Customer Experience

Salesforce Executive Explores Ways to Elevate the Customer Experience

Mark Bloom, Senior Director of Strategy and Operations for the Service Cloud, Salesforce, discussed how organizations can leverage a broad collection of data to enhance the customer experience in his presentation to Argyle’s CX membership at the 2017 Customer Experience Leadership Forum in Chicago on May 9. In his presentation, “Deliver Conversational Service On-Site and Elevate the Customer Experience,” Bloom described how organizations can leverage CX data to provide unparalleled customer support and bolster their CX levels.

According to Bloom, how an organization builds its CX strategy can have far-flung effects on the organization itself, along with its employees and customers.

Ultimately, an organization that fails to deliver positive customer experiences risks falling behind rivals in a highly competitive global marketplace. Customers also are likely to share their poor experiences with others and garner attention from consumers across the globe.

“It is really interesting how it is so easy to have conversations around poor customer experiences,” Bloom stated. “[A poor customer experience] gets everyone engaged because everyone can relate to it.”

For many organizations, technology enables innovation, particularly when it comes to CX. However, few organizations possess the skills and resources needed to optimize the value of technology relative to CX, Bloom pointed out.

“Technology has ramped up expectations from customers, and they now expect us to engage with them on multiple channels and in multiple ways,” he said. “[Technology] has made things more complex with our own employees, and they now have to have expertise in multiple systems and multiple channels.”

In the past, many organizations could simply offer a viable product at a fair price to control how customers perceived their brands, Bloom indicated. But mobile devices, social networks and other state-of-the-art technologies have empowered consumers like never before.

“Customers are becoming more conscious of the overall experience that they are having when they deal with a company.”

Today’s consumers can dictate the immediate and long-term success of a brand, Bloom said. These consumers demand real-time support via multiple channels, and organizations that cannot meet consumers’ expectations are unlikely to succeed.

“There was a time – not that long ago – where if you had a good product at a good price, then you could control your brand,” Bloom stated. “What we’ve seen, however, is that customers are becoming more conscious of the overall experience that they are having when they deal with a company.”

Furthermore, customer loyalty is developed over an extended period of time, according to Bloom.

An organization that can provide customers with unparalleled experiences time and time again may be better equipped than others to generate customer loyalty, Bloom pointed out. On the other hand, an organization that cannot fully support its customer base risks alienating customers and losing them to rivals.

“[Customer] loyalty is a conversation from beginning to end that might span years,” Bloom indicated. “It’s the overall experience that a customer has with a company that builds loyalty.”

Organizations must emphasize CX in all that they do, regardless of how and when they connect with consumers, Bloom said.

“It’s not whether you’re interacting on a social channel or whether you just got off the phone with a contact center agent. It’s about that consistent experience across all channels and at all times that must be maintained by organizations,” he pointed out.

Consumer expectations are increasing, and this appears likely to continue into the foreseeable future.

“[Customer] loyalty is a conversation from beginning to end that might span years. It’s the overall experience that a customer has with a company that builds loyalty.”

New technologies are making it easier than ever before for consumers and organizations to connect with one another. Conversely, many organizations remain stuck in the past, Bloom stated.

Oftentimes, organizations are using call centers and other outdated systems to engage and support customers, Bloom pointed out. But these systems may do more harm than good, particularly when it comes to CX.

“Many of us are dealing with [CX] solutions that were designed when everybody just had a 1-800 number,” Bloom stated. “The way that we provide services and the tools that we use to provide those services have to get out of this mindset … when customer expectations weren’t so high.”

Organizations that spend some time learning about their customers and implementing CX data collection and analysis systems may reap the benefits of their efforts for years to come.

With CX data collection and analysis systems in place, organizations can find out why customers may select one brand over another, how customers feel about a company’s products and services and much more. Then, organizations can implement consistent CX processes and monitor their CX efforts, ensuring these organizations can gain the insights they need to deliver amazing customer experiences day after day.

“Expectations of our customers in a connected world have ramped exponentially,” Bloom said. “All of our customers’ expectations have increased as the world has become more connected.”

Visit Argyle Executive Forum's 2019 Customer Experience Leadership Deep Dive: Artificial intelligence and the new CX in New York, NY on Sep 01, 2019

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