By Tomasz Kulas
Brand View: Thierry Nicault, Regional Vice-President Enterprise Business Unit for Middle East, Africa and Central Europe, Salesforce talks about preparing for digital transformation without losing market
Thanks to rapid technological development, customers know more about a brand’s products but are also less loyal - according to Salesforce’s new report "The State of the Connected Customer.”
Thierry Nicault, Regional Vice-President Enterprise Business Unit for Middle East, Africa and Central Europe, Salesforce talks about preparing for digital transformation without losing market.
Companies want to switch to cloud-based services (data, communication, customer relations, software). However, the question arises - when is it best to decide to take this step?
Companies face many warning signs about the need for digital transformation. For example, if orders decrease, if business models are not updated, or if promotions no longer drive sales. However, using new technologies without experienced IT partners can result in many different systems and apps that are not compatible. Companies that do not have business data cannot determine what their clients expect.
In that case, how to start and carry out the digital transformation?
Clients need assistance in their digital transformation – and should ask three key questions:
1. Are your clients at the center of the company's operations? Companies need to implement what customers want and provide them with what they need. We should reject the “pre-mobile” rules, when consumers had less choice of products and services, and worse opportunities to reach competitors. Today, without those barriers, customer service requires a new level of commitment. We must determine how to make clients feel special when they dealing with our company.
2. How do you encourage your employees to get involved in the process of profound transformation? Making changes encounters resistance. Many companies also fear that digital transformation will contribute to the paralysis of the organisation’s functioning, rather than its development and success. Fortunately, digital transformation benefits are being by customers and employees. Without commitment, management cannot bear the burden of transformation.
3. How do you create a coherent and shared vision? Multilateral communication across all levels of operation can allow the leaders to know fears, control gossip, respond to suggestions in an open manner and inform about goals and ideas. For digital transformation to be successful, it should be the success of all involved - the managing board, senior executives, employees, and even clients.
Steve Jobs emphasised that Apple's success was in focusing on the needs and expectations of customers. Why is that so important?
Customer expectations are changing rapidly. "The State of the Connected Customer" shows that today's customers are better informed, but also less loyal. They expect more diverse experiences and messages that inspire confidence and brands are active in searching for what customers expect.
Most respondents (84%) emphasised that treating customers as specific persons, and not just figures in the table, is of key importance. Companies need to provide customers with the experiences that they expect - otherwise customers will choose another service provider.
As many as 76% of respondents (individual and business clients) said that making this type of change is now easier than ever.
Universal access to mobile devices, to cloud services, the Internet of Things, social media, and artificial intelligence can change how people want to use services, and enable personalisation. If companies want to survive the Fourth Industrial Revolution – they have to put the customer at the heart of their business.
Interview: Tomasz Kulas
The Hive family, produced by Centrica’s Connected Home, offers users greater control over devices organised as part of the "smart home" at any time and from anywhere in the world.
Neil Procter, Director of CRM, Connected Home, says the company wanted to find a platform for flexibly contacting customers. Connected Home has used Salesforce’s Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud to deliver a fast, direct, and omni-channel technical support across social media, e-mail, website, and chat. As a result, Connected Home has reduced the number of technical support contacts by 12%.
Now, Connected Home plans to use Marketing Cloud to precisely tailor messages or newsletters, and constantly analyse customer feedback. For example, Connected Home can check which users have purchased but not activated products, or compare how smart radiators are being used by nearby users.
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