Enterprise cloud computing giant Salesforce hosted Cloudforce in Vancouver this week and the city got a very, very small taste of what it's like to attend San Francisco's Dreamforce event.
One thousand dedicated Salesforce users crowded the Fairmont Waterfront. It was a huge audience for Vancouver but only a mere fraction of what Dreamforce pulls in San Francisco.
Dan Debow, Rypple cofounder and Canada's version of Marc Benioff, hosted the mainstage presentation and opened the event with a slide titled "Canada is Key to Salesforce's Success." Debow emphasized Canadian milestones including their investment (900 employees across Canada), dedication to innovation (social acquisitions including Radian6, Rypple, Sitemasher, and GoInstant), and growing customer base of almost 6,000.
The event included a Canadian roster of customer guest speakers including Telus' Brad Pruner, Avigilon's Amir Javidan, and Payfirma's Michael Gokturk.
Techvibes got a chance to sit down with Pruner, Telus' Communications Director of Cloud Enablement. Pruner leads the team that is responsible for CRM strategy and shared examples of how they're successfully using Saleforce.
"What we're seeing in terms of the social revolution is how we engage our employees better around how we can serve our customers better," he explained to Techvibes. "We've been using tools like Chatter. We've been using the ideas portal in Salesforce because the truth of it is if you want to ask how you can serve your customers better, you shouldn't be asking your customer service director and you shouldn't be asking your IT department, you should be asking the agents who are talking to clients."
"We've seen success within Telus at engaging front line champions and saying, 'tell us what we should be doing differently,' and vote up those ideas that have the most impact," he added.
"My responsibility is primarily business to business. Where we've seen some great success is on engaging customers on social channels. We run a @TelusSupport twitter handle and we started this off tentatively a few years ago because wanted to first listen to what our customers had to say," Pruner said. "What we're experiencing now though is a very active dialogue on Twitter and other social channels where business clients are actually asking for and getting support from our team. We monitor the social feeds—whether you choose to respond or not is a business decision you can make but you have to do so carefully."
"But what we found, and what becomes quite rewarding," he noted, "is when we're able to resolve a customer inquiry through @TelusSupport—many times that same customer who was once disgruntled actually becomes an advocate on Twitter."