Tiffani Bova, Salesforce’s global customer growth and innovation ‘evangelist’, noted to Sage Summit delegates in Chicago that clients are increasingly inclined to share information about their own product experience, and equally, to turn to their own network for feedback on a product, before consulting with the product provider.
As a result, senior executives across a host of technology companies are increasingly taking a more customer-centric approach to informing their leadership decisions.
“Eighty-three per cent of CEOs say their companies rely on their customer feedback to guide their feedback decisions,” said Ms Bova.
“The way we find information now is very different. It used to be that the sales representatives knew everything. Now, customers have more information about the products than you do,” she said.
“The customers are more disruptive to us than the technology, because they’re smarter. They’re making decisions in a very different way,” she added.
Ms Bova encouraged SMEs to consider their clients as their “greatest sales force,” given the likelihood of prospective clients sourcing information from the crowd before forging a new partnership.
“Your customers saying good things, giving a good review and posting things … is telling your story like nobody else can,” she said.
With that in mind, SMEs should rethink their engagement with their client base, and ensure it’s not detracting from their overall customer experience.
“You will opt out of things in your personal life when you don’t feel like it adds value. Yet we send mass emails and think it adds value,” she said.
“Thinking about creating deeper relationships means using new tools to be smarter to manage those customers. It’s the best lead-generating campaign that you don’t have to pay for,” she added.