Customer expectations and behaviour are rapidly changing and that is nothing new. Consumers have access to a variety of resources across the web such as blogs, blueprints, comparison tools, webinars, social, communities, … . The shift from traditional to digital consumers has made brands aware that traditional methods of marketing no longer work. Research shows that eight out of ten customers say that the experience a company provides is equally important as the product and services they are trying to sell. Meaning that a more customer-centric approach is needed at every stage of the product life cycle in order to be successful.
This means that companies need to have the right tools to incorporate a customer-centric strategy into their business so they can truly provide value for their customers. And we’re pleased to enlighten you on how the Salesforce multi-cloud platform can help you to do just that.
Customer focus vs. Customer Centricity
A customer-centric strategy is often confused with a customer-focussed strategy. As it might sound like they aim to achieve the same goal, they do differ in its essence. We can define a customer-focused strategy as a strategy that works outside-in. Which means businesses try to act reactively to customers via surveys, Q&A’s, … to deliver great customer experiences and introduce new products or services that satisfy customer needs.
A customer-centric strategy on the other hand works the other way around. Businesses try to anticipate and proactively include features, services, … in their products. They effectively place themselves in the shoes of the customer and define the needs the customer has and act on them. The basis of your customer-centric strategy is built upon 4 pillars:
- Know your customer
- Be your customer
- Create value for your customer
- Connect with your customer
In order to do this, we need to have access to information about our customer(s) so we can deliver those exceptional customer experiences. This is why Salesforce-technology could be the ideal technology to have as a back-bone for your customer-centric activities.
Let’s visualize this with a hands-on story, shall we?
The journey of buying a drone
Let’s meet Tom, a surgical nurse that lives in a rural area with his wife. Tom is into technology and likes to try out new things. His hobbies include cycling, watching soccer, going out with his friends and spending time with his wife. Recently, Tom has developed a strong interest in drones and considers to buy one himself. Let’s see what Tom does before putting his credit card on the table.
Intel is knowledge
Tom’s first step is to find some more information about drones: what types of drone are available? What do they cost? Are there any rules for drones or drone flying? While searching, Tom is starting to create a list of drone features he likes. He notices that almost all the questions he had, were answered on the drone-company website from ‘Top Drone’. However, he’s still a little anxious on how easy to handle their drones are. So he decides to look further.
What is the best way to gain information about how to fly these drones? User experience of course! Tom starts to read reviews of the drones on the top of his list. He compares them and watches videos/tutorials on how to use each drone on the Top Drone website. This thorough search could take hours, days, weeks even months depending on the person buying or the product you want to buy.
Cut the cord
Tom has toned his list down to 2 options in his shopping cart. However, he wants to think his final choice through and decides to get a good night’s sleep over it. The next morning, he wakes up and sees he has an email from Top Drone with some extra information and key differences between the drones he left in his shopping cart. This email is send because Tom abandoned his cart. When people abandon their cart, it will trigger an action in his journey, set up by Marketing cloud. As a company, you don’t want to lose a potential customer, so observe closely and react quickly. You send him an personalized email with more information about the products in the abandoned cart. It will remind the customer that he was buying products and will likely to continue with his purchase.
Tom has made his choice, he is going for drone number 2 on his list: a solid drone that can take a hit, is easy to handle, has a GPS-tracker and can be upgraded with extra hardware. Tom is satisfied with his choice and is ready to buy this drone.
Where the Company comes in
Tom is not alone in his search for the perfect drone. When Tom enters the website of Top Drone, a chatbot starts talking to him which helps him to find the drone of his choice. The chatbot is basically a Sorting Hat (much like the one we see in the Harry Potter movies). All it does is read questions and decides if it can answer the question out of a set of predefined answers. The chatbot responds to questions through certain parameters and keywords. If the bot does not have the right answer, it will connect Tom with a support agent that can follow up within the same chat-window in Salesforce Service Cloud. In Tom’s story this is Jacky.
Tom is searching for a perfect drone, he gives Jacky some specifics and Jacky refers Tom to a page with drones he might like. Jacky also informs Tom the company has a monthly newsletter. She asks him to fill out a contact form so she can send him the latest info and a comparison matrix for starter packages. After filling in the form, Tom becomes a lead in the Salesforce system.
Tom downloads some of Top Drone’s white papers about the drones, this triggers an alert with the sales team. They then contact Tom and guide him towards the sale of a drone. With the newsletter send out by Top Drone’s Salesforce Marketing Automation tool, Tom receives information based on his interests and behavior. This tool can start multiple journeys that can be a good fit for Tom. He is now eligible for VIP-invitations, community events, specific drones and gear, etc.
Tom has shown great commitment towards the company and has started the buying process. Now Tom is no longer a lead in the system but becomes a contact. Meaning he is now a customer of Top Drone. All his information and actions are added to his contact-record in Salesforce.
The company can now track information about Tom in Salesforce like:
- The stage in the opportunity or where he is in the buying process
- Basic information like budget, close date, customer type,..
- The products, services and add-ons Tom is interested in
- Quotes that have been sent to Tom
- Any phone calls or emails that have been exchanged with Tom under the Activity-tab.
Tom’s Account Manager receives a message that Tom’s opportunity is won. Great! That means that Tom has purchased the drone. The drone is scheduled for delivery within 5 working days. Great work from the sales-, service- and marketing team.
While Tom is waiting for his drone to arrive, we at BRIGHTFOX will get back to work to help companies like Top Drone to set up a multi-cloud platform. You want to know how Tom’s story end? His journey will continue in another the blog: “Creating brand advocates with a customer centric approach“.
Contact us if you want a full-service approach through multiple Salesforce clouds. Our consultants will help you build the right journeys for your customers.