Skip to Content

4 Extraordinary Ways To Act On Salesforce’s State Of The Connected Customer Report Today

4 Extraordinary Ways To Act On Salesforce’s State Of The Connected Customer Report Today

Explore some of the most significant stats in the State Of The Connected Customer Report, and how you can start using them to reach “extraordinary” in your business today:

No matter who you were cheering for during this year’s NBA Finals, you have to admit that the Toronto Raptors had an extraordinary year. If you’ve ever read The Handmaid’s Tale or Alias Grace, meanwhile, you’d probably agree that Margaret Atwood is one of Canada’s most extraordinary novelists.

You could probably come up with many more examples of extraordinary Canadians, Canadian places or things. What might take a little more thought is a recent memory of a truly extraordinary customer experience.

According to the third edition of Salesforce’s State Of The Connected Customer Report, however, striving for the extraordinary isn’t just something that preoccupies the biggest businesses. Based on a survey of more than 8,000 people — including both consumers and business buyers — the research shows how quickly expectations change.

In fact, nearly three quarters of those surveyed, or 73%, said one extraordinary experience with a company causes them to want the same or better from other businesses. Suddenly, being “second best” in any industry or sector means you might as well be considered last.

Before throwing up your hands in defeat, remember that extraordinary often simply means finding ways to anticipate the customer’s needs and approach them in the most personal way possible. Technology allows companies of any size to do this, just as it has empowered customers to shop around like never before.

Read on for a sneak peek at some of the most significant stats in the State Of The Connected Customer Report, and how you can start using them to reach “extraordinary” in your business today:

1. Dig out some definitions of ‘extraordinary’ in your customer data

Unfortunately, what many customers might see as “ordinary” involves negative characteristics. They might find it normal (but still frustrating) that they’re put on hold whenever they call a company’s customer service department, for instance. Or they might see it as par for the course that they get treated like strangers by a company, even if they’ve made multiple purchases in the past. This helps explain why 84% of those surveyed said the experience a business offers is as important as its products or services.

So what does “extraordinary” look like in your business? The answers are most likely to be found in the information you’ve been collecting all along if you use a CRM like Sales Cloud, marketing automation like Marketing Cloud or customer service tools like Service Cloud.

Schedule a brainstorming session with those who lead each of these teams, asking them to do a bit of homework beforehand where they identify some of their biggest successes. Who unexpectedly made a bigger purchase? Who engaged the most with your marketing content? Who said they were willing to be a referral (without even having to be asked first?).

Chances are there was something someone on the team did that went above and beyond the ordinary. How can that become more turnkey and repeatable? How can you measure the impact of doing so? Who will own this change in process or policy? As you start to address these questions you’ll be in a good position to replicate more of those successes you see in the data.

2. Ask your customers about the extraordinary potential of technology

As the State Of The Connected Customer Report shows, there are ways brands can provide products, services and other experiences that would have been unthinkable even a few years ago. When companies are still in the small to medium-sized stage, of course, it might seem overwhelming to try every tool under the sun. That said, a whopping 75% of customers said they expect companies to use new technologies to create better experiences.

If you’ve developed an email database of any kind, think about how you could use it to survey your customers about the ways digital tools could enhance the experiences you offer them. Conduct a Twitter chat with some of your most loyal followers about the digital ways of dealing with businesses that impress them in other sectors. Maybe ask your sales reps to query their customers on how digital could improve your firm’s processes. Use whatever feedback mechanism makes sense to get ideas.

3. Build an extraordinary level of trust

Everything about running a business costs money, from hiring people to owning an office. Trust, however, may be the most expensive resource of all. More than half, or 54%, of those we surveyed said it’s harder than ever for companies to earn their trust.

While trust might be an area you want to try to work on from the start of a relationship, you might see better results at the service and support stage. If you can improve your responsiveness to questions or complaints, for instance, the time to resolve an issue or even help customers avoid problems in the first place, they’ll trust you more the next time around. Word will spread. This can also happen through smart policies, whether it’s a money-back guarantee, longer trial periods for demo products and so on.

4. Make it clear you operate based on extraordinary values

Price and features are one thing, but integrity may make the difference between customers that want to stay connected and those who walk away.

According to our research, 73% of customers say a company’s ethics matter more than they did a year ago. That means you can’t afford to let customers guess what your values are.

Take a second look at the “About Us” page on your website. Beyond your firm’s history or basic descriptors, how do you communicate what your brand stands for? Think about how this can be woven throughout your content marketing efforts, whether it’s a series of blog posts that address ethical concerns in your industry, a video with your CEO or even a live event. The clearer and more consistent you are in communicating your values, the more likely your customers will remember them.

This is just the start of your “extraordinary” journey as a business. For much more information and ideas, check out the third edition of The State of The Connected Customer report in its entirety.

Third Edition State of the connected customer.

Get timely updates and fresh ideas delivered to your inbox.