In August 2018, Propel’s Miguel Tam and Salesforce’s Tony Kratovil shared their expert perspectives in the Smart Industry webinar “Manufacturing in the Age of the Customer: How Cloud Technologies Drive Digital Transformation.” Here they previewed their presentation while exploring the modern state of customer loyalty. Take a look…
Miguel: Manufacturers are now thinking about customers first instead of products. Companies are thinking of the entire experience that customers have with their products, and they’re realizing that by doing so they can increase customer loyalty, boost revenue and increase market share. The customer experience starts from customers researching products on the web, the buying experience online or at physical locations, the actual usage of the product, the ecosystem of other products or services related to the main product, plus the service and quality of the product. These are all things that the customer cares about. Think about a smartphone—it’s not just creating the phone itself, but the apps, the packaging, the retail experience and more. Or a company like Uber that thinks about the customer’s viewpoint of transportation instead of just making a better taxi. When it comes to successful products, it’s all about the Age of the Customer.
Smart Industry: How do cloud solutions bolster customer loyalty?
Miguel: Cloud technologies provide an instant way for customers to become more engaged, more visible and more loyal to companies and their products. For example, companies like AMS Technologies are using cloud solutions like Salesforce and Propel to provide greater customer transparency and input into the design process. Cloud technologies also make it easier for companies to view how customers are using their products, and what they think of them. The IoT cloud can capture what customers are doing and companies can hone the product experience based on that real-time use. Or they can use cloud solutions like Salesforce Community Cloud to capture customer inputs and foster strong loyal user groups.
Tony: Cloud solutions are inherently more nimble than traditional applications, so companies can be much more responsive to customer needs and continuously fine-tune their solutions, rather than the traditional build/deploy/amortize cycles of the legacy-software world.
Smart Industry: Does a broader range of stakeholders require more adoption of cloud technology?
Miguel: As companies think about how to thrive in the Age of the Customer, there are a lot more people that need to be involved, since they all have touchpoints with the customer. And all these people need to be securely coordinated with their own specific viewpoints. Traditional systems made this collaboration really difficult—there were systems designed just for engineers or sales or marketing. Now all these people need to work together. Plus, if you think about external parties (partners, distributors, sales channels, even customers themselves) they all have a part in defining products, providing feedback and getting products to market. Only by adopting cloud technologies can you really get that extended stakeholder collaboration.