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Salesforce brings GPT to customer service, sales platforms

The CRM giant brings generative AI capabilities to its sales and service platforms for fast, relevant email, message and article creation, as well as multilanguage transcription.

Salesforce on Wednesday unveiled Einstein GPT integrations with its customer service and sales platforms.

Einstein GPT, the CRM giant's generative AI assistant -- based partly on technology from Microsoft partner OpenAI -- will help service teams create tailored customer experiences in Service Cloud and write relevant responses in Sales Cloud, among other capabilities, according to Salesforce.

Einstein GPT for Service Cloud and Sales Cloud are now available in closed pilot only.

The vendor heralded the addition of Einstein GPT to the two CRM platforms soon after unveiling the AI assistant's integration with Field Service Mobile, as well as Data Cloud and Flow, last month.

For Salesforce, and many other customer-centric vendors, the hydrant of generative AI technology developments continues to gush, with most of the tech giants and many smaller tech vendors in recent months unveiling their own planned and actual generative AI integrations.

"This space is moving really rapidly," Valoir analyst Rebecca Wettemann said. "I expect we'll see similar announcements continue to come from other vendors."

Creating emails faster

Automatic, personalized email crafting is a prized capability that generative AI can add to CX and CRM vendors' platforms. With the addition of Einstein GPT, Sales Cloud users will also be able to generate relevant emails using CRM data.

By the end of the year, automated email generation will be as ubiquitous as spell check.
Rebecca WettemannAnalyst, Valoir

"Given how much time salespeople spend on crafting emails, this is likely to deliver a lot of benefit for customers," Wettemann said.

Relationship management platform vendor Spiro released a similar new generative AI tool to help sales personnel write emails, she noted.

Salesforce's biggest CRM competitor, Microsoft, in March also said its generative AI assistant Dynamics 365 Copilot will let users write customer email responses in Dynamics 365 Sales and Viva Sales.

"By the end of the year, automated email generation will be as ubiquitous as spell check," Wettemann said.

Competition in the GPT arena

In the GPT battle between Microsoft and Salesforce, who's ahead is debatable.

Compared with Microsoft's Copilot, Einstein GPT lags behind, according to Gartner analyst Kyle Davis.

"Copilot is outpacing Einstein GPT due to the number of Microsoft CRM and ERP products for which Copilot has been announced," Davis said.

Predrag Jakovljevic, analyst at Technology Evaluation Centers, agreed that Microsoft might have an advantage due to its position as an OpenAI insider because the tech giant is the AI research lab's main funder. But Salesforce will likely catch up, he said.

Salesforce has solid offerings with Data Cloud, which unifies company data, and Salesforce's Tableau subsidiary, a longtime analytics and business intelligence (BI) software vendor, Jakovljevic said. Microsoft likewise boasts its own data-propelled Insights products for Dynamics 365 and Viva Sales, as well as Power BI, its self-service BI platform.

"They will likely reach parity eventually," Jakovljevic said.

Einstein GPT in Sales Cloud will also let users transcribe conversations with customers in 14 more languages, including German, Hindi, Japanese and Spanish, for better sales coaching and training, according to Salesforce.

"The coaching aspect is important, highlighting another benefit of generative AI -- scaling the ability of managers to provide data-driven coaching," Wettemann said.

New tools for customer service

Customer service businesses struggle to maintain up-to-date knowledge bases and build new workflows, and Einstein GPT in Service Cloud can help in both these areas, according to Wettemann.

"Einstein GPT will streamline the process for both, enabling companies to focus developer effort on more high-level work and freeing up knowledge worker time to focus on customers," she said.

In Service Cloud, teams can also use Einstein GPT to write responses as well as create overviews of case wrap-ups using secure, appropriate databases supported by Data Cloud, Salesforce said.

But with new technology come new problems. Salesforce is among many vendors holding fast to human expertise and approaching generative AI with caution -- largely because of the common pitfalls of the fast-developing technology, including bias, privacy breaches, and producing false and irrational information.

Salesforce said it is focusing on safety by protecting the privacy of any personally identifying information in data used for training purposes, as well as mitigating bias.

"Salesforce's approach here is focused on making sure AI delivers the right answers, not just answers," Wettemann said. "Key to winning this race will be delivering innovations in AI while making sure guardrails are in place so AI delivers on its promises."

Mary Reines is a news writer covering customer experience and unified communications for TechTarget Editorial. Before TechTarget, Reines was arts editor at the Marblehead Reporter.

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