Connect Your App to Salesforce and End Customer Frustration with Strike Connect

“They’re a total mess. When I called customer service, you could totally tell the right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing.”
— Someone who’s hopefully not your customer

My daughter is in third grade now, but I remember the day she was born pretty clearly. My wife woke me up just after 3:30am, and told me in no uncertain terms we were going to the hospital right then, as in IMMEDIATELY NOW. I grabbed the bag we packed ahead of time, jumped in the car, and we were off.

There was no traffic at that time of night, and I remember my smug confidence thinking we’d breeze into the hospital and head straight to the delivery room. We pre-registered, you see, which means we filled out the forms ahead of time to skip the normal admissions process. This is a dynamite idea, since you get to skip a lot of stress and hassle at a time when cooler heads aren’t exactly prevailing.

I park the car and strut into the hospital like James Bond entering a casino. “Name?” said the woman at the desk. “Belmont,” I say. “Ross Belmont.” I pause for effect, then add, “we pre-registered.” (Boom goes the dynamite.)

But there was no “right this way, Mr. Belmont.” (Or even, “need a hand, Mrs. Belmont?” since, in fairness, she was doing most of the heavy lifting.) Instead, she said, “Umm…I’m not seeing that in my system.” “I’m sorry?” I replied, increasing my pitch as I went along. She coughed up “yeah, I don’t have anything like that,” in the flattest tone possible.

I’ll spare you the next part, in which I spend the next 45 minutes barking “PRE-REGISTERED!” to anyone who asked me a question. No, she’s not allergic to any medication. No, she doesn’t smoke. No, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. And no, this never, ever happened to James Bond.

Whose Fault Is It Anyway?

It’s fun to think of the entire concept of pre-registration as an elaborate prank played on first-time dads. (“Right this way, good sir! Please proceed to the rooftop deck — the birthing suite is right next to the pool and spa. Gin or vodka for your martini?” Then they laugh like hyenas when you walk away.) But you know the old saying

Never attribute to malice what can be explained by poor computer system integration.

Those of us in tech know it’s harder than it seems for large enterprises to build a complete picture of “you” that connects all the data: what you’ve bought, when you moved, every time you’ve interacted with the company, and so on. It’s a tough job, and it’s mostly thankless. Imagine a personal assistant that didn’t remember conversations you had—how long would they last? You expect that without thinking about it.

Typically, the data is spread across many different systems: the e-commerce store is separate from the shipping and returns system, which is separate from the accounting system showing what you’ve paid, etc. But no matter what, you’re still you, and all this data should somehow be part of your record as a customer. That’s where “customer relationship management” (CRM) systems like Salesforce come into play. If you’re a customer, everyone in that company should be able to know what’s going on with you by accessing your record.

Playing Chicken

With all these separate systems, who makes the first move? System A can reach out to System B and get some data, or System B can reach out to System A and get some data. So who does the work?

Another complication is that nowadays, most software is built “API first,” and the API’s job is to allow slightly different versions of essentially the same app to all access the same data. (Example: you can log into Facebook via their web app, their iPhone app, their iPad app, or an Android device to access your data.) So the makers of System A spend extra time and resources making an API for their various apps, and in their view, think System B should just act like yet another app interacting with their API.

The good folks behind System B think the same thing, of course — but in reverse. So who reaches across the aisle, so to speak? Who makes the first move?

End the Games with Strike Connect

Salesforce already has many great flavors of APIs for those ready to reach across and add their data to your overall customer record. We’re building something we call Strike Connect to do the reverse: make it fast and easy for the Salesforce side to reach out to other APIs, get interesting customer data, and put it back into Salesforce. This solves the “game of chicken” for the software vendors, and creates some important benefits for those large companies trying to serve their customers better:

  • 360° Customer Profiles: Build a full picture of your customers and avoid frustrating them by keeping all your departments on the same page.
  • Automated Workflows: Once the data is in Salesforce, system administrators can set up automated task assignments, emails, and more to make enterprises even more productive as they work to provide better service. (Your competition isn’t sitting still, after all.)
  • Predictive Analytics: Salesforce’s Einstein family of technologies combines the latest in machine learning to bring predictive insights to employees, so they can adjust to any situation and avoid problems before they happen.
Strike Connect grabs data from your existing API and moves it to the Salesforce platform.

We’ll have more to say about what exactly we built, how it works, and how your can get your hands on it very soon. Join us on December 14th, 2017 at 10am Pacific to get a sneak peek.

If you can’t make it, just remember most hospitals have no pool on the roof.

Got a question? Want to drop us a line? Reach out! We’ll get right back to you.