7 Insights on Customer Expectations in 2020 based on Salesforce Research

Liron Kaplan
Bseller Co-Founder

State of the Connected Customer

State of the connected Customer is the 3rd  and latest edition of Salesforce Research, conducted with over 8,000 business buyers and consumers

It should be safe to assume most companies already understand that customers are connected to them. Connected means able to engage and influence. Customer Engagement today builds different levels of relationships as it’s conducted over multiple communication channels. Typically, also includes multiple stakeholders.

The read below will give you some insights on what’s happening with your customer on those channels. It may even give you some insights on where you should dig deeper into your own data and make sure your customer experience improves over time. Just like a product or a service.C

1. Customer Experience is important just as Product or Service

In this report, Salesforce Research team went deeper into Customer Expectations. Straight into Omnichannel communication space, personalization and more.

The report shows that vast majority of customers (and almost 90% of business buyers) consider the Customer Experience as important as the product or service.

Customer experience starts with the first touch of your company related content. It continues all the way into the customer journey. A dynamic path the sales rep will need to guide the customer on.

Gaining trust and influence requires a different set of Communication skills on different channels. Enhancing the customer experience requires storytelling. However the story should be told differently on different channels. Think well about what you are presenting and where. 

2. Great Customer Experience will reward a competitive edge

The good news are that if you do this right, customer experience can definitely provide you with a competitive edge.

Over 80% of Business Buyers confirmed a better experience will be a competitive advantage for a vendor.

What a great new way to differentiate yourself and create customer loyalty. This is an opportunity for companies to use some imagination and a bit of the sales team DNA for a great customer experience.

3. Customer experience that works can allow higher margins

82% of Business Buyers are willing to pay more for a great experience. 

Looks like Business buyers especially are waiting for a new experience. There’s no doubt new creative ways will need to step in and enhance each customer journey in a special way.

Whoever finds the right way to create a great customer experience first, will receive a chance to sell for a higher price and keep more margin. 

4. Personalization is still an opportunity, soon to be a must

One of the major gaps in the report is the reality Vs. expectation gap on personalization.

While over 50% of customers think companies are impersonal, over 70% of customers expect someone to know them and really care.

Here is something machines can’t do instead of humans that well, at least for now. Caring.

Humans can use machines in a smart way, to help the customers feel personally recognized and well thought off. Those kind of machines & sales tools, need to be considered. Customers don’t always remember what you said, but they remember how you made them feel. Making them feel like your company sees them and cares about them is a great way to nurture customer loyalty.

5. Sales Conversations are definitely going digital

55% of customers, including 68% of Millennials/Gen Zers, prefer digital channels of communication.

I think it’s clear in which direction we are going. The digital customer engagement holds a lot of opportunities for smart sellers that know how to work with data. As detailed below, customers would also be willing to provide it in some cases to enhance experience.

6. Re-sellers will need to step it up

Remember we just mentioned that the experience is as important as the product or service?

Well if the product or service are the same, it’s most likely the experience will be the determining factor in vendor selection.

76% of Consumers expect the same level of engagement when buying from a brand as when buying from a retailer. Millennials/Gen Zers are marking a shift towards buying direct.

Retailer’s, Distributors and any Re-Seller out there should start thinking about this. This potential “risk”, may very well be a great opportunity to innovate how you engage with your customer digitally, collect more data and achieve sale success alongside more meaningful customer engagement.

7. Customers are willing to let A.I pave the way

62% of customers were open to use A.I to improve their customer experience.

This number is up from 59% in 2018 and shows a trend sales managers should be aware of.
A.I can help sales departments in many ways, and having the customer cooperation makes it easier to implement and succeed with.

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