One of the key messages from Salesforce World Tour London. (Product managers, you might want to look away now.)

Your product can only be as good as the service you provide. (Sorry!)

Customer experience isn’t an add-on to your product, it is your product. With that in mind, it may be time to re-think the sales, marketing and service infrastructure you use to bring it to market.

These are the foundations on which customer experience is built and this experience is more important than price or any product features. If you rely on clunky legacy systems to power your customer experience, do so at your own peril - you may find you’ve built a steel roof above your product launch pad.

The problem is, upgrading may be necessary, but it can also be painful.

Doing nothing is not really a viable option if you hope to avoid falling into the dreaded Customer Gap that yawns between service expectations and reality. 

The new Service Cloud

Smart businesses are taking action. With the help of solutions like Salesforce Service Cloud, they’re able to:

  1. Personalise their service
  2. Deliver smarter customer support
  3. Do it all faster

Responsive service

Before you can achieve true personalisation you need to ask where in the world your customers are. Luckily, the answer’s simple. They’re mobile; so they’re everywhere. Your customer facing teams need to be able to track customers across multiple devices and locations to truly deliver a joined-up experience.

Customers are also at home on social media, and this has had a major effect on their service expectations. On email, a customer might look for a service response within a day or two. On social, we’re through the looking glass and that window of expectation has shrunk right down to a matter of hours or even minutes.

Smarter customer service: Eurostar

One of the companies Salesforce is helping to deliver intelligent customer service is Eurostar. At Salesforce World Tour London, Eurostar CIO Antoine de Kerviler spoke about the need to supply the right data to agents on the customer service front line. 

In call centres, that means equipping staff with the right tools so they have a single view of the customer. 

On the station platform, it’s an app that lets the train manager communicate with ground staff. And the plan is to expand the functionality so that the manager has instant access to customer information. This will enable faster, more efficient customer service on the ground in cases where a passenger’s journey has been disrupted. 

These tools bring customer service agents timely information about customer history and preference; for customers, the value is in a tailored, hassle-free experience. Antoine summed it up nicely: “If you get an answer before you even ask the question, you’re satisfied.”

You can check out this on-demand webinar with Eurostar: Make service EASY for your customers and deliver an amazing customer experience to hear their full story. 

Full speed ahead

The call to action from Salesforce World Tour is to grab the customer service opportunities opened up by cloud solutions - not just for short-term gains but for faster, more efficient processes in future.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget all of the innovations that are made possible by a secure, high-performance cloud platform to power your customer experiences. Don’t. 

After all, would you rather spend your time innovating or just keeping the lights on?

Key takeaways

  • Your product is only as good as the service you provide
  • Experience is the most important thing for the customer of the future
  • System upgrades are painful but necessary – avoid the Customer Gap
  • Your customers are everywhere because they’re mobile
  • Speed is the new business currency
  • Grab the opportunities cloud offers - it’s better to innovate than just keep the lights on