On Tuesday, November 19, 2019, the Chairman and Co-CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff, kicked off his opening keynote at Dreamforce with the concept of togetherness.
He stated that “as we’ve traveled the world, and as we’ve spoken to all of us, there is one word that continues to come up over, and over again. And that is the word that we are all anchored to today and at this conference and it is: together.”
According to Benioff, together doesn’t just represent the teamwork of innovation within Salesforce; it incorporates all organizations and persons that are contributing to the evolution and success of the customer experience (CX) industry. Together means considering and bringing all shareholders and stakeholders together.
This theme of together was coupled with the concept of trust. Benioff used the example of a Newsweek magazine cover titled, “Can You Trust Your Toaster?”
Why are they asking that? Benioff explained we are in an intelligence revolution—most people have an Amazon or Google smart home device—and as such, customers have a new level of expectation when it comes to trusting a brand. We are now experiencing the customer revolution.
And like all revolutions, this one is not easy to navigate. In fact, there are still many gaps between customers and organizations, said Benioff. But those gaps can be closed if we, the Trailblazers, work together, he concluded.
This, according to him, is where Salesforce Customer 360 Truth comes in: a set of capabilities that unites all a company’s data points to build a single view of their customer.
The themes of truth and together inspired the discussions that were had across Dreamforce this year. And from these discussions, three key customer experience trends came to the surface. In this article, we cover the key CX takeaways from this year’s Dreamforce conference.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rising at the forefront of CX
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not a new topic for customer experience, but its value in the space is definitely becoming higher. Particularly in terms of customizing experiences, enabling teams to work more efficiently, and “achieving a single view of the customer,” as Salesforce puts it.
The message from CX leaders at Dreamforce was this: Companies should apply AI across all touchpoints of the customer journey—marketing, sales, commerce, service, etc. Only in doing so, will they enable their teams to provide the personalized experience that customers expect.
State Farm was highlighted at Dreamforce for its use of AI (via the 360 Platform) to digitally transform the company.
The company shifted its mentality to being outcome-focused and truly data-driven. With AI, they leverage data they already have to assist the various teams within State Farm operations and enable them to work on the right customer problems.
For example, when a customer submits a claim, on whichever communication channel (phone, online, app, etc.), the right agent(s) will be notified and will have a complete view of the customer in order to create an intelligent action plan.
If you want to catch the full State Farm case study recording, fast-forward the keynote to 53 minutes.
Customers expect a personalized experience everywhere
I remember when the omnichannel experience was one of the top priorities for CX leaders. Today, the stakes are much higher for brands.
While an integrated experience is still expected, customers now want the additional layer of personalization both in-store and digitally.
A great example of how this can be done successfully is Louis Vuitton’s Customer 360 program.
Louis Vuitton uses Einstein Digital to deliver personalized emails to each customer based on their shopping history.
For instance, let’s say there are three customers: Mark, Amy, and Samantha.
The brand has released a new bag called Porte-Documents Jour. Here is how Louis Vuitton would personalize the news to each customer:
Mark has shown interest in the brand, but he’s still unsure whether he wants to make a purchase. He needs to know more about a product before making a decision. His email by Louis Vuitton will have more information on the Jour bag (see the first screen on the left below).
Amy, on the other hand, is an avid shopper of the fashion brand. She just wants to know what is new so she can snatch it up as soon as possible. Her email will display the new Jour bag with less information than Mark received and a more prominent image of the product (see the screen in the middle below).
Samantha recently bought the Jour bag and has been searching for some Louis Vuitton shoes to go with it. Her email will feature color pallets of shoes that match with her new bag for consideration (see the screen below on the right).
What’s remarkable is that Louis Vuitton has brought this level of data-driven personalization in stores.
They developed an application that employees in the stores can access via any app store on their mobile devices.
Here’s how it plays out in stores:
Let’s say Amy walks into a Louis Vuitton store. She is greeted by a staff member—we’ll call her Kelly—who pulls up her profile via the app. Kelly now has access to all of Amy’s previous purchases, satisfaction scores, and previous conversations, which allows her to provide Amy a truly personalized shopping experience.
If you want to check out the full Louis Vuitton case study recording, fast-forward the keynote to 1 hour and 8 minutes.
Smart voice technology belongs in the office
Einstein Voice is as innovative as it is adorable (I mean, look at that pink hair!).
This year, Salesforce announced the next steps in its Einstein Voice project, which was introduced at last year’s conference. In short, Einstein Voice of the company’s AI voice assistant. It’s the equivalent to the Alexa or Google Assistant that you have at home, but with a business focus.
This year, in partnership with Amazon, the company revealed several new features intended to enable all Salesforce users to make smarter business decisions.
The features include:
- The Einstein Voice Assistant and Einstein Voice Skills which allows every Salesforce admin to create custom versions of the Voice Assistant for any users across all departments.
- The Einstein Call Coaching Gain which identifies keywords in sales calls so managers can quickly understand trends like an increase in competitor mentions, or best practices from the top performing agents.
- The Service Cloud Voice which enables Einstein to read keywords from call transcriptions in real-time and serve up the right knowledge articles and next-best actions for agents, reducing time spent on cases.
During the opening keynote, a demo of the new features showed how easy it would be for a manager to ask for the current sales performance of her team or get a forecast of an employee’s upcoming campaign.
Salesforce hopes that persons at work will start asking Einstein Voice to project sales forecasts, for example, instead of logging on to their computers and piddling with the software to do so.
CX Takeaways in a nutshell
Christine Rimer, our VP of product marketing and customer advocacy, summed up the key takeaways from Dreamforce perfectly in her LinkedIn post below:
The only additional takeaway from Dreamforce that I would add is this: We are living through revolutionary times and companies must accommodate these factors.
Customers expect smart experiences as they’ve grown accustomed to the benefits of artificial intelligence in their day-to-day. They are also more empowered to buy from trusted companies and warier when it comes to businesses protecting their data and privacy. These are key themes that cannot be ignored.
To deliver great customer experience is to understand the world our customers live in and adjusting to it.
Check out our new guide on how to run a successful CX program with Salesforce.