Salesforce Input on Design-Led Culture

Relationships By Design

By Justin Maguire, Executive Vice President, Product UX, Salesforce

When I first came to Salesforce four years ago, I wanted to answer this question: How do you inspire a design-led culture? Here are some observations.

1. In an increasingly digital world, people matter more

Digital transformation has changed the way the world operates, sometimes sacrificing personal connection for automation and efficiency. There has never been a more important time to ensure the customer is at the center of every conversation. Designing for the relationships you want will maintain the humanity of digital engagement.

2. Designing for people is a shared responsibility

The idea of the “democratization of design” can send shudders through the design community. It doesn’t mean that our craft, and the craftsmanship that comes with it, can be distributed across an organization to everyone. It does mean we recognize good ideas can come from anywhere, and we should empower anyone to take an active role in great experiences.

3. The power of digital enables us to be personal at scale

Today, we have more than 40,000 employees across the globe providing solutions for millions of subscribers. Yet walking our halls, we still feel authentic and familiar. We have a proven ability to innovate at scale, without sacrificing our culture. Everything about our mission, purpose, environment, values, and execution is intentional, which is the very essence of design culture, whether or not we use the word “design” to describe it.

4. Don’t seek perfection — seek to perfect

Building a lasting customer relationship starts with the recognition that relationships and people aren’t static, they’re dynamic. Designing for relationships must be seen as an evergreen effort in the service of an evolving set of customer needs. Organizations must align around the ways in which we define and measure healthy relationships.

5. End-to-end, values-driven design is a unique differentiator

We have hundreds of designers throughout the organization who come together through our passion for ensuring our brand and values are expressed in every aspect of our relationships. These relationships span across the people we serve, the product we build, and the planet we live on. This is fairly unique in a world that often treats customer relationships as purely transactional.

With these observations in mind, Salesforce is launching an initiative to elevate and amplify the role that design plays in our organization. We’re working to maximize the effect our design teams’ contributions have in establishing and providing stronger relationships with our customers, and in turn, their customers.

Driving this initiative is Relationship Design, our commitment to build trust with every experience we co-create with our community. Grounded in our values, it’s how we shape lasting relationships.

We are establishing a program to share our learnings, our processes, and help engage everyone who influences the customer experience. That way, we can all take a different, more personal approach to serving the new needs of customers and exceeding evolving expectations.

Learn more about this initiative and stay updated as we expand our offerings. We look forward to sharing as we go.