Salesforce believes it is essential to put the customer at the centre of a business. That belief is not just part of its sales strategy; it permeates every aspect of a philosophy aimed at creating value not only for the company itself but also for its customers.
If you have been following our publications, you will know that one of the Salesforce CRM’s main assertions is that of putting the customer, above all else, in the centre of the business. That concept is known as a customer-centric vision.
While the approach is not new in the industry, Salesforce enables all companies to become champions of the customer-centric philosophy. That is mainly because the distribution market’s development has significantly changed our perception of businesses.
The customer of today is – as we like to say nowadays – empowered. As such, greater access via technology guarantees greater control over a product or service transaction.
So what does having a customer-centric vision really mean?
As mentioned, none of this is new – not in the world of marketing and not globally in the corporate world. In fact, Salesforce was so concerned about focusing on customers and making them the cornerstone for everything that it published a post explaining this customer-centric idea back in May 2016.
Companies need to understand their customers and be proactive
The article comes to the conclusion that a customer-centric vision should allow for three goals to be met. Those goals are product excellence, a seamless service and value for money paid.
As the Salesforce post notes, we have long been living in a demand-driven world, where product lifecycle management must be agile, responsive, and innovative.
Traditional services are long gone and nowadays, thanks to social networks, mobile devices and many other factors, companies need to understand their customers and be proactive in personalising services and providing support during the customer journey – whether physical, digital or both.
Value for money paid
This is another star concept in today’s world, but what exactly is that “value” we want to give to customers? Providing value is also about offering a unique and different experience, and backing up the product or service with interesting content and active communities where those same customers can also become advocates for a brand’s values.
The key points for achieving a customer-centric vision
Salesforce is a company with a B2B business. In other words, its customers are businesses, which in turn have an end customer in the businesses or industries in which they operate. So how can Salesforce help its customers connect with their own customers within this new customer-centric formula? The answer lies in the concept of customer-centric discovery.
To fulfil that goal, there are four very specific stages to complete:
- Know your customer: find out more about your customer’s company, and the industry and specific role of their purchasers. That will help you connect with your customer using their language, identifying what is important to them and how to build credibility.
- Be your customer: here is the chance to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. That will prepare you for a real conversation with them and will also provide a foundation for building trust.
- Connect with your customer: when you know your customer well and have stood in their shoes, there will be a connection that will allow for that conversation to take place, leading to a complete understanding of their vision.
- Create value with your customer: this is where Salesforce tells us that change starts, and where you can make your customer understand why they should change, building bridges between the future they want and Salesforce’s tools as enablers of change. In short, being part of the customer’s plan leads to commitment and a solution that is of interest to both parties.
The importance of having a customer-centric vision
Using data from its own study, Salesforce reminds us that 84% of customers believe that if they are treated like people instead of numbers, they are much more likely to purchase the service or complete the end transaction. In the B2B sector, 74% of those surveyed said they would pay more for a personalised experience.
Trust is at the heart of that vision and way of doing business. As such, starting a conversation with the customer – so they place their trust in Salesforce and a connection is established so they can be more successful in reaching their own customers – is essential.
In fact, 93% of consumers say that trusting a company makes them more likely to recommend its services to others. Not only do they spend more on the brands they trust, but they are also more likely to voluntarily share information and positive opinions about those brands.