At U.S. Bank, customers and their experiences with us are central to everything we do. As we evolve with our customers, “One U.S. Bank” is the guiding principle that is transforming U.S. Bank for our employees and customers, and the use of Artificial Intelligence is driving that transformation.

In the past, we faced significant challenges in delivering a unified customer experience. Business lines were siloed, customer information existed in disparate systems and employees had different understandings of customers’ needs and expectations. A customer could have savings and checking accounts, a mortgage, credit cards, small business loans and family wealth being managed by U.S. Bank—but would be engaging with employees who had an incomplete and inconsistent picture of his or her current and future needs.

At the same time, the expectations of banking customers are being shaped by their experiences with companies like Apple, Amazon and Disney, which offer comprehensive assistance, recommendations, advice and transparency 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. “Our customers don’t compare us with other banks, they compare us to whoever is providing their best user experience,” said Bill Hoffman, U.S. Bank Chief Analytics Officer and head of Customer Relationship Management.

U.S. Bank wanted to provide access to customers to financial services across all channels, including our 3,000-plus branches, ATMs, mobile devices and computers. We also wanted a single, unified database of customer information. The solution: a partnership with Salesforce that is central to harnessing the power of all our customer information—coupled with the bank’s pioneering use of the analytics and insights of Einstein, Salesforce’s artificial intelligence platform.

Our work with Salesforce started modestly, beginning with Small Business Banking in 2009. Salesforce has now been implemented across our home mortgage, credit card payments, wealth management and commercial banking business lines. More than 12,000 U.S. Bank employees use Salesforce to help deliver a “customer-obsessed” experience everywhere they possibly can.

"Artificial—Let’s Call it Augmented - Intelligence Is Vital to Delivering an Improved Customer Experience Both Today and in the Future"

U.S. Bank now drives the customer experience with the data it gleans from Einstein, using it to help bankers build relationships with customers by having the right conversation at the right time. Customers expect their bank to know them in this digital age, and Einstein can spot and notify bankers of anything from spending patterns indicative of prospective first-time homebuyers to news articles about customers receiving awards in their communities.

At U.S. Bank, we consider our use of Einstein as “augmented intelligence,” because there is nothing artificial about building good relationships with people. We’re leveraging Einstein to help human beings do what they do best—be human.

The progress so far in coupling the power of Salesforce and the insights of Einstein with 12,000 employees: a lift in converting high-quality sales leads by 2.35 times. And there is no denying the positive effect of providing U.S. Bank employees with accurate, complete and timely information regarding customers, because that allows them to engage with the customer in the most human way possible.

Artificial—let’s call it Augmented—Intelligence is vital to delivering an improved customer experience both today and in the future. As customers connect in more ways across a greater number of devices, the opportunity to gather and gain insights and act upon them becomes increasingly important. The organizations that employ this will be creating a sustainable and scalable relationship with their customers, to the benefit of all involved.