If I had a crystal ball, I’d see a future that is very different from what it was in the 1960s or even from what it is today. Your customers are now online, and they want to interact with you there. And they have very distinct preferences about how they’ll get their information and what they want from you.

In a recent blog we looked at the issue of left brain, right brain preferences in determining customer experience choices. But that’s only part of what you need to consider.

Green Screen Computing vs Today’s Intuitive User Interface

Just look at the evolution of computing to better understand what we need to do to evolve the customer experience today. We went from green screen display terminals the size of boat anchors to the MAC and iPhone interfaces in the 21st century. It’s easier and more intuitive to get information today, and we can get it in nearly any format we wish.

But it’s not just a question of a better look and feel. What’s needed now is to create that more intuitive type of experience everywhere—whether within your existing external Salesforce community or even within internal stakeholder communities.

You Can Get There from Here

New Englanders are known for their propensity to saying, “… but you can’t get there from here.” That is, thankfully, not the case here. Salesforce can build a community in a week, providing the external view needed for customers. But what about your own marketing and sales organizations? And how do they want to consume the information that Salesforce can provide?

Salesforce has critical mass because of its back-end capabilities, but it doesn’t pay as much attention to the front end, where stakeholders interact with the application. When you’re thinking about deploying or updating a Salesforce community, you need to be able to rapidly deploy communities that work. And a key element of that is how your customers, partners, and internal stakeholders can participate and enjoy a user experience tailored to them. The best Salesforce communities are not generic. They’re customized to the needs of the audience.

The “Platinum Rule” Rules

For many years, the standard for customer service was the “Golden Rule”, which is to treat others as you’d like to be treated. But this too has evolved. You can no longer assume that others want to be treated the same as you would like. Instead, you should treat your customers how they want to be treated. This is the “Platinum Rule” and while the difference may seem small, it is massive.

To know what your customers want, you have to know your customers and prioritize their customer experience. Once you know what they want, you need to be able to deliver it. And give each one a “single pane of glass,” customized to their needs, through which they can access the data they’re looking for and enjoy the experience as they do it. And remember, your left brain stakeholders want their own “pane of glass” and a different user experience from that of your right brain stakeholders.

Know each of your stakeholders and how they want to consume information. If you do that across the board, you’ll be successful. In a nutshell:

  • Don’t just treat your stakeholders as you’d like to be treated
  • Find out how they want to be treated
  • Provide them that experience
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