Salesforce focuses on the importance of customer experience in the midst of ‘fourth industrial revolution’
Cloud-based business software giant Salesforce has brought its World Tour to the Excel Centre in London today, with the morning’s keynote being heavily focused on the importance of people.
More specifically, a lot of time was given to the power that customers wield in this ultra-connected world where new competition can seemingly spring up at any moment.
And, thanks to rapid technological advancements, customers now have higher expectations than ever before, so the onus is on businesses to meet these expectations or risk losing out to those who do.
Chief marketing officer Simon Mulcahy kicked things off this morning by speaking about how the rise of the so-called fourth industrial revolution, characterised by the convergence of cloud, social, mobile and technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Thing (IoT) has changed business forever.
“What’s happening is amazing customer experiences are being generated, experiences which are fundamentally changing everything,” he said. “When you go to Amazon.com and you experience predictive recommendations, that doesn’t just ruin it for the other retailers, it ruins it for the healthcare industry, for the financial services industry.
“Because here’s the truth of today; your competition is no longer just the people in your industry, it’s anyone who is speaking to your customers and giving them an amazing experience.
“That’s why we truly believe today we are in the age of the customer, where you have to connect with your customers in a whole new way and you’ve got to put customers in the middle of everything you do.”
Tools such as smart apps, combined with predictive marketing and data analysis, have helped set a new standard that customers in all industries now come to expect and this is only going to develop further as the likes of AI and machine learning get more advanced.
To emphasise the point, Salesforce carried out some research into customer service attitudes in the UK and found poor customer service is the biggest reason consumers are put off a brand, according to 73 percent of respondents.
This was followed by long in-store queues (65 percent) and having a slow or overly confusing website (64 percent).
Furthermore, 36 percent of respondents said that an inconsistent experience across mobile, online and in-store would put them off buying from a brand and almost half (48 percent) said having a personal touch was important in creating a positive customer experience.
“These days, success is all about delivering an outstanding customer experience – one that is personal and timely, that demonstrates how much you understand your customers,” said Gavin Mee, senior vice president of enterprise sales and head of UK at Salesforce.
He added that UK retailers need to “put the customer experience at the forefront of their operations” if they want to get ahead of the competition which, thanks to AI platforms such as Einstein, is more achievable than ever.