Updated: Aug 22, 2018
We are consumers of content, searching for information with an unrelenting appetite for instant satisfaction.
Organisations have evolved over the last 20 years to meet the changing demands of their customers. The web started out in the 90's as a channel an organisation would broadcast their message to their customers. The internet was an explosion of brochure-ware websites, from large companies right down to little one-person operations.
As the technology powering the internet advanced, customers began interacting in two-way communication, first in a disconnected forum style exchange. Then with advent of social media, instant messaging and live chat, the speed of interchange moved towards real time.
Customers needs have continued to evolve. It is no longer enough for an organisation to respond quickly. Customers expect an organisation to know about them, what products they own, the issues they have had in the past and to know what they want right now. In essence, they want an organisation to know what they want before they even ask. It's a pretty tough crowd, but as with any evolution in expectation, there is an evolution in technology to enable the experience.
Recent advancements in AI are driving the predictive capabilities of organisations. This means that technology is now able to predict more accurately the intent of a customer, earlier in their interactions with an organisation, allowing the technology to predict the information the customer will need. The way this is achieved is through insights. Insights enable an organisation to use contextual information, for example the product a customer owns, or the status of an online service to surface information to customer that is relevant specifically to them, at that moment in time. This results in customers locating the information that they need to satisfy their requirements quickly and often avoiding the need to contact a customer service team entirely.
Getting started with insights doesn't have to be a daunting task. There are plug-in's that are available for many applications right now, allowing you to try out simple insights usage scenarios quickly. Salesforce Communities are a great channel for a first implementation, as they already serve as customer communities, knowledge sources and access point for customer service. The key to success with insights is understanding the customer and using the information that is already known, to enhance their experience.