Singapore based ReferralCandy has had a growth path similar to many successful Silicon Valley start-ups. It quickly grew from one man working in a coffee shop to three employees living and working out of a shared apartment. Five years later ReferralCandy had 27 employees and, with the support of Salesforce, it’s helping businesses all over the world tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing.
ReferralCandy had an initial goal to help just one store leverage its customer base for referrals. E-commerce giants were already doing this for large enterprises, and had both the resources and the insight to know just how valuable referrals can be. But take up among small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) lagged. ReferralCandy identified the gap and launched a business model to fill it.
“We developed a referral platform to meet the specific challenges of a whole market of SMBs who could benefit from it. These businesses simply don’t have the resources to develop their own solution, yet referrals are so powerful when it comes to customer acquisition,” said Eugene Wan, Customer Acquisition Manager.
“Think about how often you ask your friends for a recommendation. You are likely to be more positive about the business and more likely to spend money. We’re taking that concept and supercharging it with technology.”
ReferralCandy sped up the adoption of its platform by making it simple to use, fast to deploy and customisable in any language. The company’s rapid and global growth led it to Salesforce.
“As the team grew we set up a satellite office in the Philippines. It became increasingly important for us to have a single, shared view of our customer interactions. Our previous CRM had failed to deliver this and demanded a high degree of technical knowledge to use. Employees were frequently asking the engineering team to run reports - this wasn’t a viable approach for rapid expansion” said Wan.
Now, ReferralCandy uses Salesforce, making it easy for sales teams and management in both locations to get an immediate view of each customer. As a result, teams are more aligned and engineers freed up to focus on product rather than reporting.
The Salesforce Sales Cloud helps ReferralCandy be more proactive with customers, even as its customer base continues to grow. It integrates with the company’s referrals platform to track the performance of customer campaigns. It also notifies the team if there are potential issues with a campaign so that they can get the customer back on track. It’s driving customer success through the roof and opening up more opportunities for ReferralCandy.
“We want our customers to get the most out of their referral program. One way we do this is by watching over their campaigns and sending them automatic alerts if, for example, the promotion they are running is about to expire. Salesforce dashboards help us to be proactive by showing us which customers have not acted on these alerts. We can quickly prioritise these cases and take action,” said Wan.
ReferralCandy is also able to track customers’ return on investment within Salesforce and gather insights on what makes for a successful campaign. For example, it can measure the likelihood of success based on market segment or reward type and share that information with customers.
“We’ve always shared best practice with our customers but now with Salesforce, it’s grounded in science rather than art,” said Wan.
ReferralCandy is also using Salesforce to track its own performance and determine where it can increase automation or establish new workflows for greater efficiency. It is tracking customer issues by type to see if there are common problems that can be solved through better platform design.
“Salesforce is helping us to scale with limited support resources. This is key, as our current rate of customer acquisition far outstrips how fast we could grow the team,” explained Wan.
There’s no sign of slowing down, with ReferralCandy partnering with the world’s largest e-commerce platforms in a bid to drive global growth. Already, 70% of its customer-base is in the U.S..
“We’ve been fortunate as a start-up. In some ways our success has been the result of being in the right time and in the right space. But, we have learned it pays to take some unconventional steps. Some might say deploying Salesforce so early was one of those, but we knew what we had to do to become the company we wanted to be. It’s certainly paying off,” said Wan.