Salesforce has released the third edition of its State of the Connected Customer report capturing insights from over 8,000 consumers and business buyers worldwide. The global report reveals the changing customer expectations, influence of technologies in transforming standards for engagement, role of trust in customer relationships and the rising importance of corporate values in buying decisions.
Customers standards for modern engagement are tailored and contextualized across multiple touchpoints. In India, 92 per cent of customers expect companies to use new technologies to create better experiences for customer engagement. Expectations for timeliness start when customers are just browsing, with more than half expecting to find whatever they need — be it pricing, inventory, or something else — in three clicks or less and 89 per cent of customers in India, expect companies to interact with them in real time.
In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, technology and ethics are intertwined. Today, customers expect companies to not only operate ethically and with their communities’ interests at heart, but to operate in a way that advances causes such as equal rights, philanthropy and sustainability. And as customers get more empowered and gain awareness, a company’s corporate values become vital in influencing buying decisions. 69% of Indian customers will not buy from a company that doesn’t value equality.
Innovation is accelerating across industries thanks to emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). With consumers and business buyers often willing to pay a premium for differentiated, first-to-market products and services that enhance their experiences, the pressure is on for companies to get ahead of the digital curve. 96% of customers in India, expect companies to use new technologies to create better experiences with 90% of customers open to using AI to improve their experiences.
Trust has always been a valuable commodity in customer relationships, but it’s a more nuanced quality in an era marked by security vulnerabilities. A lot goes into fostering customer trust, and it’s an increasingly formidable challenge. 70% of customers in India, have stopped buying from a company that did something distrustful with 51% of customers agreeing that companies don’t care about the security of their data.
Sunil Jose, Senior Vice President and Country Leader, Salesforce India, said, “Technological innovations have changed the face of modern customer engagement. Today’s customers are more selective about which brands they place their trust. Businesses are realising that a company’s trustworthiness is inextricably tied to its bottom line. Companies that put trust and customer experience at the heart of their engagements gain something much more enticing: competitive differentiation.”
The State of the Connected Customer report is being released ahead of Connections 2019 (June 17-19), a Salesforce event for companies that want to create better experiences for their customers. The global report features profiles from three regions and 16 countries including: India (535 customers), Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States. Please keep in mind that cultural bias impacts survey results.