Today businesses can no longer think only about sales to increase profit. Instead, they need to consider carefully how they can help shoppers smarter and deliver personalized customer service. Customers have more control over their relationships with companies than ever before. They want differentiated services; they look for reliability and convenience, quickly condemning the companies that fail to meet their expectations.
According to a 2018 Salesforce report, 80% of customers value buying experience as much as products themselves. On top of that, 62% of customers share bad experiences with their friends and acquaintances, and 57% switch to competitors that provide a better shopping experience. All this means that being customer-centric is no longer a nice add-on to the company’s reputation; it is a must for those who want to stay on the market in the near future.
So what does it mean to be customer-centric? In brief, there are 3 main targets to achieve.
While the figures above per se prove the strengths of the customer‑centric paradigm, let’s look at 8 real-world examples of how a customer-focused approach to the selling process and Salesforce CRM implementation helped companies increase their sales and customer loyalty.
Though already being one of the sneaker market leaders, in 2016, Adidas invested in the enhancement of their digital sales channel. In particular, they improved 3 areas:
Adidas’s new approach to personalized customer service helped them increase online sneaker sales by 59% or approximately €1 billion.
Analyzing customer data, delivering integrated customer experience, and creating innovative ways for customers to participate in the product creation – these three components can help brands market faster, deliver a better experience, and, as a result, boost sales.
Data Source: Salesforce case study about Adidas
YETI started as a cooler producer focused on their clients. As their customer base grew, they didn’t want to renounce their customer-first approach. So, YETI switched from spreadsheets and paper sticky notes to Salesforce CRM. Closer to customer-centric efforts, YETI:
In two years, YETI’s personalized customer service helped them grew revenue by almost 900% and reach $450 million.
Small companies can grow fast by delivering highly personalized experiences. As they grow, such all-around customer orientation requires more advanced technologies that are costly but worth it.
Data Source: Salesforce case study about YETI
Today ALDO Group is a well-known footwear chain that has made their dedication to individual shoppers and the whole society one of their core values. As parts of their customer-centric journey, they did several things:
ALDO saw a 131% increase in email conversion over one year, increased revenue by 70%, and managed to create one-to-one connections with 200 million customers across communication channels.
A thorough analysis of customer data can lead to less frequent (and less annoying) but more sales-provoking communication.
Data Source: Salesforce case study about ALDO
Icebreaker replaced a third-party tool with Einstein, Salesforce’s AI‑driven predictive recommendation engine, to make product suggestions more personal and humanlike. These tips are based on each customer’s buying history, the shop’s sales in general, and lists of complementary products. As every successful recommendation educates the tool, suggestions keep getting 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. The usage of the in-build Salesforce Einstein allows for saving on integration and maintenance costs.
Data Source: Salesforce case study about Icebreaker
Black Diamond replaced manual loading of product recommendations with Salesforce Einstein, included in the Commerce Cloud. This helped the company to start suggesting related products in real time to both registered customers and guests.
The web store’s conversion rate grew by 9.6%, and the total revenue per visitor increased by 15.5%.
To suggest complementary products more accurately, companies can start using AI-based recommendation engines.
Data Source: Salesforce case study about Black Diamond
DUFL is a luxury travel assistant that takes care of their clients’ luggage, including packing, shipping, doing laundry, and even fixing damage (e.g., broken shoe heels). They introduced Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud and managed to make their service more personalized in the following ways:
DUFL’s team of just 25 employees manages the growing customer base (+10% every month) and keeps a 99% retention rate.
Robust technology can indeed empower a small team to deliver an exceptional service to a large customer base.
Data Source: Salesforce case study about DUFL
DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit organization that helps public schools receive support from the community. They used Salesforce Marketing and Sales Clouds to better engage with their donors and this way increase funding. They used CRM technology to achieve several goals:
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 managed to increase donor conversion rate by 300% and exceed 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.
Data Source: Salesforce case study about DonorsChoose
Encyclopedia Britannica started creating digital products and went online to combat a 97% decline in print sales over six years. To keep up with new customers’ preferences, they had to emphasize such core values as information reliability and personal approach to every reader. Using Salesforce Service Cloud and Chatter, the rebranded Britannica Digital Learning started analyzing customer data, developing buyer journeys, recording customer feedback and integrating it into the digital product development process.
The social media sentiment scores and subscription renewal rates of Encyclopedia Britannica have grown to 95%. The profit margins have increased 8% since Salesforce implementation.
Even though there is plenty of free information online, Encyclopedia Britannica managed to win back their customers by promoting its high credibility and delivering personalized services to every customer. This proves one more time that being customer-centric is a sound strategy to survive even in such highly competitive markets as information.
Data Source: Salesforce case study about Encyclopedia Britannica
Competition is getting more severe on different markets, and companies have to be innovative and customer-centric to retain their loyal clientele and attract new shoppers. The latest reports and Salesforce case studies show that customers want to get more personalized experiences. They don’t want to pay for solely products and services; they need human-like interactions with brands.
When the clientele grows fast, delivering such a high level of personalized services without proper technologies becomes impossible. This is when advanced CRM and marketing tools, such as Salesforce Clouds, come in to assist brands in data tracking and analytics. While machines take care of routine tasks and sophisticated calculations, companies’ staff, in their turn, can do the thing they were historically responsible for, which is serving people in a more human way than faceless corporations often do.