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‘On the road to applied AI – make structured mistakes.’ Takeaways from Salesforce World Tour 2019

What happens when 6,000 stories from as many event attendees all come together?

This year’s Salesforce World Tour certainly wasn’t about technology for technology’s sake. It was a crazy and motivating day of perspectives, across businesses and their people.

It was about how you connect with customers and with one another, on an individual level: and then, how you scale the most meaningful interactions.

Here are four of the most valuable connectivity stories I took away from World Tour Amsterdam. I’ve kept it short, so you can read along with your espresso. ☕

1. Data growth is exponential, and we need to keep pace.

We are well into the era of technological connectivity which takes us further than we could ever have imagined. Simon Mulcahy, Salesforce’s Chief Innovation Officer, reinforced the need for speed in keeping up with the data revolution, celebrating customer experience successes such as the rise and rise of Adidas as they outpace the market – again.

How? Through moving away from a ‘fix everything’ mentality, to using tech to augment strategy, and find out where they can add the most value for customers both online and in-store.

2. But get the customer experience foundations right before scaling.

Whilst the 4th Industrial Revolution presents the potential for us as people and as businesses to grow exponentially in the depth of our insights, Eva Heffernan, Salesforce Country Lead (Netherlands) emphasises the importance of first steps in building smart, rather than building big.

When introducing new technology to your marketing, service or commerce teams, experts suggested finding your CX hero first: who will fly the flag for the commerce migration and keep the project moving along internally?

Then, start early in the build with split-testing to validate and optimise your micro-journeys, focusing on pages with the highest conversion rates to maintain maximum connectivity with customers.

3. Focusing on your CX foundation means making structured mistakes.

Before you get smart, you need rules. And rules need to be broken in order to remove them, improve them or build on them. The World Tour’s Datorama session focused on finding a source of truth from which to scale automation, in order to predict the next best actions of customers across the board.

Phillips learned through failing fast in their journey to applied Artificial Intelligence with Salesforce Einstein: ’Errors are acceptable – I have a long list of errors from which we have learned a lot!’ – said Jose Maria Boronat.

By identifying the right rules to scale, Phillips can then integrate their insights – using real customer feedback to reduce clicks from 8 to 1, time-saving by 40%, and raising accuracy – i.e. relevance in customer profiling – to 95%.

4. And getting started ASAP to bring together data-driven learnings from every direction.

Defining rules to take exceptional singular customer experiences to scale doesn’t mean holding back until you’ve hit small instances of perfection – it’s a learning on-the-go process which requires high volumes of data at an early stage. NIBC’s Customer Experience Lead Eva van Ardenne talks frankly about their need to build for success, restructuring their customer experience ecosystem, to future-proof their strategy.

And a success it was: after an initial growth-spurt, NIBC mapped out their new world customer journey. How could they remind a distracted grandfather to finish opening a savings account for his granddaughter? By retargeting him via Facebook after visiting the webpage. In this new world of mobile banking, NBIC would also enable customers to open their account via the app.

Service representatives could then engage with these new customers efficiently, using Service Cloud to share the right information for that specific customer via easy-to-search ‘how to’ articles.

But for the journey to take shape, it has to begin. As Eva said, “start ASAP, it's ok to make mistakes.”

By offering a stage for companies and individuals to share their stories about how to take small steps to success – at speed, Salesforce set the scene on the 7th March for yet another year in infinite learnings and rapid growth; growth in connected customer experiences, and growth for those who craft and drive them.

At Emark we help brands to better connect with customers and use these learnings to grow in a measured way.

Sounds like something for your team? We’d love to hear from you.

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