Reimagine Customer Relationships – Success from anywhere in our new digital world

October 20, 2021
October 19, 2021
Lenka Kovaříková

Petra Jenner launched the 2nd Digital Transformation Summit hosted by Enehano Solutions on May 13, 2021 with her key note. She focused on a visionary and very current topic in her presentation:

„How we can reimagine customer relationships and how to achieve success from anywhere in our new digital world“.

Customer relationships

Let's think about these topics:

- How do you currently get a complete picture of each customer? Is it increasingly more difficult?  

- How well are you able to connect and to optimize customer experiences across touch points?

- Or probably the one which has been on top of many CEOs' mind – how has your organization been adopting the rapid technology changes? Are you able to satisfy increasing customer expectations all around the world?‍

Digital is a Requirement and an Opportunity

There are many issues that companies need to address. We'd like to help you find an answer to some of them. Our customers and also business decision-makers say that digital initiatives have been accelerated all around the world. The pandemic has accelerated it massively. I mean, it's also clear that our roles and responsibilities have changed and there's no going back to the old world.

The roles of many of us have changed forever. The focus has shifted from keeping our employees safe, we all work longer hours a day in general and we present ourselves virtually – more, or less we meet online every day.

Homeworking and flexible work styles are still in discussion, even though the pandemic obviously is softening a bit, which is good news for all of us. If you look at the people in the organization, there are many changes also: the sales leaders have to re-imagine how customers will deal with a pandemic. And they have to potentially change the way you go to market. They probably have to build new online sales channels and that is becoming more and more difficult. And then of course, the role of the CIO has shifted. Petra heard a very nice statement from a CIO recently, who said:

„I always had difficulties to convince my leadership to invest more in infrastructure and to invest more into the technology. But the pandemic has actually provided me the evidence, how important technology is these days.“

How do we deal with customers?

The role of marketing managers has changed significantly because all of a sudden, events in the physical space literally disappeared for at least a year, they were impossible. So, they had to transform the entire customer engagement from the way they do it into a complete digital marketing strategy. They also probably weren't prepared to do digital campaigns or digital events on the scale that they do today. So, the world has really changed significantly. And it also let you know how we spend our days with customers?

Every society asks this question and we all used digital tools before we had digital commitments, but not to the extent that we have them today. And it was just a little warning. It became the primary way to reach customers overnight. So, across the globe, companies and employees had to make huge adjustments. Let's take a look at an overview of how Salesforce sees new ways to engage customers. And there are basically four types of virtual encounters that we would like to distinguish ourselves from. First, the first and easiest way is virtual content. It is the most basic form of engagement, and that includes new ways of delivering content through digital channels. The second way to engage customers in the digital world is through virtual experiences and experiences in the virtual world that need to be processed in order to communicate with consumers in a new way. This happened, for example, at online events.

And then there's the virtual presence, which simulates the presence of the user or gives the impression that the user is somewhere through digital means. Distance health, for example, has become a strength in the medical space in the last year because of all the problems we faced in a pandemic and suddenly the virtual presence option was the biggest. So, a new way of engaging. And then, of course, the last one that is probably the most difficult is also the virtual self, the new virtual abilities must be identified by a new, personal identity, how others see themselves and how others perceive you. For example, another digital task is something that is a week of growing 8:21 tech and wiring technique and in the digital marketing space. So, let's sum up where we are today.

Where we are today

Today, relationships require us to have point-based solutions, very point-based encounters. We had work from home, but tomorrow we need a more clearly integrated solution. We have to have an Omni channel strategy.

We need to find new working models and work from everywhere.

And that's exactly what the future will look like. We have a solution. This is Salesforce Customer 360. It is clearly the very digital first platform that meets the needs of the digital imperative and allows for a rapid transition to the digital world. It helps to create a single point of view for your customer and across applications leading to market and sales, services, marketing and commerce. It is clear that this is the first digital platform we can offer.

How should we re-imagine customer relationships?

The first factor that is really important is speed. Speed is the ability to really make smart decisions and do this fast with a very full picture of who are your customers. And that's something which is absolutely fundamental in these times. Digital really accelerated the way we do business and not only how we engage. The next thing which is absolutely fundamental is scale. Companies are growing and sometimes they go now faster than before, especially with companies who have shifted and did the digital transformation in the early days of the pandemic.

They now have to prepare the organization to innovate constantly and also to scale fast. And then the relevance – we have to reinvent customer engagement all day long. We don't know how things are going to evolve over time. So, it's very important to reinvent this. All of this can be achieved and accomplished clearly with our Salesforce customer 360 solutions. That's important, but then let me highlight, because we talk also about resilience very often, and you probably have seen the latest study and you see that resilience is one of the most important things, for the future on how to lead teams, but also empowering your teams. And there is one thing which is really important – we need to create meaningful, seamless customer journeys. Journeys which connect the customer with us, but also utilize a single source of truth, having the right data at the right moment and time.

Resilience in these days

We need to optimise performance and productivity, but we also need to optimise the way we engage. And that's very important. Resilience is absolutely important these days. We have to support our teams. We need to make sure you can support your teams so they can support customers in a much better way. We need to make sure that people continue to work together, that they are able to train and board, because when you boarded, you probably noticed that this is a real challenge in a fully digital world and requires very different levels of engagement from your staff. And that is definitely something that is absolutely crucial.

And from that perspective, we need to focus a lot on developing new boarding methods, but also allowing us to be in a world where employees are more at the center of everything we do. That's what we're seeing everywhere now, that we need to up-skill and re-educate most of our employees because of the pandemic. We can only improve performance if we can get our existing people, our employees, into a position where they can actually improve and re-train some of them.

Because we are in a completely new digital world and we have already known that some skills and some new roles are coming up that we have evaluated together with the World Economic Forum that was created earlier this year, that new jobs are being built. And that really accelerated during the pandemic.

The effect of Re-/Upskilling on KPIs

Can we support our customers in retraining and upgrading your workforce? How can we make sure that you get past the talent and skill gap? Because what Petra hears many, many times when we talk to customers is

"Yeah, but where do we get these people? Where do we get the skills we need?"  

And we distinguished four types of skills. One is problem-solving, then self-management, which is increasingly relevant. And then also working with people, which is important. And then how are people able to use technology? We need to pay attention to the fact that the digital imperative and the world is more digital than ever before. There is a digital divide.

Some people may be falling behind, which is why it is so important for all of us to make sure that we secure and support increased talent for our customers and bridge the gap that needs to be bridged for a fully digital world. And you could see the top 15 jobs of the future – artificial intelligence specialists. It's no big surprise to people who are really into the technology, but I think it's absolutely important to stress. We see five ways or five benefits from new ways of working together. We need to make sure our platform helps you engage your employees. Employees increasingly resemble in-house customers. It's very important. Many companies try to be strong brands to attract talent.

Hybrid workplace model

Today, it's so important in every country. So, we also need to make sure that our Salesforce platform helps flexible start-ups. To accept new leadership as well, but also to rebuild the workplace.

We have done studies and, at the start of the pandemic, 35% said that we could live in a digital home working environment.

In the meantime, we will move towards a hybrid model. I would call it that people are likely to work approximately two days from home and three days from the office. But the offices will be rebuilt, it will be a community center. It will be a collaboration and so on. Bridging the gap between talent and digital talent is something that is really important.

Salesforce Learning in the Eastern European Markets

We invest a lot in our Eastern European markets. As you can see in the figure below, there is a strong teaching use of our Trailhead platform, which is fantastic to see. Across all these countries you can see that Poland is really clearly at the forefront, but you can see that many other countries are also leading, especially the Czech Republic, which is great news. I think that's exactly how we'd like to support the entire ecosystem to really bridge the digital talent gap. And now I think it's all about digital transformation. Let's talk about digital transformation.

The Difference in Markets Between Eastern Europe and Western Europe

There's a lot more talent in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe. There are lots of technologies, know-how and very good foundations for the future in Eastern European markets. In terms of digital transformation, most of the companies we talk to are now accelerating their digital transformation projects. So, I think we're at a stage where most of the companies, some of them are really at the forefront of Western Europe, but there are others that are now coming out and we're seeing a huge upturn in certain markets and that's really good news.

I really believe that we're going to have a fantastic future in Eastern Europe. I think you have very good skills. You're very talented, and now you decide to go into these two digital words. That's the only recommendation I would make, but I think Eastern Europe is really well set on a good path.

The biggest challenge for companies in the CEE region

The biggest challenge is coping with rapid change and bridging old or new businesses on the other side. Also, what will my business look like in the future? How can I get closer to customers? This is something that is still a big issue. It is necessary to really reimagine how we work with customers and how to address them, how to approach them, how to engage them, that is a key theme. Indeed, many companies need to reinvent their entire market strategy. That's a big discussion with many of the customers and many of the prospects we're talking to these days.

Thank you, Petra!

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