As the Salesforce World Tour series got underway 'down under' in Sydney this week, Gaya Benedict, the firm’s CTO for Australia and New Zealand, took to the stage to reflect on a world of changed expectations:
In another life, I was the CIO for our Reserve Bank and we had a lot of very serious national technology responsibilities, maintaining national payment infrastructure accounts, the Federal Government banking. I had a fantastic team and days, weeks, months and years of effort were put into actually keeping those systems up-and-running - it's some of the best in the world.
But I don't think many people noticed. I think in a world of our customers, in a digital world, to get noticed you have to do more than just meet expectations. You have to do more than just move forward and satisfy them. You have to wow them. And that's why we think it's critical to wow our customers.
This was an angle picked up by Lynne Zaledonis, EVP for Industries Marketing, who put forward the thesis that everyone attending the event could surely agree that customers today want to be deeply understood:
They want us to engage with them in ways that are personalized and that are proactive. They also want us to be able to protect their data and make sure it's private. So how do we do this? We do all this with data. because, more than ever, we need to make sure that we're unifying the customer data into a single source of truth. Make it empowered by Artificial Intelligence and actionable by everyone, because that's how we'll grow moments into lifelong customer relationships.
How this is to be delivered was the focus of the two main product announcements that coincided with the Salesforce gathering, with Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud getting some new capabilities that the firm is pitching as ‘humanizing’ the customer experience.
For Service Cloud, new features include voice innovations to allow agents deliver more personalized interactions, which Salesforce says will drive more value from purchases and solve problems fast, as well as empowering organizations to create more empathetic, human experiences, which in turn will foster customer loyalty. These include:
- Contact Lens for Amazon Connect, used to deliver advanced conversational transcription for phone calls, real-time sentiment analysis, real-time supervisor alerts to deliver agent coaching and full-text search on call transcripts. AWS Contact Lens will be natively supported for customers using Service Cloud Voice with Amazon Connect.
- Google Cloud and Genesys, new Service Cloud partners offering telephone connectors to integrate phone and customer data, automate call transcriptions and notes, and enable agents to receive real-time suggestions while they’re on a customer call.
- A multi-level Offline Briefcase in the Salesforce Field Service App to serve up necessary records, whether or not agents are online. Personalized work plans, flows, inventory information, and knowledge articles all in one app will allow the technician to focus on the customer at hand.
- Visual Remote Assistant, giving customers the option to schedule in advance and initiate a one-to-one virtual support session with augmented reality from their phone. Salesforce claims this will enable companies to reduce truck rolls and give customers options for faster resolution.
The enhancements are all about connected data, said Zaledonis, citing three key areas of connection - the contact center, field service and upskilling an organization’s teams. For the contact center, there’s a basic first principle to be acknowledged, she argued:
In this digital age, the number one channel for service is still voice. That's why we're doubling down on Service Cloud voice. We have a brand new integration with AWS Contact Lens, and new partnerships with Genesys and Google Contact Center AI. And the innovations keep coming because we've given an upgrade to the number one field service [app]. We've made it appropriate for the digital age by making it flexible for your teams and your customers. Technicians can use the multi-level Offline Briefcase to access complex records offline, right from their mobile device. With enhanced Visual Remote Assistant, now your customers can choose to self-service video appointments on their own terms.
As for the upskilling angle, this was, she said, ‘saving the best for last’:
We have a brand new program that's free and it's available to everyone. This helps you upskill your agents for the new world and it's called the Heart of Service. The Heart of Service is about learning trails, community and a brand new Salesforce+ series. This helps you, as a service agent, to make sure your reps are trained for this new world and for today's customer.
As part of Marketing Cloud enhancements, Customer Data Platform - formerly Salesforce CDP - now boasts:
- Streaming Insights and Data Actions to enable marketers to capture near real-time data signals, such as a new customer, a recent product transaction, or payment issue, to trigger workflow events.
- Advanced Identity Resolution, using AI to match and merge disparate data for better customer identification, with duplicated fields — such as address, email, or phone, as well as records with names that have multiple spellings or frequently shortened nicknames - now able to be merged to help ensure the most complete customer profiles.
- Anonymous Profiles, to enable marketers to track profiles and build a rich history of data on customers when they are in the anonymous state and then connect that data to their profiles once they become known.
- Marketing Cloud Intelligence, formerly known as Datorama, to unify analytics and leverage AI-enabled insights that, Salesforce pitches, will continually optimize outcomes that increase customer value and growth. The firm argues that Intelligence now enables marketers to explore and analyze deep data sets with new interactive visualization tools to easily compare currencies, channels, campaigns, time series, business units and more in a single customizable view.
- New enhancements to Intelligence Reports for Engagement to help marketers evaluate email performance by device, client, OS, and browser and optimize new KPIs for conversions, clicks by link, bounce types, unsubscribes, complaints, and click event lag.
The key word here is trust, said Zaledonis, as confirmed by customers. With that in mind, the Marketing Cloud enhancements are all based around how it uses data in a trusted way. She pointed to three in particular:
The first one is Advanced Identity Resolution. This helps you as marketers do things like know that Sam and Samantha are the same person. The next one, Streaming Insights and Actions, helps you use data in near real-time to actually trigger workflows. You could have marketing data fire off a notification to a service rep to proactively reach out if a customer placed a high volume order. And finally, the third is Anonymous Profiles. This one's great. Imagine you don't have to worry about losing all that rich data you gathered about someone when they're in the anonymous state because we can connect it to the customer once they sign in or they become a known entity.
These are just a couple of ways in which marketing is getting closer to the way you work by aligning with all of the things that are important to you. And this is also how marketers can wow their customers by you doing personalized moments every step of the way. But it's really the power of marketing and service together. That allows businesses to grow moments into lifelong customer relationships.