Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, today released the third edition of its State of the Connected Customer report which reveals that companies are being challenged to rethink not just the individual experiences they provide customers, but their entire approach to customer engagement. At the same time, the research shows that corporate values have become more relevant than ever and factor into customers' decisions of whether or not to buy from a company.
The global report captures insights from over 8,000 consumers and business buyers across 16 countries, including over 500 from Singapore to help companies transform how they drive customer success.
"Singaporeans are becoming more discerning; they have higher expectations of how they wish to be engaged and also expect companies to use innovative to engineer a seamless customer experience. These customer expectations are driving transformation and innovation, and quite frankly, reflect the future of Services 4.0," said Jess O'Reilly, Regional Vice President, Asia at Salesforce.
"This vision is all about placing the customer at the centre of your business, and earning the customers' trust with transparent and honest business ethics."
Customers Expect Connected, Multi-Channel Experiences
The Salesforce report determines that customers' standards for engagement are different today. Customers expect timely and connected experiences where their preferences are known across multiple touchpoints and can be quickly accessed. In Singapore, 71% of customers expect companies to interact with them in real time and 70% of customers said companies need to transform how they engage with them.
Brand Values Sway Customers' Buying Decisions
New this year, the research found that corporate values are swaying customers' buying decisions. Customers expect companies to not only operate ethically and with their communities' interests at heart, but in a way that advances cause that they care about such as equal rights, philanthropy and sustainability. In Singapore, 77% of customers believe a company's ethics matter more than they did a year ago, and 56% actively seek to buy from environmentally sustainable companies. In Singapore, customers (56%) actively seek out philanthropic companies.
Trust is More Relevant than Ever
Trust has always been valuable in customer relationships, but in an era marked by data security vulnerabilities, a lot goes into fostering customer trust. The Salesforce report revealed that 73% of customers in Singapore have stopped buying from a company that did something distrustful, and 74% believe that most companies aren't transparent about how they use their data. Globally, customers feel that honesty is the best policy for earning customer trust, and while security and reliability serve as baseline indicators of trustworthiness, other factors such as transparency, ethics and authenticity come in striking distance.
Customers' Expectations are Driving Innovation, Digital Transformation
Innovation can come through new products or new ways of engaging customers. Whatever the form factor, the bar for innovation is higher than ever, with 82% of customers in Singapore expecting companies to use new technologies to create better experiences. Digital transformation initiatives like artificial intelligence, voice technology and connected devices are having more impact on the customer experience. More than 80% of customers in Singapore are using connected devices, and 75% are open to using artificial intelligence to improve their experiences.
The State of the Connected Customer report is being released globally ahead of Salesforce Connections 2019 (June 17-19), where marketing, commerce and customer service leaders from top brands come together to transform their businesses and bring their companies closer to customers. Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi will keynote the event and introduce new innovations across the Salesforce product portfolio.
The Salesforce report features data profiles from three regions - Europe, APAC and North America - and 16 countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom and the United States. Cultural bias impacts survey results.
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