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2 critical components of every great customer experience (Hint: They’re not data and AI)

Simon Blainey
Sep 7, 2023

With every customer interaction, brands can either earn or erode trust. This includes digital experiences, which have become more common within the customer life cycle and therefore a critical component of the consumer trust equation.

When we think about building personalized, differentiated experiences, data and AI are probably the first things to come to mind, especially when it comes to digital experiences. And perhaps with good reason. Data (to inform and personalize) and AI (to automate and scale) are essential for creating engaging and impactful experiences.

But data and AI on their own cannot make a great experience. These are assets – the building blocks of every relevant and engaging interaction. To truly deliver a great experience, companies first need to focus on their foundation.

As Capgemini gets ready for Dreamforce 2023, I’d love to explore the real enablers of every great experience: the digital foundation and the integration layer.

The integration layer: Where loyalty is won and lost

Data and AI may be enjoying their moment in the spotlight, but the unsung hero of every successful experience is the integration layer. Often underestimated or even overlooked, integration is the backbone and the intelligent network between the customer experience and primary functions of the business and its partner ecosystem.

For example, a retailer with a strong integration layer can connect every single interaction across the customer journey to ensure a truly great experience through personalization, convenience, and value-added services. This includes:

  • Serving a personalized ad for relevant products based on a combination of enterprise and experience data
  • Tracking inventory levels at the closest store and proactively alerting the customer when a product sells out
  • Offering an alternative purchase option, such as reserving the product for pick up at a different store or purchasing through an online channel
  • Enabling one-click purchases and payment
  • Reviewing supply chain data to confirm the delivery timing
  • Requesting the desired delivery method from the customer
  • Connecting with the third-party delivery provider to confirm the service
  • Providing real-time updates to the customer during the delivery window
  • Requesting feedback on the delivery experience from the customer
  • Inviting the customer to leave a review of their purchase
  • Suggesting a relevant companion product to the customer’s order and restarting the process

When executed correctly, this entire process feels seamless and effortless to the customer. However, it is, of course, the result of significant effort that cuts deep into, and across, an organization. Leveraging a ready-to-use capability like MuleSoft enables companies to focus efforts on delivering the value-add to the customers, as opposed to the configuration and operation of the integration platform.

It’s also important to keep in mind that this process isn’t just the result of data – it also results in new data. This information can be used to develop insights that will enable the brand to rapidly assess and evolve their offers, respond to external forces of disruption, and develop and launch new products and services based on the real needs and preferences of their customers. However, to effectively capitalize on this new information, organizations must have the digital foundation and integration capabilities, such as those offered through MuleSoft, to take those disparate pieces of information and turn them into actionable insights quickly and effectively.

Integration: The common denominator for building agility, enabling transformation, and driving impact

The integration layer is the common denominator across the success of almost every business goal:

  1. Having a robust integration layer enables agility and enables companies to quickly develop, launch and scale different products and services, as well as respond to disruptions as they arise;
  2. It is the foundation for digital transformation, uniting all aspects of the customer lifecycle and making that data available across the enterprise; and
  3. It’s the key that unlocks business value by enabling teams to use data in a way that creates differentiated and personalized experiences that are scalable.

To ignore integration is to deny your organization the opportunity to adapt, innovate, and grow. Explore our Salesforce partnership to find out more or reach out to me directly using the options below.


Simon Blainey

Expert in CRM, Digital Transformation, Salesforce
I lead Capgemini’s Salesforce CoE for Asia Pacific. As a Salesforce Global Systems Integrator (GSI), my team performs large scale Salesforce implementations across the full ecosystem portfolio, including Sales, Service, Marketing and Commerce. My clients include higher education institutions, multi-national corporations and all levels of Government. I have deep expertise in Salesforce architecture and implementation, agile methodologies, and DevOps. My role is to advise my clients on how to accelerate their digital transformation by leveraging and scaling their investment in the Salesforce ecosystem.