Einstein ‘makes every customer interaction smart’

Already a dominant force in customer relationship management, Salesforce is now laying claims to be the “world’s smartest CRM” with the launch of Einstein, its new artificial intelligence.

Einstein, Salesforce says, not only adds new AI capabilities to its existing platform of applications for sales, service and marketing professionals… it makes it possible for “everyone” to now build intelligent apps that “get smarter with every interaction.”

While tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft all have deep capabilities in machine learning and artificial intelligence, most other companies don’t have the know-how and technology needed to develop their own smart applications in-house.

“They must bring together massive and diverse data sets, which requires significant engineering resources to manage complex data integration processes,” Salesforce says. “Specialized predictive models must then be built to extract value from the data and continuously learn from it, requiring extensive data science expertise. And infrastructure and devops support are required to maintain these models and keep all of these processes up and running.”

Some early adopters have already been running Einstein to make their encounters with customers ever-smarter. Sports merchandise company Fanatics, for example, says the new AI has enabled more timely campaigns and more relevant recommendations for its clientele.

“Salesforce Einstein gives us a smart, personalized and predictive way to connect millions of sports fans to hundreds of thousands of their favorite team and player items across more than 300 offline and online stores that we operate across our platform,” says chief marketing and revenue officer Chris Orton.

Successfully applying AI to sales and customer service requires a number of specialized capabilities, says vice president of global customer transformation Robert DeSisto. To improve customer experience, artificial intelligence must be able to analyze both structured and unstructured data — everything from images and emails to sales information — and it must also deliver its insights in ways that make sense for sales professionals. Real-time decision-making, learning from new information as it becomes available and communicating through preferred channels are all also important.

“Einstein was not built as a general purpose AI tool, it was built for the purpose of helping companies connect to customers and enhance customer relationships,” DeSisto wrote in a blog post. “Einstein makes every customer interaction a smart interaction.”

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