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SFMC: Creating Customer-Centric Experiences In Real-Time

SFMC: Creating customer-centric experiences in real-time

A customer-centric business is all about providing a positive customer experience before and after the sale. This approach works wonders in driving repeat purchase and improving business growth while enhancing customer loyalty. Simply put, a customer-centric approach is a business strategy that works on the principle of putting your customers first to facilitate a positive experience and build a long-lasting relationship with your customer base. 

In fact, customers are at the core of your business and using platforms like Salesforce Marketing Cloud can help you get hold of extensive data which can give you deep insight about your customer. As a result, it will enhance the overall customer experience in the following ways.

  • The extensive customer data helps you in understanding the buying behavior, interests and engagement level of customers.
  • It gives you opportunities to create products and services that best resonate with your customer base.
  • It lets you make use of customer lifetime value, thereby helping you segment customers on the basis of their spending capacity. 

Moreover, with customer-centric companies becoming 60% more profitable than companies that didn’t focus on customers, becoming customer-centric is the need of the hour. However, with the ever-growing digital advancements, a new way of adapting the customer-centric approach involves interacting with customers in real-time. It might look like a challenge in itself but you can do it like a pro through personalized messaging. In short, for creating robust and personalized real-time customer interaction, you need to share relevant customer data across various platforms and align your business team to engage with your customer base on a personal level. Here are a few handy tips to help you create customer-centric experiences in real-time with the help of Salesforce Marketing Cloud;take a look:

1. Work on the unification of data

Talking with numerous customers in real-time requires a lot of data. That’s the reason marketers today are using manifold data sources to extract every possible information about their customer base. In fact, with the average number of data sources usage rising to 25% from 2018 to 2019, the demand for data extraction is certainly on an all-time high. However, with customer data structured in different departments, accessing all the data at the same time becomes difficult for marketers. Simply put, leveraging multiple data sources isn’t an easy task. Therefore, to carry seamless real-time interaction with the customer base, it is critical to work on the unification of data. To put it in other words, marketers should opt for unified data access across all of their business departments as well as a messaging platform. 

In this context, you can make use of Audience Studio which was formerly known as Salesforce DMP. It helps marketers gain deep insights about the customers by unifying and capturing your database. All in all, it works as a robust data management platform which strengthens customer relationships through every touch point. Here’s a broader look at its various features. 

  • Helps in complete data profile creation

It helps in combining data from a plethora of resources, thereby aiding you deliver a more personalized marketing experience.

  • Facilitates unified data capturing

It not only captures and stores data but also unifies it. 

  • Works on precise segmentation

It makes use of machine learning and AI to target your customer base in a precise and effective way. 

In summary, when you have a unified customer data with you, engaging with your customers in real-time becomes smooth and seamless.

2. Facilitate team alignment

Remember, your brand is perceived as a single unit by the customers. They don’t visualize a company with different departments. Be it the marketing team or sales and commerce department, they look up to your company as a brand and expect a gratifying customer experience across all the channels. As a result, it becomes imperative for you to work towards the alignment of your teams. Consequently, make sure you align your teams across the customer data. It will help them facilitate real-time engagement with customers in a proactive manner. 

Your customer base can make or break your business. For instance, if a customer representative cannot solve a customer’s issue, he/she might get frustrated with the service representative. However, the dissatisfaction isn’t just limited to the representative. It affects the overall brand too. Therefore, to improve your brand’s reputation and relationship with the customer, it is critical to create a relevant and smooth customer journey. In this context, the other departments can solve the problem by taking this information into account. Since the customer is unhappy with your service at the moment, the marketing team should avoid sending happy and positive marketing emails. In short, the team should change their marketing tone until the issue is resolved. 

This is where Marketing Cloud Connect comes in handy. It works towards integrating your SFMC instance with Salesforce Sales, Service, and Community Clouds. Here’s a quick look at its varied benefits.

  • Helps leverage CRM data for sending emails

Marketing Cloud Connect lets you combine the features of Email Studio while giving you access to Salesforce reports and campaigns. It helps in easy targeting of customers for sending relevant and personalized messages. 

  • Facilitates easy synchronization of data from CRM to Marketing cloud

It helps in easy integration of record data from CRM and creates a list of high targeted audiences for sending emails.

  • Helps in connection of Journey Builder with Sales, Service and Community Cloud

Marketing Cloud Connect and Journey Builder, when combined together, can help marketers leverage a lot of events within the Salesforce CRM. From creating a new contact and a service case being closed to getting hold of customer journey launches and triggering the initial message, it can help you do it all.

3. Maintain your social media presence

With 2.95 billion active social media users along with a 45% global social penetration rate,  social media can certainly play a great role in helping you achieve impeccable real-time engagement with your customer base. In fact, the Social Studio tool of Salesforce Marketing Cloud works wonders in engaging customers publically, that too in real-time. So, if you wish to have an effective social media presence, it’s high time you start leveraging Social studio. Here’s how Social Studio can help various departments of your business. Take a look.

  • From developing corporate profiles and creating engaging content to promoting marketing campaigns and communicating with the audience, Social Studio helps a marketer in more ways than one. 
  • It helps in keeping track of posts with an information request along with a purchasing intention. Consequently, it will help the Sales team target the customers while nurturing them.
  • If you find any complaint or negative feedback from a customer on Social Media, you can easily contact the customer and fix the issue. 

All in all, the Social Studio tool of SFMC doesn’t only help you in building your brand but also serves as a great platform for product announcements. And not to forget how it helps in acquiring new customers while retaining the existing ones, thereby increasing your lead generation, sales and ROI. 

In short, when you have worked upon unifying your data and aligning your team, you can make extensive use of social media to facilitate relevant customer interaction. From having one to one conversation with them to following up after every purchase, social media can play a key role in making your customer-centric business top-notch. 

4. Leverage artificial intelligence

You can work towards personalizing the customer experience by leveraging AI. The growth of the global AI market has reached a whopping 154%. In fact, AI software market revenue has already reached 10.1 billion US dollar, thereby making it one of the most sought after marketing strategies across the globe. AI doesn’t only let you create automated and relevant content but also facilitates setting up of publishing schedules. As a result, you will be able to save a lot of your team’s time and efforts while scaling your marketing strategy and giving your customer base instant gratification at the right time. In this context, you can make use of Einstein AI enhancements. It is an impeccable AI feature of Salesforce Marketing Cloud which helps a brand carry out a seamless marketing campaign in following ways. 

  • Einstein Engagement Frequency

It helps in easy engagement of customers by letting the marketers know the exact number of emails that needs to be sent.

  • Einstein Send Time Optimization

With Einstein Send Time Optimization, marketers can optimize customer engagement, as AI by default keeps a track of the best time to send marketing emails.. 

  • Einstein Content Tagging

It uses image recognition features to tag thousands of images across the content library. As a result, the marketers save a lot of time while getting their hands on the best possible images. 

However, make it a point to leverage customer data with all the security and safety. Acquiring your customer’s trust is a tough task. So, once you have that, make sure not to lose it. Therefore, leverage customer data in a responsible way while delivering personalized and high-end real-time customer experiences. 

Wrap up

You can unlock the true potential of a marketing strategy by becoming a customer-centric business. However, a customer-centric approach in real-time can be a long and complex process. So, make use of SFMC and follow the above-mentioned tips to give a truly unparalleled experience to your customer base by engaging them in real-time. Hope these handy tips help your business have a customer-centric future. 

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Kevin is the Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing email design and coding companies. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage, share insights with fellow marketers, and enjoys sharing his thoughts on the latest email marketing best practices.

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