5 Ways Salesforce Customization Can Help You Improve Customer Experience and Conversions

the importance of salesforce customization

The importance of Salesforce Customization

It’s not often that a CRM (customer relationship management) system doubles up as a tool to help build customized and connected customer journeys.  But when a company claims a market share as large as 19.8% of the global CRM market, there is no doubt that it can be your most trusted partner in charting customer journeys.  It is none other than Salesforce that continues to help raise the bar for customer experience year after year. 

The customer experience (CX) has been the primary focus of successful companies, and 68% of marketing leaders admit their companies compete based on customer experience.  It would be impossible to create a meaningful CX without substantial data and a deeper understanding of the customer journey. 

67% of marketers believe a connected customer journey across all touchpoints is crucial to enhance customer loyalty, but only 23% were delighted with their ability to leverage customer data. 

salesforce customization
Image source: Salesforce state of the connected customer report – Third edition

Salesforce CRM helps you manage your customer data, gives a 360-degree view of the interactions between you and your customers, and offers constant updates about customer activity.  Most importantly, it helps you create experiences that lead to conversions and brand loyalty. 

The milestones in a customer journey

Offering tailor-made solutions to customers and enhancing the overall experience can be challenging. The customer journey typically involves six important stages:

  • Awareness – It’s when the customer comes across your brand for the first time.
  • Acquisition – It’s the stage wherein a consumer converts into a lead by interacting with your products or services.
  • Onboarding – The customer is now interested in your brand enough to make the first purchase.
  • Engagement – This is the time to deliver new and personalized experiences to keep the customer engaged and connected to the brand. 
  • Retention – This is a crucial phase as you have to ensure customers are not losing interest in the brand and stop them from going off the trail.
  • Advocacy – It’s the time for happy customers to speak about their experience with the brand through reviews and positive feedback. 

All of the above phases need solid communication and collaboration tools and tons of data.  You will have to visualize diverse scenarios and the numerous paths customers take to reach your brand and engage with it.  You need to use data effectively to take your customers on a more rewarding journey. 

That’s what American Express did by combining data and the power of Salesforce Customer 360 to empower their customers to make smarter decisions.  The company had a broad view of their customers’ spending patterns, and Salesforce customization helped the company convert this data into insights to make their lives easier.  It transformed the travel experience for customers with secure phone payments and helped their employees with business tools to solve customer pain points.

The WOW in customer experience

Out of 15,000 global consumers and business buyers participating in a survey, 85% of business buyers and 79% of consumers said the experience offered by a company is as important as the products and services it provides.  

This is particularly true in a day when it is difficult to distinguish products by brand and price.  Customer experience has become the distinguishing factor helping companies build lasting relationships with customers.  But the wow in customer experience comes through customization. 

As per the State of Sales report, customer satisfaction has become the most critical metric.  This is precisely why salespeople who once focused heavily on closing transactions are monitoring it more than any other metric.  Customer experience is now the most critical factor for growth and success.  Salesforce customization helps you enhance it. 

salesforce customization features
Image source: Salesforce.com

While Salesforce configuration has been popular due to simple ‘point & click’ and ‘no code’ features, it is Salesforce customization that is helping companies manage their business.  It helps carry out routine tasks like sending email alerts, creating custom reports, customizing page layouts, and adding/deleting/modifying fields and objects. It integrates with third-party applications like Outlook, Gmail, Echosign, Docusign, and Quickbooks. 

The Salesforce Catch-22 

Salesforce ensures better business performance and offers you the functionality that goes beyond typical of mass-produced, cookie-cutter software.  It gives you the power and freedom to create your own unique processes.  But there comes a time when you realize that it is not as perfect as you thought it would be despite having the best solution. 

Some dashboards may not be as enlightening, a report may seem incomplete, a field or two may have to be added, and the processes may not be adequately automated to achieve the desired result.  You may want your Salesforce CRM to work with existing third-party systems to address specific requirements.  You may also want to get a detailed view of customers to broaden sales prospects.

It happens to the best of us and often requires us to go beyond standard configuration and customize what needs to be done.  88% of survey respondents in a recent research report said it is imperative to have a complete and consistent view of their customers across channels and platforms. Yet, only 31% have such a unified view. 

Examples of Salesforce customization include third-party integrations, visual force emails, and modification of page layout with CSS. 

You can change the look and feel of the user interface if you wish to make it more relevant.  For instance, you may want your employees and customers to see the corporate logo and colors and make the whole user interface branded.  Top companies are constantly working towards addressing the pain points at scale to define and offer the perfect customer experience. 

Here’s what you can achieve with greater customization and capabilities:

Highlight a message 

AIDS United is a classic example of Salesforce customization for how they customized their donation forms.  They leveraged the open API of the Salesforce solution to create a more engaging donation page.  Through a simple Click & Pledge, they encourage visitors to dedicate their gifts and make a recurring monthly donation.  

Build a centralized database 

Data centralization is crucial for fast decision-making.  The right data can be used effectively to improve the user experience. College Track wanted to manage volunteer check-ins across six locations and hence chose to create a customized volunteer profile page. 

Volunteers entered their names into the tablets available at the entrance of the facilities every time they signed in and out.  Information was now readily available, and the connected endeavor gave the feeling of the tablets talking to each other.

Add a functionality 

You may want Salesforce to autogenerate quotes and email them to your clients.  Or you might want it to automate processes to auto-generate contracts to send them to customers for e-signing.  After all, better digital capabilities are critical for day-to-day functioning. 

BOKS relies on its custom-built page to allow trainers and coaches to monitor attendance and send out bulk messages.  It uses WordPress as the content server allowing users to add updates that typically translate into a Visualforce page.

Build custom apps 

You may have to customize Salesforce to address a particular need.  Perhaps, you may want to build an app to manage specific onboarding processes or a lending management application.  With Salesforce customization, you can build a secure app that can be scaled as the business grows.

Companies leverage Einstein features to build artificial intelligence-powered apps that get smarter with every interaction. 

Integrate with existing tools

Salesforce offers APIs to enable developers to integrate with existing solutions.  Such integration tears down silos and allows decision-making based on data related to different aspects of the business.  Without integration, it is difficult to see how a specific change affects the organization.  On the other hand, integrating data helps reduce data entry burdens and errors.

Penneo, a RegTech company, improved productivity and end-user experience by customizing Salesforce solutions.  The company customized Salesforce CRM to give their people and marketing agents a complete overview of leads and customers to get the data and connectivity they wanted.

Create the perfect CX with Trigent

Dynamic and user-centered experiences always lead to conversions and an increased Salesforce ROI.  Our technology experts can evaluate your current business structure and make recommendations based on your unique business needs. 

Get the necessary support and tools to implement complicated customizations.  Call us today for a business consultation. 

Author

  • Anjana Sadanandan works as Senior Manager - Marketing at Trigent. She has a strong marketing communication background and has worked with several multinational organizations.

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