When you start down the road of digital transformation, one of your top long-term goals should be a total reinvention of the customer experience. Customers who have seamless, overwhelmingly positive experiences interacting with your business are likely to become loyal customers who spend more and who recommend you to others. In fact, two out of three marketing leaders agree that their company is increasingly competing on the basis of customer experience, as opposed to on price or marketing dominance, according to a 2017 Salesforce study. Furthermore, 66 percent of customers report that when they’re treated by a company as a number instead of an individual, they become likely to switch brands.
When you commit to digital transformation, it becomes your framework and approach for reinventing your customer experience. As we discussed in our previous blog post on digital transformation, Salesforce should be at the heart of your transformation strategy. What makes Salesforce so invaluable is that it creates strong alignment between what modern customers expect from your company and what you’re able to consistently deliver to these customers. All of the features of Salesforce—from its intuitive design and omnichannel presence to its analytical capabilities and artificial intelligence—are built to streamline, automate, and enhance how your customers interact with you through the full sales lifecycle. Let’s explore five essential strategies for using the transformative power of Salesforce to reinvent your customer experience:
1. Enrich your customer records with contextualizing data
When customers make contact with a company, they expect the company to know everything about them—their preferences, concerns, purchase history, all prior contacts with the company, even what has previously been marketed and promoted to them. You don’t want to be the company that forces customers to spend time explaining and re-explaining their prior interactions with you. You want to use Salesforce to enrich your customer records with all relevant contextualizing information. Salesforce excels at pulling together these disparate data points and serving them up when and where they’re needed, creating unified, personal customer journeys. Salesforce also automatically uses powerful artificial intelligence capabilities to continually analyze customer data, ensuring you gain insights into what your customers are thinking and what sorts of messages and information will resonate most with them.
2. Align your sales, marketing, and customer service teams
In a typical business, the sales lifecycle is divided up into three discrete and disconnected pieces: The marketing team handles presale customer engagement, the sales team takes customers through the sales funnel, and the customer service team handles followup engagements. These three teams have limited interaction with one another, even though they are all serving the same customer. With Salesforce, all of these teams work from the same platform and contribute all of their customer data to a single system of record. You can use this information to build powerful, 360-degree views of your customers that help all of your teams to personalize and enhance the customer experience.
3. Create consistent experiences across all customer-facing channels
No matter where your customers make contact with you, they expect to have the same high-quality experience—whether through social media, texting, web chats, email, phone, or screen sharing. Three out of four customers said in a recent Salesforce survey that they expect companies to provide a consistent experience across every communication channel. Salesforce is your go-to solution; the platform excels at managing all of these communication channels, creates centralized records of all of these interactions, and consistently recognizes and remembers your customers across communication channels.
4. Eliminate frustrating barriers to access
You cannot afford to lose any customers because of glitchy customer service channels or sluggish browsing/shopping features. With Salesforce, you get elegant, powerful interfaces that perform reliably and deliver the intuitive user experiences that your customers automatically expect to find. Furthermore, Salesforce’s Identity feature unifies and streamlines the user registration and authentication process, and includes customer-friendly features like social logins, user profile management, and automatic connections to IoT devices and other apps.
5. Build custom tools that will resonate with customers
Every business has an intuitive understanding of what its customers are looking for when interfacing with the company. Perhaps your customers would benefit from access to a custom app that could simplify or streamline a common pain point. Or perhaps you need an integration that can connect two related sets of customer-facing records. No matter what you need, Salesforce provides a way to build these solutions. The Salesforce Lightning app builder allows you to use simple drag-and-drop tools and templates to design custom apps and other solutions—often with zero coding. You also can tap into Salesforce’s enormous AppExchange store to find solutions that you may have thought would need to be built from scratch, but that are actually available out of the box.
If you’re struggling to pinpoint what changes you could make to significantly improve your customer experience, the solution is simple: Become your customer. Sign up as a customer, go through the entire sales lifecycle, and dissect what works and what doesn’t. That way, you’ll be able to use a Salesforce-powered digital transformation to enrich your customer records, align your sales and marketing teams with your customer service team, create consistency across communication channels, eliminate customer barriers to accessing what they want from you, and build custom tools that will resonate with your customers.
In the next blog post, we’re going to take a deeper dive into Salesforce-powered digital transformations, focusing on a less publicized but vitally important element of Salesforce known as Quote-to-Cash. We’ll explain why the Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) process is at the heart of driving improvements to your customer experience.