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Reliving the Dreamforce Experience: Personalization, Technology Innovation and New Markets

Steve Kraus

As expected, Salesforce delivered another exciting and buzzworthy user conference in San Francisco. Dreamforce brought together more than 170,000 professionals to discuss artificial intelligence, voice technology, and new innovative approaches to elevating customer service. We’re sharing our three main takeaways from the show in case you missed the event.

Enterprises are innovating at a rapid pace and are laser focused on personalization.

Cogito had the opportunity to sponsor Dreamforce and participate in lively discussions firsthand. We met with leaders from notable organizations such as Humana, City National Bank, and Farmers Insurance to discuss strategies to continue delivering personal and efficient service in the digital age. Customer experience topics that shined include enhancing emotional intelligence and leveraging technology to empower call center employees to develop a more meaningful rapport with customers.

Geeta Wilson, Director of Consumer Experience at Humana gave an inspiring presentation on  leveraging innovative technology to enhance emotional intelligence. The initiative has positively impacted millions of calls, customer satisfaction and the company’s bottom line.

Results include:

  • 10 point improvement in transactional NPS
  • 6% improvement in issue resolution
  • 9% reduction in repeat calls
  • 80 second reduction in call handle time

A session presented by Greg Beltzer, SVP at City National Bank, highlighted how the bank is transforming customer service with the adoption of Salesforce. Fostering empathetic and personal customer relationships has always been a goal for City National Bank, and adopting Salesforce ensures it remains a priority.

Additionally, Chanda Sperry (Head of Service Operations) and Alan Bub (Head of Business Insurance IT) at Farmers Insurance shared stories of how the organization aims to empower its call center agents and employees through technology. With the simplicity and efficiency technology provides the agents and employees, they feel more enthusiastic and are better equipped to serve customers.

Today’s technology ecosystem validates Cogito’s unique position and opens the door for exciting collaboration with technology providers.

In speaking with other software providers and investigating the latest technologies at the show there were a few observations. The first observation was that the most abused terms in the software industry are “real-time” and “AI.” Software companies that measure elements of the customer experience as it happens but don’t make the insights available until long after the interaction still claim to deliver real-time value. While this makes it harder to explain how Cogito’s live guidance is unique amongst a sea of “real-time” software providers, it confirms that measuring and guiding in the moment is a true market differentiator.

Some additional observations were the impressive innovations in analytics, process, data and voice technology. The solutions in this space lend themselves to easy integrations with other technology to drive great value for companies and consumers. And, after a long period of time where companies were hyper focused on pure automation and self-service, there is a renewed interest in augmenting people through technology. For all the overuse and misapplication of the term AI (and machine learning), there are some credible, implemented solutions in enterprise call centers that are helping deliver real value for companies today.

A new market category is emerging.

In interacting with a number of influential CRM analysts, including Ian Jacobs from Forrester, we confirmed there is demand for a new software category that can evaluate human behavior (including emotion), augment frontline employees’ abilities with live guidance, and deliver an instant voice of the customer measure. These capabilities are not adequately captured in the traditional market categories, such as communications, analytics or CRM.

Dreamforce was a reminder that customer engagement is the most important initiative for a company, and how the conversations between employees and customers are at the heart of every customer relationship. The passion, professionalism, collaboration and ingenuity of everyone involved is what makes Dreamforce a must attend event each year. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Salesforce family, and we can’t wait to see what next year’s Dreamforce will bring!

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