Connect to Your Customers in a Whole New Way

By Dick Stark

Last week, I attended a salesforce seminar in Washington DC, Connect to Your Customers in a Whole New Way.  The keynote speaker was  Mark Benioff, Chairman and CEO, salesforce.com. It was a standing room only affair– think Dreamforce, but on a much smaller scale.  The message: become a customer connected/trusted/focused company. Salesforce will show you how.

Thanks to our Remedyforce experience, RightStar is a salesforce consulting partner. Additionally, internally, we’ve used salesforce’s sales force automation software ever since we started RightStar. And, we will soon become a salesforce ISV partner, as our own product group is developing a purchasing app for the force.com platform.

Mark Benioff began the keynote by proclaiming that change is pervasive and not only are we in the midst of a customer revolution, but also:

  • Social revolution: 4B social users world-wide;
  • Mobile revolution: 1.7B touch devices shipped in 2012;
  • Big Data revolution: 450B business transactions per year by 2020;
  • Community revolution: think of Chatter or crowdsourcing to collaborate and solve problems;
  • Apps revolution: every company should become an Apps company;
  • Cloud revolution: $111B industry in 2012; and
  • Trust revolution: era of customer trust and privacy.

Throughout the morning, Mark used testimonials from several customers: Department of State, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Obama for America, and Rosetta Stone to show how they have adopted the customer company philosophy, and how they have transformed the way they sell, service, and market. Here are a few examples:

Become an App Company. In case you haven’t noticed, Coca-Cola’s old vending machines are being replaced with new “Freestyle” vending machines that mixes up to 125 different flavors. Coke built a salesforce app to manage these machines and connect/socialize the users to each other to compare their flavor experiences.

Create Communities. The Obama campaign used salesforce and Chatter to make every connection (and vote) matter.  By using social media to connect with constituents they could identify experts (or volunteers) to resolve issues faster, especially in the days leading up to the election.

Service customers everywhere. The salesforce Service Cloud delivers a seamless customer experience.  By connecting through social media, the web, email, or even the old fashioned way—phoning in, Service Cloud connects everyone on every channel.

Conspicuously absent was any mention of Remedyforce, which connects internal customers (employees) to IT.  Connecting the “Internet of things” together can be complicated and someone will undoubtedly need some help along the way.  Even better is  BMC’s MyIT which ships later this month.  But more on that later….

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About dick1stark

I am the President, CEO, and founder of RightStar Systems, a leading IT consultancy and BMC Software Solution Provider and Atlassian Expert Partner. My passion is customer success—whether it’s reducing the cost of service management, improving overall efficiency, or increasing end-user or employee satisfaction. Since founding RightStar in 2003, RightStar has made the INC 5000 list four times. In 2011, RightStar was awarded the prestigious National Capital Business Ethics Award (NCBEA) by the Society of Financial Service Professionals based upon RightStar’s foundation of honesty, ethics, and integrity. And in 2014, RightStar was selected by Forrester Research as one of 13 North American companies profiled in its ITSM Consultancy Wave Report. Finally, in 2016, BMC selected RightStar as its 2015 Supplier of the Year for its consulting partnership and excellence in service delivery. Dick is a graduate of Stanford University and a Project Management Professional (PMP).
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