Grow Your Business with AI

We’ve already noted how AI can enable agents and managers to increase productivity, drive contact center efficiency, and deliver a more personalized experience to your customers. In the same way, AI helps to support your service operations, AI can play a key part in driving efficiency across your sales and marketing efforts to enhance customer and employee experience and satisfaction. Sales teams benefit from intelligently prioritized leads and opportunities, enhanced forecasting, and rich pipeline analytics, while marketing teams can enjoy a deeper understanding of their audience and messages personalized to each recipient based on their preferences and intent. With Einstein, every business user in every role, function, and industry can take advantage of AI capabilities right where they work, right inside of Salesforce. 

With help from AI, you can empower agents, increase productivity in the contact center, drive efficiency for managers, enhance speed and accuracy for mobile workers, and introduce a new level of scale to your support operations. All with Einstein for Service, built on the Salesforce Platform.


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