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Brands Should Focus On Technology, Ethics To Foster Customers Experience

Innovation is accelerating across industries thanks to emerging technologies like AI and IoT, says a Salesforce study.

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Smartphone and the digital evolution have changed the way customers perceive brands in the modern era. In India, 92% 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% of customers in India, expect companies to interact with them in real time.

The report shows, in today’s brand-customer context, 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.

AI, IoT to fuel innovation

Innovation is accelerating across industries thanks to emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), the report notes.

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: A valuable commodity

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. And over half of customers interviewed agree 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. A company’s trustworthiness and bottom line are inextricably related. And this is something businesses are realizing. Companies that put trust and customer experience at the heart of their engagements gain something much more enticing: competitive differentiation.”

Tailored, contextualized engagement is key

Bottomline is, Customers’ standards for modern engagement are a far cry from the transactional. This includes a one-size-fits-all experiences that were once the norm. Tailored, contextualized engagement across multiple touch-points is the benchmark, and disruptive business models are further raising the bar.

In addition, today, customers expect companies to operate ethically and with their communities’ interests at heart. This involves identifying causes such as equal rights, philanthropy, and sustainability. Hence, it’s time companies gear up and listen to issues pertaining to customers, encourage their participation and offer personalized services.

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