Key Dreamforce Takeaways for Salesforce and the Future of Artificial Intelligence

We’ve all heard the buzzword “artificial intelligence” or AI, but do we truly know how the concept will impact our future workforce?

At Dreamforce this year, one answer became clear: AI will not replace our jobs. In fact, based on a Salesforce survey conducted during the conference, many attendees believe that AI will actually enable workers to be more productive and creative in the years to come.

Let’s review some of the other key takeaways from Dreamforce and learn how AI will influence the future of work—both on Salesforce projects and within organizations as a whole.

Automated data analytics will empower strategic thinking

The automation of data analytics was a hot topic at Dreamforce, and numerous sessions mentioned AI and machine learning’s influence in the area. Many presenters and attendees expressed the opinion that utilizing AI and machine learning for data analytics will give our workforce the time, resources and business insights to engage in more high-level, strategic thinking. AI and machine learning will automate administrative tasks, reducing the burden of manual data analysis and leaving employees freer to develop, analyze and execute upon these plans.

Einstein innovations will increase productivity

I had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of a new Salesforce product, Einstein Voice. Einstein Voice enables users to speak to Salesforce in real-time, and its demo inspired many oohs and aahs from the audience. Using Einstein Voice, employees will be able to request knowledge articles, submit case studies and more—effortlessly, through the sound of their voice. This new tool will dramatically increase workforce utility and productivity by reducing the time it takes to search and submit help desk tickets.

AI will enhance customer journeys

Dreamforce offered a wide range of sessions exploring the future of customer experience and AI. The main takeaway from these conversations was the potential for AI and automated analytics to enhance customer journeys. Several companies currently using AI to analyze customers’ movement through their journeys told us that the power of AI has helped shift them “from walk to run” much more quickly and efficiently—thereby deepening relationships and gaining a competitive edge.

Customer 360 will transform digital and in-person experiences

In the same vein, the State Farm and Louis Vuitton Dreamforce sessions on Customer 360 made it clear that AI is transforming the concept. Customer 360 refers to a holistic customer profile that captures different types of data from across channels and systems, aggregates that data to understand what’s important to customers, and applies those insights to deliver personalized, engaging experiences.

State Farm demonstrated how it’s utilizing the entire Salesforce suite and analyzing data (with the assistance of AI) to drive customer retention. By ensuring that customer issues are assigned to internal team members with experience in the appropriate area, they’re able to deliver faster, easier issue resolution. And because representatives are armed with a complete, 360-degree view of the customer, they’re able to address issues more efficiently based on a snapshot data overview. With all of the relevant data in one place, representatives don’t have to search for records and documents or open multiple tabs to reach a simple resolution—enabling the kind of rapid, next-level customer service that boosts engagement.

Louis Vuitton’s Customer 360 approach also exemplifies the power of Einstein Digital. The company is using the tool to personalize customer emails based on shopping history, but even more notably, it’s using it to transform customers’ in-store retail experiences as well. When a known customer enters a Louis Vuitton boutique, store employees can review their shopping history using an app on their tablets. Based on search data and the client’s shopping trends, the app will suggest items for the salesperson to offer—pieces the customer is likely to want, but may not have discovered yet. In this way, not only is the in-store retail experience enhanced but also, fresh revenue opportunities uncovered.

The bottom line

In short, the number of AI @ mentions at Dreamforce was overwhelming. Even during sessions where AI didn’t seem directly relevant, it was mentioned. It’s exciting to see how AI has already started to impact our workforce—and to envision how it will continue to do so in the future.

Many at Dreamforce noted that we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of AI’s potential. While there’s a long road ahead towards full utilization of AI and machine learning, it’s undeniable that thanks to these technologies, administrative burdens will diminish, and workforce productivity and creativity will grow in years to come.

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