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Why I think the “Internet of Customers” resonates better than Benioff’s previous “Customer Company”

The holy grail of the “internet of customers” is knowing which customer needs your attention and why. Back in March during Salesforce’s Customer Company Tour, I had posted that Marc Benioff got it wrong, it’s not a customer company. This week, Salesforce has taken the concept of the “internet of things” and turned it on its head by coining the phrase “internet of customers” — and this is something that resonates with me.

The “internet of customers” conveys a living and breathing system that is active with a constant stream of digital customer interactions. Your customers are now connected more than ever to every app, to every platform , to every device. Yet very few companies harness these critical interactions that can open up an entirely new way to engage with customers and maximize revenue. The new services that Salesforce is offering to help “create deeper engagement” or a “richer experience” are helping pro-customer businesses achieve that. Every part of your business is being streamlined in one place; Salesforce is working to help get rid of silos so a business can function smoothly as one entity.

Behind every cloud app and every connected device are real people — and every action a customer takes on an app or a connected device is a real interaction with your business, an interaction that is just as important as a phone call to your sales team, a Tweet about a product experience, or a customer support ticket.

These interactions are now the core of your customer data… they represent 90% of what your customers do with you, and it rings true to us and reinforces our view of the pivotal place that users and customers occupy in today’s connected world. The most critical investment you can make is to ensure your customers are happy and see value from your business offering.

We believe that in order to maximize the true potential of the “internet of customers,” companies need to have a new “sensory” capability to listen to this live stream of digital interactions in real-time — and then make sense of it by unlocking the insights/signals hidden inside.

I’m very excited to see how the SaaS industry will take to this at Dreamforce this week. Smart move, Marc; now I hope to see more companies follow suit.

We’re also at the Dreamforce Customer Lounge this year, everyone is invited.

Guy Nirpaz

Guy Nirpaz is a Silicon Valley-based Israeli entrepreneur and CEO of Totango, a Customer Success software platform. A pioneer in the Customer Success field, Guy established the Customer Success Summit and is a well-regarded industry speaker and community contributor. Guy loves people and technology and has dedicated his career to improving the way in which business is done through innovation. Fun Facts: Guy moonlights as the lead guitarist in a rock band based out of his garage in Palo Alto and used to command a tank battalion...as well as having grown oranges.

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