How to use Salesforce for Customer Engagement

In the past, companies engaged with customers by meeting face-to-face, simply speaking with them on the telephone or by mailing documents. Engagement was predominantly reactive, with the marketing department primarily conducting most of the outreach.Today, both consumer expectations and communication channels have significantly evolved and have changed the way modern companies rely on traditional forms of engagement. Customer service, for example, has become an enterprise-wide activity where customers engage with brands through a variety of channels including email, websites, texting, social media, smartphone apps and more.

To succeed in this new environment, companies must first break down the barriers between their business units and channels of communication and becoming more collaborative internally and more responsive externally. The Salesforce Customer Success Platform supports all of these communication capabilities. If you are seeking to increase or improve your company’s engagement with customers, we have some tips for using Salesforce to create engagement opportunities.

Exploiting digital touch points with sales force automation.

Customers and prospects are transmitting thousands of digital signals via tweets, comments and reviews every day. Aggregating these messages in a central location and finding meaningful insights from them is important in forging relationships with today’s consumer. However, it isn’t logical or feasible for anyone to manually manage this process. Sales Force Automation (SFA) can make it easier to gather information about contacts that can be used in more targeted, contextual interactions. For example, these tools can provide insights, such as the best time to send personalized content, as well as customer demographics which can help indicate their buying habits.

Today’s marketers compete to gain the attention of customers by making their content meaningful and interesting enough to connect with their target. Using Salesforce with a Marketing Automation program (such as Pardot) can help speed up the distribution process by executing campaigns across multiple channels at once. Salesforce users can program the distribution timing of various marketing messages to multiple social media networks, email messages, push notifications through mobile apps, digital ads, etc. As these messages are consumed and/or acted upon, the marketing team can see how the campaign is performing at the overall campaign level, the channel distribution level, the list level and down to the individual recipient. The ability to examine performance can help marketing departments hone successful future campaigns.

Testing content to optimize conversions.

As it gets easier to create and distribute content, it becomes more critical to know which content is converting or prompting customers to buy (direct sales, sales lead, registration sign ups, etc.), and which is not. Using CRM systems that indicate what types of content will work better on certain channels for conversion helps increase marketing’s ability to connect and engage with customers and prospects.

Salesforce can help your marketing and sales departments test content types, formats, and even delivery channels to help determine the right mix for reaching the right customer segments. This increases the likelihood that your message will be received and inspire prospects to take the first step to becoming your customer.

Nurturing and converting leads.

Managing the lead generation process can be difficult for some companies, as the number of potential leads increases and customers raise their expectations for more personalized interactions. Marketing automation combined with Salesforce can help marketing teams process leads prior to sending them off to the sales team. Leads can be scored which will help determine if they are worth nurturing or if they aren’t worth pursuing. Using insight gathered from lead score, lead activity, social signals, demographics, firmographics and other factors, Salesforce can help you determine how ready a lead is and what actions should be taken to nurture the relationship, knowing which content format and channel will work best for engagement.

Using the right support channels.

Customer service has never been more crucial. Social Media has given your customers the ability to easily share both positive and negative stories about your business, products or services. In order to achieve superior customer satisfaction, support teams need to move past traditional “service” and look to create a first-class customer experience. Think about how you can engage with your customers and in which channel (phone, online/social, in person, email). Build a sincere interest in your customers and what their business goals are so that you can help them make the correct purchasing decisions both now and in the future. The Salesforce platform can help you manage interactions across multiple channels while also managing the process flows of problem resolution. These systems can transfer information across channels efficiently to the best support resources to reduce resolution times and increase customer satisfaction levels.

Mobility and smartphone engagement.

With so many people consuming content on the go, smartphones and other mobile technology forces businesses to create mobile friendly websites and engaging apps for contextual interaction (i.e. When someone gets near a Dunkin Donuts, the app shows up on the lock screen). Salesforce can make it easy for your customer to connect with you at any moment with powerful location-aware apps. Customers can receive in-store promotions, track upcoming events – and even remember where they parked their car – all in a single app built on the App Cloud.

Your customers’ attention and interest are equally as valuable when it comes to your company’s bottom line. Starting with the right customer engagement strategy and building out the right channels of communication are critical to improving their experience and fostering better loyalty towards your brand. Salesforce can help you achieve these goals and keep your strategy on the right track.

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