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Happy New Year to everyone! 2018 is in the books and 2019 is officially here. It’s been a big year for Salesforce, and of course, for us Salesforce experts and consultants. As always, the platform is growing to service a bigger audience but also working to provide better solutions and functionality for those already using it.

Last year saw tremendous advances in the areas of AI, Security (GDPR), automation, big data and the Internet of Things. So what can we expect in the world of CRM in the coming year? Well if, its anything like last year, quite a lot!

The growing trends in just about every area of business and sales revolve around the ever-increasing amounts of information and data out there, and how they are used, analyzed and processed. People want to make sure their data isn’t being manipulated, but they also want better and more relevant interactions from brands. Companies are challenged to not only collect as much data while maintaining trust but then needing to figure out how to understand that data to grow.

According to Salesforce’s fifth annual “State of Marketing” report, released in December 2018, 84% of those polled said that being treated like a person rather than a number is essential to winning their business. With all of this in mind, it should come as no surprise that Salesforce is likely going to focus on Customer Experience (CX) in the following year.

What is the idea behind CX?

In a nutshell, you can think of it as a new piece of the value proposition. Customers are finding how they are treated to be increasingly more important, and purchase decisions are not just on the quality of product or service alone.

So how will Salesforce likely move in this direction? There are 3 main areas that come to mind:

  • Customer Data and Personalization
    • Connecting with customers and making them feel valued. Giving them a curated experience and not just a one-size-fits-all response. This is what people are looking for. It’s all about personalization, and the more personal you can make the customer’s experience, the better.
    • Collecting customer data is how companies are able to customize each customer’s experience. Not just the obvious things like their name and address, but minute data points that begin to tell the bigger picture of their needs, wants and habits. Look to Salesforce to roll out many different tools and add-ons that make that customer experience ever more personable

  • AI
    • In 2018, Salesforce pushed pretty hard to get their AI software, Einstein, into the minds of customers. Watch for it to really begin to take root in 2019. Relying on computer analytics to give quality recommendations naturally takes time to adjust to, but sooner or later, it will take hold. Or at least, this is the bet that Salesforce has gone all in on.
    • AI can allow companies to get ahead of the game and be proactive with regards to their customers’ needs. Some new areas you may begin to see AI in are voice-to-text functionalities, spam filters, sales forecasting, smart searches, and sentimental analysis.
  • Marketing Automation
    • Automation is not a new buzzword. But it sure is important in just about every area. Who wouldn’t want to take a 10-hour manual process and reduce it down to a couple of simple keystrokes?
    • Increased marketing automation means companies can interact with their customers not only more, but at the right time! So when you really need a new bottle of shampoo and an add comes up reminding you, well that’s pretty good customer experience.
    • Salesforce has been working diligently with both Pardot (B2B) and Marketing Cloud (B2C) in the last few years to continue adding features and streamlining their marketing automation options. 2019 should continue this trend.

Read more here about the shift toward Customer Experience

As an added bonus, (and to back up the point that Salesforce is very much thinking about Customer Experience), we found a great article on their own blog, with some of their 2019 predictions, in regards to retail.

Some of their predictions include:

  • Integration of customer data across systems will become imperative
  • Subscription commerce will get a big boost
  • And purpose-driven brands will thrive!

Read the full article here

-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team