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An overview of how Einstein Bots works within the Salesforce Service Cloud. (Salesforce Image)

Salesforce continues to build out the non-salesy parts of its software-as-a-service portfolio, making new features for its Service Cloud generally available as of Wednesday and introducing a new feature for customer service reps that tries to anticipate what customers might actually want with some help from machine learning.

Service Cloud is designed for the people who have to actually work with customers after a sale is made, and Salesforce added three new features to Service Cloud Wednesday that are based around its Einstein artificial-intelligence research projects: Einstein Bots, Lightning Flow, and Einstein Next Best Action. Einstein Bots and Lightning Flow were first introduced at Dreamforce 2017, while Next Best Action is brand-new and available as part of a pilot program, said Bobby Amezaga, senior director, Salesforce Service Cloud product marketing.

Einstein Bots allows customer-service organizations to set up automated responses that gather the most basic customer information or answer simple questions before those inquiries are passed along to a service representative. Amezaga noted that Salesforce encourages its customers to make it clear that the bots are computers, rather than trying to pretend they are actual humans and either disappointing or freaking out their own customers.

An overview of Einstein Next Best Action inside Salesforce Service Cloud. (Salesforce Image)

Lightning Flow for Service lets customers set up menu trees of options based on common requests, and also helps automate responses on the customer-service side to improve workflows, Amezaga said.

Einstein Next Best Action is new as of Wednesday. It takes in data about customers and direction from Service Cloud users about how to offer certain incentives or upsell features at various points in the customer interaction.

Service Cloud is the second-biggest business unit within Salesforce, trailing its flagship Sales Cloud product but growing faster than its older sibling in the first quarter of its 2019 fiscal year.

[Editor’s Note: Salesforce is a GeekWire annual sponsor.]

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