For those of you who did not have the privilege of attending SugarCon in San Francisco this year, the event was packed with exciting product announcements and updates, insightful keynotes, and a wide-array of educational track sessions—in fact, summing it all up in a short blog post doesn’t quite do it justice. But we’ve taken a stab at summarizing the top three key takeaways from this year’s show, and what it means for businesses looking to enhance their user and customer experience.
1) Mapping the customer journey is crucial to businesses’ success
As highlighted in Larry Augustin and Clint Oram’s opening keynote, there appears to be a large disconnect between the level of service businesses think they are delivering, and how the end consumer actually feels. In fact, while 80% of businesses think they offer an exceptional customer experience, only 8% of customers agree. And this is largely due to the fact that most organizations do not have a single customer view, as their departments are operating in complete siloes. But by integrating various solutions, such as marketing automation, CRM, contact center solution, accounting/billing information, and more, businesses can ensure their employees are working with robust and up-to-date information about their customers so they can properly map the customer journey, and optimize every interaction.
2) Automation will play a larger role in customer relationship management
Larry and Clint also revealed Sugar’s recent product enhancement, a Siri-like agent named Candace designed to help businesses spend less time manually entering data into the CRM, and more time learning and acting upon it. "As data becomes more and more available, it typically has required quite a bit of labor to ensure that your CRM system stays up to date," explained Rich Green, SugarCRM’s Chief Product Officer, “we want people to focus on what they're good at: relating to others”. The idea was further driven home by guest speaker, Catriona Wallace, who stated that people will progressively be tasked with “more interesting work” as manual processes are replaced by intelligent and automated actions: “jobs your children will do when they leave school don’t even exist at the moment,” she stated.
3) User experience should be at the forefront of business decisions
One of the key takeaways from the sessions, keynotes, and product releases alike, is that the user experience should be at the forefront of all business decisions. From automating manual processes and integrating various systems within Sugar, to customizing the user interface to have the same look and feel as your business (fonts, colors, logos, etc.), it should all boil down to making the users’ experience more enjoyable. And it goes hand-in-hand with Sugar’s core belief that CRM and customer engagement solutions should be adaptable, and should mold to a business’ existing processes.