Salesforce’s Customer Data Platform (CDP), Customer 360, aims to connect diverse customer data across all platforms, applications, Cloud, and systems to provide a unified view of the purchase transactions. How do they make this happen?
Imagine this—you search briefly for a term (could be specific or generic) on your smartphone; later in the day when you make a switch to the laptop, you see relevant ads connected to your previous activity on the phone. You may finally choose to purchase the product after a few days or weeks using a tablet or your work computer. What’s important to note is how your journey has been tracked across channels and devices and how you have been prompted and aided by clever marketing ads
Artificial Intelligence (AI) or predictive analysis is not a new concept. So, what is Salesforce’s Customer 360 bringing to the table that’s not already claimed to have been achieved by most marketing vendors?
Patrick Stokes, SVP at Salesforce (Integration Cloud), explains that previous attempts to provide a 360-degree view of the customer’s purchase journey have been made assuming that a business can control the journey a customer would take—which is seldom entirely possible. Luth Research data reveals that an average car shopper‘s journey travels across 900 digital touchpoints. Increasing digitization and a multi-channel shopping window make mapping consumer journey accurately a complex process.
Several customer interactions slip through or remain scattered over say, a telephone chat, a feedback email, or even product reviews. These data sprawls are spread across several systems and applications making it difficult for the CRM tools to retrieve. Furthermore, there’s always the possibility of data duplication and errors in judgement due to misinformed knowledge.
Salesforce’s strongest argument in favour of Customer 360 is that the efforts made by traditional tools thus far to unify silo customer data, track records and update purchase history in real-time puts a huge strain on the IT department in terms of resources, bandwidth and money.
Customer 360, with its recently acquired MuleSoft technology, aims to provide a unified customer ID while sitting in the centre of all Salesforce applications and Salesforce Cloud. There will be no central data repository that replicates data from different systems. Customer 360 will draw up a customer graph by tapping into only the relevant data or just the core attributes of a customer.
“Our point of view is simple. What we need is a single identifier. Not a single version of the truth, but a unified ID that can connect systems,” says Stokes.
How is better customer engagement achieved?
The combined effect of Einstein and MuleSoft
We’re fairly familiar with non-integrated customer support systems wherein we place a call to state our grievances only to have to repeat the same information to different executives. Had the systems been integrated, our profile would have been automatically updated with the recent information, saving time and effort of all. This is of course a very simple problem; nevertheless, literally faced by customers even today.
Customer 360 pieces together all the bits of information provided by a customer at any point of time to provide a complete picture. The MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform connects different data for the same customer using a single ID but essentially the data remains in its respective systems. The Anypoint platform integrates the individual APIs and connects to Customer 360.
With Customer 360, the data in different Clouds are interlinked which allows a marketer in a service cloud to modify data in a commerce cloud or send promotional emails while being in the commerce cloud. This is how an email can be immediately sent out when an abandoned cart is identified in real-time.
Data unification is the first step towards creating a rich and meaningful customer profile. With consent management, brands will be able to gauge customer interest and also obtain consent for email marketing or digital brand ads.
Advanced segmentation allows brands to profile customers as per specific demography or purchase history, usually outliers. This way companies can reach out to customers, devise personalized marketing campaigns according to their taste and interests. For instance, based on the search history and browsing trails, a company can figure out that there is a separate audience for experiential culinary trips within a city.
Einstein Voice is another exciting feature that’s targeted at making customer experiences wholesome and fruitful. The Salesforce Einstein Voice enables the transcription of voice commands and uses natural language processing to enable users to update customer profiles or draft emails or even schedule meetings.
With the Einstein AI insights, customer profiles are kept updated as and when they browse through a catalogue or click an ad or purchase a commodity. Companies can improve customer engagement and build brand loyalty by driving relevant product recommendations using the right mix of channels.
Tom Thomas, vice president of business intelligence and analytics, FordDirect, hopes that with Einstein Voice, FordDirect can get better insights from their telephonic conversations with customers; integrate and analyse the calls for potential sale conversions.
To find out more about Salesforce Customer 360, do write in to our Salesforce team at Suyati.