Businesses can no longer only consider sales when attempting to increase profit. Instead, they must carefully consider how they can help shoppers in a smarter way and offer them personalized customer service. Customers have more control over their relationships with companies than ever before. Above all else, they want differentiated services; they look for reliability and convenience, quickly condemning companies that fail to meet their expectations.
According to the third edition of Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report, 84% of the surveyed say the experience provided by a company is as important as the products themselves. On top of that, 73% say one incredible experience raises their expectations of other companies, and 66% are eager to pay more for a better experience.
This means that being customer-centric is no longer a cherry on top of the company’s reputation; it is a must-have for companies who want to stay on the market.
So what does it mean to be customer-centric? In brief, there are three main targets to achieve.
1. Deliver personalized customer service. As many as 73% of customers say that a company should understand their needs and expectations. So companies should get to know their customers as closely as possible and tailor their services accordingly.
2. Master connected experiences. Customers want brands to remember their previous interactions, including purchase history and sentiments, through all channels.
3. Never stop innovating. Well over half of customers prefer buying from innovative companies. The more advanced digital experience a brand can offer, the more customers they will attract and retain.
While the figures above essentially prove the customer centric paradigm, let’s look at eight real-world examples of how getting Salesforce consultants on board can help increase companies’ sales and customer loyalty.
#1. Digital channel upgrade increases sales by 59%
adidas was already one of the sneaker market leaders, but in 2016 they invested in the enhancement of their digital sales channel with Salesforce. In particular, they improved three areas:
- Provided convenient omnichannel service support for customers via the Service Cloud.
- Collected and utilized a huge amount of customer data in order to provide personalized recommendations and create products based on customer sentiment. Commerce Cloud was used to tackle the task.
- Allowed customers to create products tailored to their personality and body type.
adidas’ new personalized customer service approach increased their online sneaker sales by 59%, or approximately €1 billion.
Analyzing customer data, delivering an integrated customer experience, and creating innovative ways for customers to participate in the product creation—these three components help brands market faster, deliver a better experience, and, as a result, boost sales.
#2. Personalized services bring a 900% revenue growth
YETI started as a cooler producer that focused on their customers. As their audience grew, they didn’t want to lose their customer-first approach. So, YETI switched from spreadsheets and sticky notes to the Salesforce CRM. Now closer to their customer-centric efforts than ever before, YETI managed to:
- Speed up their responses to customers through all channels by integrating Salesforce with their ERP. This way YETI could enable their managers to access the latest account information whenever necessary and respond incredibly quickly to requests.
- Start analyzing customer data and delivering relevant complementary products, suggestions, and personalized tips regarding their products.
- Provide an online product customization tool that let customers take part in manufacturing (customers can add custom logos and any text to any model).
- Set up a convenient and unified environment for the customer support team and thereby start resolving issues faster.
In two years, YETI’s personalized customer service grew revenue by almost 900%, reaching $450 million.
Small companies can grow fast by delivering highly personalized experiences. As they grow, this all-around customer orientation requires more advanced technologies that are costly but worth it in the end.
#3. Personalized emails and consistent omnichannel experience grow revenue by 70%
ALDO Group is a well-known footwear chain whose core values consist of a dedication to individual shoppers and society as a whole. Along their customer-centric journey, they did several things:
- Implemented data analytics and started generating insight into customers’ personalities. This allowed ALDO to provide better-crafted experiences both online and offline.
- Equipped sales assistants with mobile devices that held customer data, including shopping and browsing histories. This improved customer service in ALDO stores. Now sales reps know what customers are looking for the moment they walk in the store.
- Utilized predictive intelligence to provide smart recommendations online.
- Started managing interactions with top-tier customers, offering special perks and premium products.
- Reduced sales email volume by about 50% but made them better-aligned with individual preferences.
ALDO increased email conversion by 131% over one year, increased revenue by 70%, and created one-to-one connections with 200 million customers across communication channels.
Thorough customer data analysis can lead to less frequent (and less annoying) communication that is also more sales-provoking.
#4. AI-driven upselling & cross-selling increases average order value by 11%
Icebreaker replaced a third-party tool with Einstein, Salesforce’s AI driven predictive recommendation engine, in order to make product suggestions more personal and human. These tips are based on each customer’s buying history, the shop’s general sales, and lists of complementary products. As every successful recommendation further trains the underlying algorithm, the suggestions become more and more precise.
Recommendations powered by Einstein helped Icebreaker generate 28% more revenue from recommended products and increase the average order value by 11%.
Thanks to machine learning capabilities, AI-based recommendation engines perform tasks more effectively than their alternatives. Utilizing built-in Salesforce Einstein reduces integration and maintenance costs.
#5. ML-based personalized recommendations increase conversion rate by 9%
Black Diamond replaced the manual loading of product recommendations with Salesforce Einstein, which they used from their Commerce Cloud. This helped the company suggest related products in real time to both registered customers and guests.
Black Diamond’s conversion rate grew by 9.6%, and the total revenue per visitor increased by 15.5%.
In order to suggest complementary products more accurately, companies can utilize AI-based recommendation engines.
#6. A seamless experience and history-based customer service bring a 99% retention rate
DUFL is a luxury travel assistant that takes care of their clients’ luggage, including packing, shipping, doing laundry, and even fixing damages (e.g., broken shoe heels). They introduced Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud and made their service more personalized in the following ways:
- DUFL now remembers every client’s unique needs and provides highly-customized service.
- They provide omnichannel support experience and resolve similar issues based on the history of clients’ decisions.
DUFL’s team of just 25 employees easily manages their growing customer base (+10% every month) and maintains a 99% retention rate.
Robust technology can empower a small team to deliver an exceptional service to an expanding customer base.
#7. A nonprofit personalized communication increased donor conversion rate by 300%
DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit organization that helps public schools receive support from the community. They increased funding by utilizing Salesforce Marketing and Sales Clouds to better engage with their donors.
They used this CRM technology to achieve several goals:
- Let individual donors collaborate directly with teachers and provide support for particular projects.
- Send donors profile-based personalized emails to encourage their participation in the projects they want and can support.
- Deliver dollar-for-dollar spending reports and personalized appreciation messages from classrooms to donors.
- Personalize conversation between donors and the DonorsChoose.org team by equipping the latter with a detailed communication history.
- Develop new donor outreach strategies based on the revenue funnel analysis.
Advanced technology helped DonorsChoose.org start delivering personalized services to 1.5 million donors (instead of only a few million-dollar donors).
As a result, the organization increased the donor conversion rate by 300% and exceeded their annual fundraising goal in just 6 months.
Nonprofit organizations can’t entice their target audience with discounts or coupons. This case proves that a personal touch, service visibility, and constant improvement based on analysis can do wonders even if you sell something as subtle as generosity.
#8. Personalization ensures a 95% subscription renewal rate on the information providers market
Encyclopedia Britannica started creating digital products and went online in order to combat a 97% decline in print sales over six years. To keep up with customers’ preferences, they needed to emphasize their core values of information reliability and a personal approach for every reader.
Utilizing Salesforce Service Cloud and Chatter, the rebranded Britannica Digital Learning started analyzing customer data, developing buyer journeys, recording customer feedback, and integrating all of this into their digital product development process.
The social media sentiment scores and subscription renewal rates of Encyclopedia Britannica grew to 95%, and their profit margins have increased 8% since Salesforce implementation.
Even though there is plenty of free information online, Encyclopedia Britannica won back its customers by promoting its high credibility and delivering personalized services. Yet again, this proves that being customer-centric is a sound survival strategy even in remarkably competitive markets such as information services.
Competition is only getting more and more severe across many markets, and companies have to be innovative and customer-centric in order to retain their loyal clientele and attract new shoppers. These latest Salesforce case studies show that customers want more personalized experiences above all else. They’re not willing to pay for just products and services; they need human interactions with brands that clearly care about their interests.
When the clientele grows fast, delivering highly personalized services without the proper technologies becomes impossible. This is when advanced CRM and marketing tools, such as Salesforce Clouds, can assist brands with data tracking and analytics. While machines manage routine tasks and sophisticated calculations, companies’ staff are free to do what they were historically responsible for: serving people in a more human way than faceless corporations often do.