Customers want to speak with a company, not a department. And according to tech giant Salesforce, the answer to a connected experience lies in the data.
Salesforce has just released its State of the Connected Customer report, which surveyed 535 of its Australian and New Zealand customers.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the biggest takeaway is that customers expect more.
“Customer are holding companies to higher standards of engagement than ever before, setting a new benchmark and expectation for tailored, contextualised engagement across multiple touch points,” said Salesforce APAC AVC Cloud Specialist Jo Gaines.
“Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report has found two-thirds of customers expect connected experiences, while 60 per cent still feel like they are communicating with siloed departments.”
So what does a siloed experience look like for a customer?
Two-thirds (66 per cent) of respondents said they often find themselves repeating information to different representatives from around the company. This is despite the fact of 78 per cent of customers expect consistent interactions across departments.
The door is open for AI
The report also illustrates a newfound willingness from customers to embrace the force of artificial intelligence.
“While innovation continues to accelerate thanks to emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, the pressure for companies now is staying ahead of the curb, with one in two Australian and New Zealand customers today saying they are open to the use of AI to improve their experiences, compared to 46 per cent a year ago,” said Gaines.
New technologies are no longer feared, rather 75 per cent of customers expect companies to embrace emerging technology in order to deliver a better experience.
Voice technologies are one area in particular where demand is high and the market is ready, the research showing 29 per cent of consumers have a speaker in their home, while 42 per cent said they would rather talk into their device than type on it.
But with this demand for better technologies also comes the challenge of securing more data.
And customers have high expectations for both.
“The research highlights how trust has become more relevant for customers,” said Gaines.
“Collective concern over an array of societal issues has prompted them to examine what companies stand for, with 77 per cent of customers believing that a company’s trustworthiness and ethics matter more than they did a year ago.”