• Emily Malone

6 key insights from Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer

Today’s digital world is brimming with interlaced consumer-targeted networks, which means we can now navigate anywhere from a single device. The ability to browse, shop, text, explore, or map all from a single smartphone isn’t exactly anything new, but how has it affected the way we sell today? Well luckily, Salesforce did some research into it with their State of the Connected Customer Report, and found out some pretty interesting stats:

‘Information-savvy customers now control the marketplace’

Recent advances in tech have really empowered customers to communicate, research, browse and purchase wherever they are and whenever they fancy it. Today, customers simply expect companies to quickly adhere to their changing preferences, otherwise, they’ll easily switch brands. In fact, 70% of consumers agree that technology has made it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere.

‘The culture of immediacy drives mobile-first expectations’

For us today, smartphones are more personal, fast, and connected than ever. Especially for those who grew up in this mobile-first world: the millennials. It’s created a culture of immediacy, where our own definition of timely interaction means instant. Actually, 64% of consumers already expect companies to respond and interact with them in real time.

‘Customers still value human connections in a tech-driven world’

Though the need to faster and smarter technologies has risen for customers, they also want to be treated like individuals with unique preferences, not as a number or address on an email list. Two-thirds of consumers say they’re likely to switch brands if they’re treated like a number and not an individual.

‘Data-sharing sparks next era of marketing personalisation’

Customers have grown to expect tailored communications and offers, and what’s more, they’re even willing to provide trusted brands with the data that enables such personalised interactions. Salesforce found that 63% of millennial consumers agree that they’re willing to share data with companies that send personalised offers and discounts.

‘Smarter use of customer information expands opportunities for sales’

It’s time to rethink that traditional product-driven sales pitch, and instead, focus on leveraging smart technology and data so you can become trusted advisors, not just sellers. Today it’s important to be helpful, because more than three-quarters of consumers say it’s absolutely critical or very important to work with a salesperson who’s focused on achieving customer needs, instead of making a quick sale. Through this, you’ll provide true value, and find that the same customers keep coming back.

‘Fast, personal service is directly linked to customer loyalty’

Customers aren’t interested in settling for extended phone conversations or multiple-day resolutions. In fact, 71% of consumers say that customer service provided on any day at any time has an influence on loyalty, and almost as many (69%) say the same about personalised customer care.

When it comes to business strategy and innovation, customers are pretty much now in the driver’s seat. They’re defining which companies lead in today’s digital world. This means your business must adapt to keep up with the ever-changing preferences and expectations that evolving technology has influenced. Get smart about personalisation in your communications, embrace the culture of immediacy, and more than ever put customers at the centre of your business.