In the past year, we’ve gone from considering remote teams to relying on them for business survival. The digital experience has become synonymous with growth. Equipping customers, employees, and partners with integrated technology and unified data is a great start, but customers have also evolved, and they expect more. According to our latest State of the Connected Customer report, 88% of customers expect brands to accelerate digital initiatives due to physical limitations. Businesses have been called to serve customers in ways they never dreamed of – and discover their own untapped potential along the way.
Which employee experiences and technology will help serve the customer first? Well, it depends. Your business, your goals, your needs, and your customers are all unique. And your hurdles can only be jumped when you know exactly where, when, and how to take those first steps, and then leap. The tools of business are not one-size-fits-all. Create your own Customer 360 to help you solve for 2021.
Here are a few questions your organization should be thinking about to help you assess your current (and future) needs:
How can you redefine your relationships with customers?
The pandemic motivated brands to create new digitized experiences for customers (and the employees that cater to them). They’re also thinking about how to evolve those customer relationships.
For example, in the last year, five-star restaurant experiences have arrived at your door via mobile app. Customer service departments have become live chats and social channels, expediting call hold times after decades of complaints. Even luxury car companies like Bentley Motors now deliver a personalized customer experience behind a screen – with 20% revenue growth during an economic downturn. What helped propel this? Integrated cloud technologies such as customer relationship management (CRM) tools to unite teams with a single view of the customer, and provide the personalized experiences customers love.
The companies who will succeed share a clear imperative: to reinvent themselves for this digital-first, work-from-anywhere world.Bret Taylor, chief operating officer at Salesforce
A recent survey covering digital transformation during COVID-19 found that companies made cloud computing their biggest spend to focus on integrated customer touchpoints across the organization. More than half the executives surveyed (55%) predicted the pandemic would increase their cloud spending in the future. Identifying cloud solutions designed for your unique business needs is necessary to redefine business relationships in the year ahead.
Which digital experiences can most quickly see an impact?
Strategic planning takes years. Accelerating digital transformation starts with identifying and prioritizing the areas that put your customers first. What will drive the highest impact for your business with the fewest resources?
New processes and dismantling legacy systems requires more than just a tech stack. It requires building an entirely new mindset. “The companies who will succeed share a clear imperative: to reinvent themselves for this digital-first, work-from-anywhere world,” said Bret Taylor, chief operating officer at Salesforce.
Think about how you can consolidate processes and technology to connect data in a meaningful way. For example, combine your email marketing team with sales operations to integrate customer history into email campaigns for more personalized interactions. Both teams could then access a single-source of truth to better meet evolving customer demands.
Unite your company around your customers to help prioritize what to take digital first. Leaders from all stakeholding departments should assess their needs with the Customer 360 Solution Finder together. Collectively prioritize the areas that will drive the fastest growth for the company overall.
How can I integrate customer touchpoints more effectively?
Customers don’t want to repeat their contact information, order history, or complaints repeatedly to different departments. They want their information to travel with them across the company for seamless, connected communication and digital experiences.
Integrated customer touchpoints help multiple teams within an organization take relevant and appropriate next best actions. Seamless customer data reduces the friction of siloed teams within an organization. Research indicates that companies who aren’t seeing their whole customer are falling behind. Seventy-six percent of customers expect consistent interactions across departments. In 2020, 52% of customers expected offers to always be personalized — up from 49% in 2019.
Integrated touchpoints require teams to connect through Application Programming Interface system integrations (APIs). This means that two or more teams can work from the same historical data, share technology access, and collaborate on the technology that best enhances employees’ work. Ultimately, this shared knowledge across teams serves the customer better. Companies like MuleSoft, a data integration platform, can pull data from sources inside and outside of Salesforce, synchronize it, and help to distill meaningful insights for teams across the organization.
Customers are expecting your organization to rise to the occasion of knowing them, personalizing your communication with them, and solving their problems fast. It’s time for forward-thinking businesses to look into new systems that can meet their demand. Digital experiences have become a business imperative. Survival relies on consolidated processes, working from data, and providing customers options in a digital-first economy.