The pace of change today is relentless, and so very exciting. But it can also get a bit overwhelming. On the Salesforce Advantage Tour in Sydney, we took some time to help customers come to terms with some of the more exciting concepts that can bring an edge over their competition and keep pace with their customers needs. In an inspiring and mind-expanding keynote our speakers shared valuable insights into how to survive and thrive in the Digital Age:

1. Machine Learning

It might seem a bit counterintuitive for a technology company to talk about “technology disappearing” but that’s exactly what Derek Laney spoke about when looking at “Machine Learning”. This is the idea that technology is becoming so smart that any friction in the way we interact with technology is vanishing very fast. For instance this rough schematic from well known Data Scientist Rand Hindi shows how we are right on the cusp of an explosion in Artificial Intelligence:

This notion is of course important in every aspect of our daily life, but as brands we must begin to engineer the customer experience in a way that exploits it. Customer relationships are not as predictable as we like to think and so our CRM must study individual behaviours and map the brand experience to them. This isn’t simply about personalisation, but about the seamlessness of the interaction. Very soon, customers will expect not to notice the technology. Your technology must slip quietly into the background.  

2. Human Centred Design

Next up our regional lead for the Analytics Cloud - Rowena Westphalen - gave us a thought provoking and entertaining view of how we need to re-frame our perspective in order to adapt to this new world. There was no better example of what this looked like than the Chau Chak Wing at the University of Technology in Sydney:

Rowena took the audience on an interesting journey into the mind of the designer. Human Centred Design is a popular methodology at the heart of modern customer experience engineering. Through a number of exercises Rowena showed us how to empathise with the customer, how to ask new questions in order to challenge preconceived notions and how to better contextualise the data we are collecting all the time. Finally her best advice was to look to children to disrupt our perspective of the status quo - they won’t need asking twice.

3. Diagnosing Disruption

Keeping everyone awake at night is the thought that there’s an Uber or an Airbnb waiting around the next corner to disrupt their business. The best advice is that if anyone is going to disrupt your business, it should be you. Our Strategic Innovation Director, Rob Cheyne gave a masterclass on how to do that. He began with probably the most important point - where to start:

The easiest point to disrupt, he said, was the Operating Model of your business. More specifically, you should look to where the friction in the customer experience is. He defined friction as, “Interactions that inhibit people from intuitively and painlessly achieving their goals”. He continued: “Redesign the customer journey, reduce friction, make customers love interacting with you”.

Rob offers a complete step-by-step process on how to achieve such a re-design in the keynote. You can learn more by downloading the slides from the Digital Age Keynote from our resource centre HERE.

Download the 2015 State of Service report now to see the trends that are shaping the customer service industry today.