Salesforce recently distributed their latest research report entitled State of the Connected Customer, over 7000 global consumers and business buyers were surveyed to discover the following:
- What defines the connected customer?
- What are their unique preferences and expectation of Companies?
- How is technology changing the way customers consume information, communicate with companies, and purchase and seek service from brands?
- What can today’s businesses do to stay ahead of changing customer expectations and avoid disruption?
The report examined survey results from both consumer and business buyers, Salesforce defined consumers as those reporting their personal purchasing, service, technology and engagement preferences; business buyers self-identified as employees having purchase power on behalf of B2B companies. Business buyers approached the survey with their businesses’ more complex need, lengthier deal cycles, and larger budgets in mind.
The world is now connected digitally with millions of connected networks right at the Customers fingertips. Customers can browse, shop, explore, research all from one device and as we are all customers at some point we find this the new normal.
Customers no longer want to wait, they expect faster, smarter and easier exchanges with companies. In fact, according to the report 58% of consumers agree that technology has significantly changed their expectations of how companies should interact with them.
So how do you ensure you are running your business for the Customer? To help we have listed the 6 key takeaways from the report – text taken directly from State of Connected Customer Salesforce report.
- Put Customers at the centre of your business.
Smart companies understand that customers now fully determine the future success of their business. These companies win loyalty by treating customers
like individuals, anticipating their needs, and catering to their mobility. Just as technology makes it much easier for customers to switch brands, companies can leverage technology to better understand and help their customers.
- Embrace the culture of Immediacy
Technology isn’t only changing how customers consume information and buy products — it’s also changing their expectations of timely interactions. Connected customers feel there shouldn’t be any lag time when it comes to company communications. Successful brands will prioritize real-time, always-on communication by embracing a mobile-first mindset and using technology to respond as soon as — or even before — a customer reaches out.
- Get smart about Personalisation
Connected customers may thrive in a tech-driven universe, but they still want to be treated like human beings rather than data points. In fact, customers are ready to trade more of their data for more relevant, personalized experiences. Leading companies will not only tailor their marketing communications to individual needs but will also understand and anticipate those needs, perhaps even better than a local shopkeeper. Taking advantage of new technologies like AI can help your company be more human at scale.
- Reinvent the sales process
The traditional sales pitch is no longer enough — customers are looking for sales reps who understand their unique needs and can advise them on the right product or service. Companies will provide their sales teams with smart technology and training to help their reps be as prepared and knowledgeable as possible. Top sales organisations will deliver a purchasing experience that feels personal and seamless.
- Lead with Instant, Omni-Channel, and Personal Customer Service
Today, the service experience is central to customer loyalty. Customers choose companies that provide real-time, cross-channel, personalized, and effortless service. Companies will meet these expectations head-on by enabling the omni-channel experiences and self-service options customers expect. The most successful businesses will be early adopters of intelligent technologies that allow them to better understand the customer and set the bar for proactive service.
- Don’t Fear Disruption – Become a Disruptor
The connected world is in its infancy. In the future, customers expect to live in smart homes and use virtual reality, connected vehicles, and other innovative technologies that fundamentally change how they shop, travel, bank, and more. Innovators and disruptors will empower their IT teams to find the right combination of smart technologies — like machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing — to cultivate customer experiences that mirror real, human interactions.
From the six takeaways, we see Customers now have the control, they decide which companies lead in the digital age and which will be disrupted. Customers want a personal experience the one size fits all way of thinking no longer gets the sale.
With so many choices available to consumers these days, CloudShift sees the importance of using different channels like social media and other digital platforms to communicate. It is important to be one step ahead of the Customer and already know them before they buy.
Business success requires you to evolve with the times, CloudShift makes the move to Cloud Computing for businesses easy. We can bespoke a CRM system that can guide your customer through the buying and decision making processes seamlessly whilst also making the customer feel special and personialised to them.