Salesforce Dreamforce is one of the biggest software conferences in the world. In the run-up to this event, we unveil our special TechByte series featuring high-profile Dreamforce attendees and MarTech Champions. We spoke to Vinod Muthukrishnan, CEO Cloudcherry, to understand his views on customer insights.
MTS: As a CEO, what would be your top agenda for Dreamforce 2017?
Vinod Muthukrishnan: We want a first-hand look at the trends that Salesforce, its customers and partner ecosystem are calling out. We’re looking forward to a glimpse into the future and then aligning these predictions with our own thoughts on where the world is headed and what we need to do to stay ahead of the curve.
MTS: Tell us more about the recent Salesforce-CloudCherry partnership? How would this partnership help in solving customer issues related to NPS insights?
Vinod: A comprehensive NPS, or for that matter any CX program, has three important pieces: Ensuring real time loop closure with the right customers (integration with service cloud), integration with customer data to give AI powered predictive analytics and financial linkage of CX drivers (Integration with Sales cloud) and ultimately help marketers reach out to customers with highly contextual and timely messaging to drive adoption; something we call intelligent cohorts (integration with Marketing Cloud).
Our Salesforce partnership also allows for the silos that disconnect Voice of Customer and marketing to be broken, for support to become proactive rather than reactive and show tangible ROI from investing in CX programs.
MTS: How would mastering “dark data” enable martech companies achieve better ROI?
Vinod: Without integrating demographic, transactional and observational data from customers with experiential data real time, almost all the data residing in systems of record is Dark Data.
Knowing in real-time how experience is impacting transaction, basket composition, word of mouth and being able to predict the impact of actions on these key metrics, is central to the future of the marketing organization. Dark data becomes ‘active’ when it becomes actionable due to real time blending with experiential data.
MTS: “Customer Experience is the new digital currency”. Do you agree with this? If yes, please elaborate.
Vinod: Absolutely. I read an article recently which spoke of why shared office space provider Regus is valued at $5600 per seat while WeWork is valued at some 136,000 per seat even though the underlying ‘product’ Is the same.
We truly are in the ‘Experience Economy’ where millennials actively seek out experiences, where the experience is the product and the product is merely a souvenir of the transaction. So companies are inherently selling a great experience and the currency is delightful customer interactions.
MTS: Is it healthy for traditional B2B companies to replace real-human interaction with purely machine-driven customer experiences?
Vinod: No. The truest power of machines lies in making mundane interactions obsolete and empowering highly effective and personalized human interactions. Machines should augment, not replace the power of human interaction.
For example, if predictive analytics told you that you are at the risk of churning a customer due to factor X, would you try to do service recovery with a bot powered email / chat or a real person communicating the brand’s commitment?
MTS: What marketing technologies are you looking forward to at Dreamforce 2017?
Vinod: Personalized marketing leveraging AI. It is the future where the marketing cohorts have n=1
MTS: What sessions are you interested in at Dreamforce 2017?
Vinod: Anything with Salesforce founder Mark Benioff in it. I’m especially looking forward to hearing about the work happening with AI and Salesforces’ Einstein.
MTS: Thanks for chatting with us, Vinod.
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