Yet again the Salesforce.com team put on a great event. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to attend the Salesforce.com annual global customer conference Dreamforce in San Francisco. It was amazing! 60,000 people off their nuts about Salesforce! But alas, I wasn’t able to get across the pond last October. It is because of this that I’m so grateful the Salesforce World Tour, a subset of this conference, is taken to various cities around the globe. Luckily for me the tour came down under to Melbourne for the second year in a row.
There’s far too much content in an event like this to talk about in a single post. However I thought I’d call out three of my most interesting highlights from the day:
70% of customer buying is based on service
Analytics Cloud Data Sets
1. 70% of customer buying is based on service
During a particularly engaging and energetic opening Keynote from Leyla Seka, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Desk.com at salesforce.com she mentioned the statistic that 70% of customer buying is now based on the quality of service the customer receives from the seller.
This probably resonated with the majority of the audience, but for me personally it resonated in a massive way given I rate service so highly when buying a product.
One of my first service experiences occurred when I first moved out of my parent’s house. I suddenly needed to connect internet services to my new rental. Given I was studying at the time I went for a cheaper ADSL plan from a budget internet provider. Why? Well because I felt it gave me the best value for money. Turns out I was wrong.
My connection was plagued with issues from the start and it took months before I had a stable and reliable internet connection at home. Said internet provider’s customer service were useless. I swore once my contract expired I’d never use them again.
Fast forward to 2015, no longer a student, recently moved into a new home and I had learnt from my previous experience so arranged for my ADSL to be connected by a different provider that values customer service. There were setup problems (as I now know are typical with ADSL in older buildings) but my new internet provider iiNet were a class act every step of the way providing me with outstanding customer service. Not only am I willing to pay more for their service and am fiercely loyal, I recommend them to everyone I know at every chance I get.
Salesforce know this approach works and through service cloud they are giving their customers an unfair advantage by pushing this statistic and their services so strongly.
2. Analytics Cloud Data Sets
I’ve been pretty curious about the Salesforce Analytics Cloud since I heard about it last year. Honestly I figured it would be hard to break the stranglehold of the existing players in this space. What I saw on at the World Tour completely changed my opinion.
The ability to receive an excel file via email, create a Data Set from it, then group, sort and analyse the data is absolutely game changing in the world of analytics. Having worked at organisations that use products such as IBM Cognos and Microsoft SQL Reporting Services I’ve felt the pain of long wait times to have reports built only to be disappointed by the result. The inflexibility makes it difficult to manipulate dimensions on the fly. Being locked into the desktop operating environment to view reports effectively rules out managing your business on the road. The Salesforce Analytics Cloud has changed the game.
3. Lightning App Page layouts for Apple Watch
To be honest I’m not quite sure what to make of the Apple Watch. I’ve read opinion pieces that claim it’ll fail as Apple aren’t solving any problems, yet I know that deep down I still want one. What I am reasonably sure of however, is that the device will create the opportunity to innovate.
Given my past experience in the IT department of a large general contractor the first possible use that comes to mind is it could be used as a Man Down alarm. Currently solo workers often carry a token to be used in case of emergency. Perhaps they are performing a road maintenance inspection in a remote part of the network.
They leave their vehicle to inspect a fault and fall down a ditch, breaking their back. Unable to return to their vehicle they swipe on their Apple Watch, it sends a signal to their iPhone that sends a distress call to their company. Right now organisations need to purchase specialised systems to perform these actions. Why not leverage their existing investment in Salesforce? This is a classic case of digital convergence.
Clearly Salesforce has recognised this in becoming the first enterprise software provider to support the device. I was particularly impressed that their Lightning App Builder, which I’ve written about on our System Partners blog previously, already supports page layouts for the Apple Watch.
Get your unfair advantage
While getting across to Dreamforce is, and always will be the gold standard of understanding the products and innovation hub that is Salesforce.com. If you can’t get to San Francisco, do yourself a favour and attend the Salesforce World Tour when it comes to town. You can’t afford to miss out on this unfair advantage.
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