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Salesforce rolls out AI-powered workflows, contact center updates in Service Cloud

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New automation features are designed to make agents more productive and companies more agile during the pandemic.

Salesforce Service Cloud Workforce Engagement integrated platform

Salesforce Service Cloud Workforce Engagement

Image: Salesforce

Salesforce on Thursday unveiled new AI-powered workflows and contact center updates in Service Cloud in an effort to create better experiences for service agents and customers. Some 84% of service professionals said the pandemic has changed their workflows and processes, according to Salesforce’s fourth annual State of Service.

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New workflows built into the Customer 360 platform are designed to let customer service teams predict, route and solve customer needs–sometimes before the customer is even aware a problem exists, the company said.

Additionally, Salesforce has added new digital contact center features for video, chat, voice and workforce engagement with the goal of enabling more effortless experiences for both customers and service teams.

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As customer requests surge and businesses face shortages in available agents, 78% of consumers have needed to contact companies multiple times to address a single concern, Salesforce said. 

As consumers seek out these more effortless experiences, the goal is to give agents “a complete, digital platform that automates repetitive and low-value tasks so they can focus on the human side of service, resolving complex problems faster and building deeper, trusted relationships,” the company said.

“The businesses that have thrived over the last 18 months are those who embraced digital tools to deliver excellent customer and employee service experiences with trust and transparency,” said Clara Shih, CEO of Service Cloud, Salesforce, in a statement. “With new AI and process automation for Service Cloud, as well as Slack to provide a digital hub to quickly resolve issues across teams and departments, we’re giving agents more time to focus on providing human-centric service and giving customers fast, proactive service to build trust and loyalty.”

AI-powered workflows for trusted service at scale

Customer expectations are higher than ever and service teams need to respond fast when necessary. In fact, 90% of customers said that how a company acts during a crisis reveals its trustworthiness, according to Salesforce.

AI-powered workflows and automation are designed to empower service teams to quickly respond to major incidents, automate how cases are routed throughout the organization and eliminate repetitive tasks that bog agents down, the company said.

New workflow capabilities include:

Customer Service Incident Management accelerates resolution for major incidents fast, by helping companies detect, diagnose and respond to service disruptions. This empowers service teams to proactively notify customers of a problem and triage increases in cases, as well as provide transparency for customers and the operations teams working to resolve the root problem.

Omni-Channel Flow built on Salesforce’s workflow platform is designed to make it easier for service teams to create complex rules based on CRM data for routing cases, calls, messages and chats across the service team and other departments. With Omni-Channel, Einstein Case Classification and Einstein Article Recommendation in Flow, Service Cloud can now analyze incoming cases and automate routing to the best queue, agent, or process — including processes that interact with external systems — and auto-respond to customers with relevant articles to drive efficiency and reduce support costs.

● Robotic process automation capabilities (RPA) for Service Cloud from the recent Servicetrace acquisition are designed to enable service teams to automate repetitive tasks such as look-ups and write-ins across legacy systems that lack APIs.

For example, companies can scale customer service by automating embedded processes in chatbots to guide customers step-by-step to solve an issue, while the goal for call center agents is to enhance productivity by automating repetitive tasks like opening and closing support tickets.

Working in a hybrid and distributed world, agents now need a digital HQ that brings together their workspace, voice capabilities, workforce engagement, and Slack to connect employees, partners, customers, and apps on one screen. 

New digital contact center capabilities include:

Einstein Conversation Mining is designed to help continuously improve and optimize self-service channels and knowledge bases by using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to identify the most common types of interactions with customers.

For example, Einstein Conversation Mining is designed to determine which use cases to prioritize for a service bot rollout or prompt the creation of a new knowledge article to address a frequent customer concern.

Messaging for in-app and web now enables customers to start a persistent messaging experience such as SMS and WhatsApp, directly in a mobile application or on a website and pick the conversation up where it left off.

Visual Remote Assistant now enables two-way video and audio for face-to-face conversations between agents or field technicians and customers, creating stronger relationships and personalized experiences. This is designed to improve consultations with everyone from financial advisors and doctors to mechanics, with the goal of troubleshooting problems remotely.

Workforce Engagement Intraday Management enables companies to close the gap between forecasted work and actual staffing needs. Companies can improve customer experience and agent morale by adjusting employee schedules when things don’t go as planned, such as if there is a severe weather incident and call volumes spike.

● Service Cloud Voice brings together phone, digital channels and CRM data in one central workspace for service agents. Service Cloud Voice works with 10 partners on the AppExchange.

Salesforce will offer more information on the updates on Salesforce+ at the Dreamforce ’21 Service Cloud 360 keynote on Sept. 22 at 2:30 p.m. PT.

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