Coca-Cola has talked up its use of mobile apps within its workforce to help boost productivity and ensure the firm stays ahead of its rivals.
Coca-Cola Enterprises' vice president Nick Collins said outdated sales and customer engagement techniques wholly based on face-to-face interactions have been made obsolete, during a keynote speech at Salesforce in London on Thursday.
"Our goal at Coca-Cola Enterprises is to get an ice cold Coke in the hands of our consumers. We used to do this by engaging with our consumers face to face, with our salesmen and technicians with our call centre, we were very traditional. That was effective for us in the past, but it's not the future," he said.
Instead, Collins said companies must now use advanced cloud services, like those provided by Salesforce, to get a more encompassing view of what their customers want.
"The future is to create a customer-enabled platform where – whether it's the local pub, whether it's Tesco, or even just a single person – the sales and product information they need is all there when they want it, in the format they need," he explained.
The Coca-Cola vice president said mobile applications are another key way businesses can engage with their customers and partners more directly and efficiently.
"Mobile is the game changer for us. Just this month we're completing a rollout of service apps on the iPhone to all our technicians, across all of Europe. This is because as we grow our business, our services for the wider Coca-Cola group are key to being competitive," said Collins.
"A key thing for us is simplicity at the point of repair and also to be able to get the reports to our customers at the right time. Like any business we want the hard benefits and that's what we've seen. We've seen increased productivity thanks to mobile."
Salesforce chief operating officer George Hu mirrored Collin's sentiment, saying more companies need to follow Coca-Cola's example and invest in app development.
"Companies need to build apps. We're seeing this every day with our customers. Take one of our customers, Caterpillar. They're not a software company, they make construction equipment, but they're building applications because they want to connect with their customers in a whole new way," said Hu.
"Or take Coca-Cola, they're building applications, they have whole teams of developers creating apps as they know that's how you build loyalty. But the connection can also provide a service to their consumers or distributors or retailers. This is a great idea and I think we're just seeing the beginning of it."
Prior to Collins' and Hu's comments, Salesforce chief scientist JP Rangaswami urged firms to be more transparent with customers about what data they collect and how they use it if they want people trust them enough to use their mobile applications and services.
US space agency believes the crater could have preserved ancient organic molecules from the water that flowed there billions of years ago
Valve quietly closes down hardware initiatives launched following Windows 8
Scientists create a virtual reality simulation of a black hole sitting at the centre of the Milky Way
Simulations like this can help people understand complicated systems in the universe in a better way
The most luminous galaxy ever discovered is cannibalising at least three of its smaller neighbours, study finds
The galaxy radiates at 350 trillion times the luminosity of the Sun