Today, you’ll learn how Trailblazer Top Dog Education uses data to enhance student and teacher interactions. We’re also going to share our three-step framework to help you achieve success from anywhere. Before we get started, it’s important to understand how customer expectations and behaviours are affecting businesses around the world, especially in South Africa.
As the fourth State of the Connected Customer report has shown us, customer expectations have risen, big time. In South Africa, 74% of consumers feel businesses majorly need to improve service and support. Furthermore, 59% feel there’s a major need for businesses to improve their technology.
More apps, more contact channels, more digital everything. Today’s consumer works, lives, and plays online. And it’s on businesses like yours to adapt to that new consumer behaviour. In fact, 95% of consumers in South Africa expect companies to accelerate their digital initiatives due to COVID-19.
In this blog, we’ll explore:
The secret behind creating powerful digital experiences
How Top Dog Education enhances student and teacher interactions
Our three-step framework to achieve success from anywhere
But first, we’ll be sharing transformation advice from Mushambi Mutuma, CEO of Altivex, Managing Director of Black Powder, and author of Tech Adjacent.
Mushambi Mutuma is a CEO, author, and speaker with over 12 years of experience building brands and businesses across the African continent and the United States. In discussion with Lucy Coles, Partner Account Manager at Salesforce, Mushambi Mutuma shared his thoughts on the pandemic’s impact on digital transformation and how customer expectations have changed.
“COVID-19 sped up digital transformation, leaving businesses little choice but to invest in new technologies to meet changing market demands.”
“The pandemic allowed everyone to have the kind of conversations that have been put off for years,” says Mushambi. It’s no secret that customer centricity is now a tangible market expectation that dictates which companies get ahead. That means you have to deliver intelligent, connected, and personalised customer experiences across every touchpoint.
In South Africa, 86% of consumers expect consistent interactions across departments. And businesses are listening. For example, did you know that 78% of service decision makers say they’ve invested in new service technology in response to the pandemic?
But it’s not just new technology that’s entering the picture. Business models are being reinvented too as new ideas and ecommerce strategies are introduced to help respond to change.
“I truly believe we can predict the future of tech by observing and reacting to the shift in human needs. And two of the biggest needs today will tell you exactly where the market is and what customers want,” says Mushambi. “Those needs are hyper-convenience and hyper-personalisation.”
South Africa’s increased reliance on digital services during COVID-19 has continued to shape customer expectations. From Netflix and Spotify to personalised ecommerce, customers expect the same data-driven personalisation from every brand and interaction.
“The businesses that are doing a great job are those that are adjusting their approach to products, delivery, logistics, and customer service,” says Mushambi.
“Convenience is king, and using data to tailor end-to-end customer journeys is your key differentiator.”
But what does this look like in practice?
Top Dog Education is an education technology company providing personalised, distance learning solutions to help empower teachers and learners worldwide.
“Our system analyses students’ strengths and weaknesses, recommending unique services to help prepare them for any global university application,” says Ryan Swartzberg, Founder of Top Dog Education.
Since starting in 2018, Top Dog has seen student numbers more than double year on year, with COVID-19 providing a huge catalyst. Luckily, by partnering with Heroku – on which it also hosts its integrated app – Top Dog can scale on demand to meet individual student needs.
“Our integrated app lets us specialise on the core of our business – which is seamless and tailored learning,” says Ryan. “Students interact with our learning management system, and we connect their data with support and revenue data in Salesforce to enhance efficiency and identify the impact we are having on each of our students.”
And because everything is connected and integrated, Top Dog can deliver a seamless journey across its learning platform, website, and for staff – its CRM.
Top Dog Education believes each student requires focused attention in the classroom. To help achieve this, teachers and education consultants can get the information they need through self-service tools and access to the right technology.
“From an educator’s perspective, we’re helping to free up time so teachers can spend more contact hours engaging with students and their assignments.”
“By automating lead management and reporting, our educational consultants can spend more time with parents and students. They’re committed entirely to the customer experience,” says Ryan.
Automation is a critical factor in helping to drive efficiency at Top Dog. For example, by using Event Spark, management can automate all administration involved in hosting events.
“Be it parent evenings, promotional lessons, or even webinars about homeschooling, Event Spark takes care of all the busywork – like payments, video integrations, event reminders, and even capturing leads from the delegates,” says Ryan. “And to make life simple, all our webinar leads enter Salesforce where they follow our normal operational pipeline.”
When asked what advice he’d give to start-ups and SMEs in South Africa looking to implement the Salesforce platform, Ryan quickly pointed out the importance of simplicity – and having a partner who understands your goals.
“Don’t overcomplicate it; work with your implementation experts to determine what it is you want to achieve. This will help you configure and understand the platform,” says Ryan.
“Our Salesforce partner has added an extreme amount of value to our business by helping us ensure the platform meets our needs.”
By working with Trailblazers like Top Dog Education, Salesforce has developed a three-stage digital transformation framework to help organisations like yours deliver customer success. Be sure to note this down:
Today’s most successful brands build personalised journeys that tailor every interaction to the customer’s needs. From sales and marketing to e-commerce and service, everyone is connected and aligned around the end-to-end customer experience.
To deliver a truly consistent brand experience across every customer touchpoint, your teams must work from a single source of truth. This means capturing, managing, segmenting, and activating every piece of customer data for secure business-wide access.
To adapt and scale in times of change, you’ll need to innovate and pivot on demand to keep up with customer expectations. By empowering customers, partners, and employees with the right digital tools and automation capabilities, you can bake adaptive agility into your culture.