This year’s Salesforce World Tour London was the largest to date, with 10,000 people filling the London ExCel to hear how their peers in sales, marketing, service and IT are connecting to their customers in whole new ways.
Connecting with customers means different things to different people, but one thing everyone had in common was a need for more intelligence in their customer interactions. As Salesforce CMO Simon Mulcahy said in his opening keynote, we have well and truly entered the Age of Artificial Intelligence, and Salesforce is bringing the power of AI to everybody – but more on that later.
Simon took the opportunity to look back at a year that saw Salesforce’s eighteenth birthday, and to recap some of the growth milestones we hit heading into 2017. Those included reaching a whopping $8.4 billion in revenue in 2016, and being recognised by Forbes as the innovator of the decade.
But all eyes were on the UK now, and Simon shared some stats about the Salesforce Economy at home. In the UK alone, Salesforce is forecast to create 150,000 jobs and a GDP contribution of £35 billion by 2020. We heard about some of the trusted partnerships Salesforce has forged with British businesses already – thanks to sustained investment in these kinds of relationships, nearly two-thirds of the FTSE are Salesforce customers today.
We also heard about the work Salesforce and our partners have been doing to drive messages of equality and inclusion – and to practice what we preach.
A big part of that is Salesforce’s commitment to supporting education and apprenticeship programmes in the UK – opening up opportunities for all and filling a sustainable talent pipeline to deliver the skills the UK will need much more of in future.
At the World Tour, we heard from Oliver Lee from The Challenge, which runs Step Forward, a program to help London school-leavers make their way as they enter the workforce.
Then there was our closing keynote panel where many industry thought leaders gathered to discuss the role of business in driving towards equality. You can read all about the panel’s discussion and their advice to business over here.
Innovation goes hand in hand with education. Take FutureForce, our internship and recruitment initiative that aims to give the next generation of employees the opportunity to make a bigger impact – sooner. Or Trailhead, where we aim to make serious learning fun for everyone, no matter what level of expertise or experience they have.
Outside the keynote room at Salesforce World Tour London, the expo floor was packed with customers, partners and Salesforce Admins sharing their skills and telling stories about how they’re using Salesforce to meet new challenges across the organisation.
In IT, leaders are realising they don’t have enough developer talent to build the apps that will help the whole business run smarter. So we’re seeing the rise of the citizen developer dragging and dropping their way to app creation with the help of Salesforce App Cloud.
Meanwhile developers can build secure, scalable apps faster – in their preferred languages – with Heroku, and can take advantage of pre-built components they can get their hands on via the AppExchange. And of course everyone across the code to low-code and no-code spectrum can gain new skills on Trailhead.
One star making his debut at Salesforce World Tour London was Salesforce Einstein, everyone’s personal data scientist and the brains behind the Intelligent Customer Success Platform that’s helping companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way.
By combining IoT data with artificial intelligence, manufacturing behemoth, KONE, has transformed their service business – creating smart, ongoing service experiences around the customer.
The key to better experiences for KONE lay in giving intelligence to previously ‘dumb’ machines: escalators and elevators. In the past, you knew you had a problem when people got stuck between floors – not ideal. Hook your products up to the Internet of Things and suddenly you’ve got connected devices continuously broadcasting their status to the cloud.
There, IBM’s Watson and Salesforce’s Einstein can go to work on the data, comparing it with specifications and tolerances determined by the customer or by previous service events.
There was good news for Salesforce Marketing Cloud users, with three big new features hitting the platform this summer.
"Salesforce help us to make the most of the Internet of Things and transform the homes and lives of our customers." — Nina Bhatia, Managing Director, Centrica Connected Home.
Hive’s mission is simple: give their British customers greater control over their homes and their lives through the power of connected technology. But delivering on that mission is anything but simple.
Hive, powered by Centrica Connected Home, needed the ability to cultivate smarter relationships with half a million customers – delivering interactions that are not just consistent across marketing, sales and aftercare, but personalised too.
The team turned to Salesforce to help them automate, integrate, and accelerate core business processes. “We needed a platform that was extremely agile,” said Neil Procter, Global Head of CRM for the Connected Home team.
“Customer service is what sets companies apart. Hive products are designed to make people’s lives easier; we need to ensure the same applies to our services,” said Andrew Jones, Head of Customer Experience at Connected Home. “We want to offer a world-class experience where our team is encouraged to engage openly with customers.”
Smart devices need smart support. For Hive, that means capturing all support interactions and Net Promoter Scores, and providing comprehensive knowledge resources to customers. But more than that, the health of each Hive device is monitored, and issues are raised automatically, so they can be dealt with before the customer has any idea something might have gone wrong.
The team at Hive use connected data to send only the right information at the right time. Read about how they manage it, and how they use the Intelligent Customers Success Platform to personalise customer journeys further.
And if you want to see how you can connect to your own customers in new, more intelligent ways, head over to Trailhead and see for yourself.