When it comes to the push and pull between brands and customers, the verdict is in: the customer is king. Today’s customers expect a lot more from companies than just innovative products and quality service (although these are important too).
According to the Salesforce 2022 State of the Connected Customer report:
- 88% of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services
- 73% expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations
- 56% expect to always receive personalized offers
- 94% say that positive customer service experiences increase their likelihood to buy again from the company
- 62% feel emotionally connected to and trust the brands they buy from the most
All these statistics clearly show that customer expectations have evolved in recent years. A majority of them expect companies to treat them as humans and deliver a thoughtful and personal touch with every interaction. And the only way for brands to meet these expectations is to adopt a customer-centric approach in everything they do.
But what does a customer-centric company look like?
According to Salesforce, customer-centric businesses “obsess over a joyful and frictionless customer experience”. These businesses, according to Gartner, have the ability to “understand customers’ situations, perceptions, and expectations” and make the customer “the focal point of all decisions” in order “to create customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy”.
What are the two key elements you need to create a customer-centric business?
A: People and technology.
Technology can give your people the momentum needed to make your brand more customer-centric and capture the benefits of customer-centricity, including a strong customer base, greater brand loyalty, and higher sales and revenues. Enter Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC).
But how can SFMC help you build a customer-centric organization?
This article explores 4 ways.
1. By understanding customers and their pain points, expectations, and behaviors
It’s impossible to be a customer-centric organization if you don’t understand your customers or what they want. But in order to fully understand customers, you must understand:
- Who the customers are
- Where they come from
- How they behave
- How they are likely to behave in future
- What their pain points and challenges are
- What they expect from the brand
SFMC provides a 360-degree view of customers that will help you create data-first marketing campaigns. Leverage its Customer Data Platform (CDP) to create a complete view of each customer and their needs, expectations, and pain points.
CDP and its AI-powered insights and analytics can also help you:
- Ingest and unify customer data from multiple sources to build a real-time single source of truth about your target audience
- Build and target high-value audiences and smart customer segments
- Enrich and optimize each segment with Calculated Insights and modeled data
- Activate data to personalize engagement efforts across email, mobile, and many other digital channels
- Match each data point to an individual to enrich profiles and resolve identities
All of this will help you better understand your customers and, ultimately, make your organization more customer-centric.
2. By creating 1-on-1 journeys for each customer
Customer-centric organizations make a concerted effort to create and articulate 1-on-1 journeys for their customer base. Each journey is specific to a particular user and context and always focuses on helping them achieve their goals and satisfy their needs – from the first search to purchase and even beyond.
The powerful Salesforce Marketing Cloud customer Journey Builder is a great way to build personalized customer journeys and deliver seamless and personalized customer experiences across email and many other digital channels. Marketing Cloud Journey Builder examples include:
- Welcome journeys
- Abandoned cart journeys
- Abandoned browse journeys
- Post-purchase journeys
- Engagement and re-engagement journeys
- Birthday/anniversary journeys
These journeys can be personalized based on customer behaviors, preferences, and other data points so your brand and Salesforce Marketing Cloud experts can effortlessly:
- Guide customers down the right path and toward more purchases
- Ensure that they enjoy the experience of interacting with your brand
- Deliver timely, relevant content to every customer, every time
- Power trust-based, long-term relationships by triggering customers on the right journey and making every moment on the journey count
Journey Builder is a great way to harness customer behavioral and demographic data to lay out visual journeys, adjust customers’ paths, and then communicate seamlessly with customers across email, landing pages, ads, and more. And all of this will go a long way toward building a customer-centric organization.
3. By delivering connected experiences throughout the customer journey
Per Salesforce’s “Trends in Integrated Customer Experiences” report, 70% of surveyed customers said that “connected” experiences encourage them to give organizations their business. Another 80% say that they expect the same level of service from a company, regardless of where or how they engage. Finally, 49% even say that they have no patience for “disconnected” experiences.
These stats should matter to you because if you can deliver connected and elevated experiences, you can be more customer-centric and win more customers and their business. With SFMC, you can do this with ease by:
- Providing consistent interactions across all the channels that your customers prefer
- Ensuring that every department, including sales, marketing, and service function as a unified brand rather than separate units
- Sending more relevant marketing messages that translate to better shopping experiences
- Delivering tailored engagement based on past interactions throughout the customer journey on Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Leverage SFMC’s growing ecosystem to build a comprehensive roster of all the touchpoints that matter to your customers. Activate and analyze customer data and effortlessly activate real-time moments across channels with SFMC CDP. Also, get useful cross-channel analytics and insights from Marketing Cloud Intelligence across all email and other platforms to drive marketing ROI and growth. You can also visualize email and journey data with Datorama Reports, build personalized and connected email campaigns with Email Studio, and deliver 1-to-1 experiences to every customer at every touchpoint with Marketing Cloud Personalization.
4. By personalizing digital offers, interactions, and content
The Salesforce 2022 State of the Connected Customer report revealed a disquieting fact: More than half of customers (56%) believe that most companies treat them as numbers, not as humans with unique personalities and needs. In the modern B2C (and even B2B) landscape, a growing number of buyers expect companies to anticipate and understand their needs and always deliver personalized offers, interactions, and content across digital systems. Simply put, relevant and personalized engagement is a key differentiator to winning and retaining more customers. And SFMC can help you simplify the effort.
With this powerful data-driven and customer-centric platform, you can meet your customers’ expectations for personalization – on any channel and at any scale. Here’s how:
- Build personalized email campaigns – from basic transactional messages to sophisticated 1-on-1 campaigns – with Email Studio and custom Salesforce email templates
- Design and deliver cross-channel personalized experiences at every step of the customer journey with Journey Builder
- Apply in-depth insights on each customer to inspire instant and personalized engagement and boost customer lifetime value (CLV) with Marketing Cloud Personalization
- Develop a detailed picture of each customer to create smart segments and power personalized campaigns with SFMC CDP
- Create and deliver memorable and personalized content experiences with SFMC Content Management
- Create personalized loyalty programs to win and retain more customers with SFMC Loyalty Management
In addition to all the above capabilities, SFMC incorporates a powerful AI engine called Einstein that will help you personalize your brand’s content, interactions, and offers in all these ways:
- Predict and improve customer engagement with Einstein Engagement Scoring
- Send emails at the best time when recipients are most likely to engage with them using Einstein Send Time Optimization (STO)
- Identify the optimal number of messages to send with Einstein Engagement Frequency
- Craft attractive subject lines that drive stronger email engagement with Einstein Copy Insights
- Send personalized content to each customer with Einstein Content Selection
- Send hyper-relevant product recommendations for shoppers with Einstein Search for Commerce
Customer centricity and personalization go hand-in-hand. And with SFMC, you can achieve both.
Customer-centricity is a critical business imperative for businesses looking to attract more customers, win a greater share of their hearts and wallets, boost sales and revenues, and earn customers’ long-term trust and brand loyalty.
Here’s where Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Email Uplers can help. Our experts will leverage SFMC for your brand to create 1-on-1 customer journeys, create personalized and relevant content, and design connected experiences across all channels. Step toward a customer-centric future with SFMC. Contact us to get started.