Salesforce says 90% of the world’s data was created in just the last 12 months.
And the customer is evolving.
Technology trends such as cloud, social, mobile and data science means consumers now have a stronger voice and more power than ever before when engaging with brands.
Smartphones, smart cars, and wearables create trillions of customer interactions, giving data to manufacturers. That leads to the notion of the “connected customer” and businesses providing better service by using the insights they gather from the data.
Interestingly, despite technological advances, 77% of customers still don’t feel connected to the brands they use, Salesforce senior VP Leyla Seka said at the Salesforce World Tour in Melbourne today.
If businesses don’t improve, customer won’t feel connected and will switch to a competitor.
“We’ve found that businesses who do nail engagement with the customers win,” she said. “And they don’t only win by getting 23% more revenue… but they win because they create brand evangelists.
“It’s great to stand up and say how great you are, but it’s way better when someone else stands up and says how great you are.”
Seka says do this by putting the customers at the centre of “everything you do”.
“You need to pay attention to your community. Then you need to access this information and make smart decisions with it, and built applications so you can enlighten your customers.”
Seka also discussed some of the technological revolutions changing the way businesses operate.
She singled out six things and explained how they will impact the future of business.
1. Sales Revolution.
By 2017 Salesforce predicts there will be five billion smartphones. This will change the way companies sell. Data-driven sales processes will open up conversations and the opportunity the create stronger customer relationships than ever before.
2. Service Revolution.
70% of buying experiences are based on service provided. Seka cited Shoes Of Prey, which manufactures women’s shoes on demand, as an Australian company killing this concept.
“The companies that have a great product roadmap, and a great customer service roadmap, working side-by-side, are the ones who are winning. It’s no longer good enough to just have the best product.”
Connected devices and engaged companies drive customer service.
“This is no longer optional you’ve got to nail this. If you have the best product and bad service, you will not win.”
3. Marketing Revolution.
Creating 1:1 customer journeys is bringing a new science to marketing. Create an engagement layer that gets customers excited. Lasting, loyal relationships are the types of relationships were striving to create with our customers .
4. Communities Revolution.
Organisations are engaging with people in a whole new way in online communities.
“If you can create a community around your product, and what you care about, then you get awesome results,” said Seka.
The Australian ARU is doing just this. Their new platform Rugby Link, powered by Salesforce, is putting fans and players in an online forum to talk, exchange ideas and make the experience more real and visceral.
5. Apps Revolution.
“Every company is becoming a cloud company,” said Seka. Now even the smallest of businesses can build apps fast to accelerate their success.
Apps can be built for a company’s consumers, retailers, suppliers, and more, creating an entire app ecosystem around their business and what they do.
“Software is eating the world”.
6. Data Revolution.
If 90% of data was created in the past year “what will happen in the next year… in the next 10, 20 years?” Seka asks.
“How much information will businesses be able to process to help us make better decisions?”
Soon businesses will be able to leverage data in way that will increase business productivity, make their communities more effective, and overall make our lives more enriched.
“This is a new world were moving into where the data at our fingertips will inform the decisions we make for the rest of our careers,” said Seka.
It will allow us to know our customers better than ever before.