AI-Powered Personalization for Salesforce

September 28, 2018 Audrey Patenaude, Director, Acquisition & Partner Marketing, Coveo, & Jeff Grosse, Managing Consultant, Digital Strategy, Appirio

Too much data and knowledge exists for companies to manually sift through these days. The complexities of intersecting data points, history, experience, trends, and a constantly changing landscape for business leaves you with three options: hire a team of data scientists, consider what next generations systems can do, or fall behind. In many cases, companies are already behind and need a shot of nitro added to a heavy gas pedal to fly past the competition.

Unfortunately, our economy is facing a significant skill shortage, particularly in data science, so finding qualified resources is not only a challenge but its costly. This has encouraged companies to rely on AI to do the tasks they can't find people to do. Fortunately, AI is both capable and cost-effective. In fact, AI often performs better, faster and with more accuracy, helping companies make the most informed decisions and allowing them to strike while the iron is hot.

The current reality for most organizations

Everyone wants AI but they don't really know what it is, how it works, and more importantly, how it can work for their organizations and where to start. As a result, they’re pushing off their digital transformation initiatives and many feel that they’ve missed the boat entirely. Truthfully, it’s not their fault, a lot of vendors claim they do AI but have a hard time showing measurable value which only contributes to companies’ hesitation.

However, there are vendors that offer AI solutions and can show measurable business value. For example, Salesforce has leveraged AI with Einstein, which truly helps with calendar planning, lead routing, intent recognitions for chatbots and more.

What 'good' looks like

Due to the consumer experience bar that is set by tech giants like Amazon and Google, most of Appirio’s customers also want to deliver similar, contextually relevant and timely experiences and are looking for solutions who can help them achieve it. They want to help their customers self-serve, remove friction from the sales process and deliver personalized end-to-end digital experiences. 

By leveraging AI, organizations can know who uses their product or service, they can anticipate the needs of their customers and prospects, and empower them with the best information according to their context and intent in that given moment. This degree of personalization not only increases and expedites the sales process, but it builds customer loyalty and increases customer lifetime value. 

But “good” indicators aren’t exclusive to the customer experience. AI can have a profound impact on employee experience as well. Giving employees access to the most relevant information, such as customer information, search behavior and purchase history, enables them to enhance the customer experience as well, at every touch point of their journey. 

Integrating AI and personalization on top of your Salesforce platform

Salesforce is starting to deliver some components around personalization with Einstein with Recommendations, Experts and Insights, but in my opinion, the most serious vendor actually delivering personalization and measurable results with AI right now is Coveo. With multiple search components available, Coveo’s AI-powered search is easily dragged and dropped into Community Cloud, Service Cloud or App Cloud. They’ve got a really impressive analytics platform that captures different signals during a support session like clicks, sequenced actions, and bounce rates. All of that information is leveraged by its machine learning capabilities to improve the entire self-service experience directly across the entire Salesforce Ecosystem. 

Coveo leverages AI-powered search and recommendations to support the entire customer journey and support process. It helps customers find the information they are looking for more quickly by providing a fast, personalized and relevant search experience. For example, it helps customers find knowledge articles pre-filtered for the products they own. It helps agents become more proficient by providing them with contextual case-solving knowledge from across the enterprise in context of their case, and have a unified view of the customer journey. It also informs knowledge managers on what type of content is performing well, where there are content gaps and, based on search trends that are yielding no results, what type of content they need to create to better serve their customer. 

Perhaps the best part, they also have a very flexible developer framework and robust documentation to develop custom apps on top of Salesforce Platform. You can use Coveo immediately and start seeing results in a matter of days, with a point and a click right on their out-of-the-box option. If you want to get your hands dirty, you can develop to your heart’s content to go even further.

How Appirio personalizes the employee experience

In the spirit of minimizing time to value of their platform, Salesforce is really hitting the mark with their Lightning Bolt platform. Appirio has built one of the most popular Bolt Solutions on the marketplace. It's an Employee Community that uses Community Cloud as a backbone, Orchestra CSM as a way to improve content management, then, we use Coveo to deliver a relevant search experience, indexing Intranet and HR content from various repositories. The most common we've seen are SharePoint, Google Site, Google Drive, Box, and on-premises content on file shares and legacy systems. The outcome is shorter time to proficiency from new employees, improved communication to everyone, and a comprehensive, trusted site to serve all employees.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your digital transformation initiative you are not alone, but the longer you wait, the further you fall behind your competition. AI has proven to be a key differentiator for businesses in the digital age. There are solution providers that can both improve your customer experience and your bottom line. If you’d like to learn more about how Appirio and Coveo are future-proofing support organizations with Salesforce, come meet with us at Dreamforce.

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