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Salesforce Report: Teams Tap AI and Data to Drive Revenue as Service Expectations Rise

Both service and field service organizations are increasing their investment in AI to meet rising customer expectations and unlock revenue-generating opportunities, according to new research from Salesforce’s sixth State of Service report.

Gathering insights from over 5,500 service professionals in 30 countries, the State of Service report highlights the priorities, challenges, and strategies shaping customer service in the AI era.

“Service and field service teams are getting more proactive and productive with the power of data and AI,” said Kishan Chetan, EVP and General Manager of Service Cloud. “They’re deflecting more issues with smarter self-service. And they’re devoting more time and energy to generating revenue — pointing to a fundamental shift in their role within the business.”

They’re deflecting more issues with smarter self-service. And they’re devoting more time and energy to generating revenue — pointing to a fundamental shift in their role within the business.

Kishan Chetan, EVP and General Manager of Service Cloud

Service organizations double down on revenue generation

The trend of viewing service as a revenue driver instead of a cost center is accelerating.  Eighty-five percent of service decision makers now say their teams are expected to contribute a larger slice of revenue over the coming year through upselling, cross-selling, and customer retention. This parallels a jump in the number of organizations tracking service-driven revenue — from 51% in 2018 to 91% in 2024.

The strategic emphasis on revenue generation is fueling bigger budgets and larger teams. Overall, service decision makers expect budgets to grow by an average of 23% over the next year. Meanwhile, over three-quarters (76%) anticipate expanding their headcount.

Agents and mobile workers face mounting pressure

With 88% of customers saying good service makes them more likely to purchase from the same company again, it’s clear that customer experience is key to driving revenue. However, delivering on expectations isn’t as simple as in years past:

  • 86% of agents and 74% of mobile workers say customer expectations are getting higher.
  • 81% of agents and 76% of mobile workers say customers expect more of a personal touch.

This may be why service decision makers cite keeping up with changing customer expectations as their organizations’ top challenge.

One expectation is especially tricky. Over half of customers (53%) — and nearly three-quarters of business buyers (73%) — want companies to predict their needs before they arise. However, there’s a disconnect between what businesses think they’re doing and what customers actually experience. While 61% of service teams believe they are proactive in addressing issues, only a third of customers (33%) agree that companies generally anticipate and act on their needs ahead of time.

On top of increasingly sophisticated demands from customers, 76% of service organizations anticipate higher case volumes in the year ahead. The risk of burnout or failure in this scenario is a major factor for agents, who are already stretched thin. 

Organizations lean into AI, automation, and data to boost efficiency, sales

AI and automation may present solutions for over-burdened agents tasked with revenue generation. Currently, agents spend just 39% of their time servicing customers amid competing demands like internal meetings, administrative tasks, and manually logging case notes.

Ninety-three percent of service professionals at organizations with AI say the technology saves them time. By responding to simple queries and crafting self-help knowledge articles, AI clears the way for human agents to focus on more fulfilling and higher value work, such as building customer relationships and resolving complex cases.

  • At companies with AI, 88% of agents cite building customer relationships as a key responsibility. Meanwhile, just 75% of agents say this at organizations without AI.

Service organizations also report using AI to directly help with revenue generation by providing intelligent recommendations and offers to agents.

Savvy service organizations are taking note of the promise AI and another efficiency driver, automation can bring. Currently, 79% of organizations have invested in AI while 81% use workflow or process automation. Looking ahead, 83% of decision makers plan to increase their AI investments over the next year, with the same amount planning to boost automation investments. 

For both AI and employees, personalizing service interactions requires customer knowledge, which often is drawn from many different data sources. Empowering AI and employees with a complete view is a clear priority for decision makers, 83% of whom plan to boost investments in data integration over the next year.

Existing investments appear to be paying off. As AI, automation, and data capabilities mature, organizations are getting better at striking the right balance between service speed and quality — a notoriously difficult challenge. In 2022, 76% of agents cited juggling these competing priorities as difficult, but that percentage dropped to 69% in this year’s report.

More information

  • Read the full State of Service report
  • Explore more top generative AI statistics
  • Register for our upcoming State of Service webinar
  • Try this interactive calculator to learn about Service Cloud ROI


Salesforce conducted a double-anonymous survey of over 5,500 professionals in roles including service operations, service agents, mobile workers, service managers/directors, and service leadership/head of service. Respondents were sourced from 30 countries and five continents. The data was collected between December 8, 2023, and January 22, 2024.


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