"Salesforce has revolutionised our customer business by connecting our customers to better information, faster."

Mathew Doughty,
GM Corporate Technology

ASX transforms its customer experience with Salesforce

As competition heats up in Australia’s deregulated financial services market, ASX is introducing new technology to transform the way it engages its customers. Salesforce is playing a leading role, unifying information and tasks once managed by 17 different systems, connecting both ASX employees and customers to better information, faster.

In 2012 ASX opened its flagship Australian Liquidity Centre – a facility that manages the lion’s share of Australia’s multi-trillion dollar equity and futures market. The ASX has so far invested AU$45 million in the new building, most recently adding a centralised customer support operation housing 120 technology, operations, and market surveillance staff responsible for ASX’s entire customer base, which includes 6.7 million share owners, 180 brokers, and almost 2,200 listed companies and issuers.

Reflecting on the change, Mathew Doughty, GM corporate technology at ASX, said: “It’s one thing to build a building, but we needed the systems to deliver our customer experience vision.”

The appointment of new ASX CEO Elmer Funke Kupper ushered in a period of change that modernised ASX trading platforms and rationalised customer sales and support operations with an increased focus on the customer.

Historically, ASX kept systems within its own private cloud to avoid issues concerning data privacy and the vagaries of public cloud connectivity. But despite this predilection, ASX quickly settled on Salesforce – the company’s first foray into the cloud.

“Some of our people were familiar with Salesforce and felt it was easy and intuitive to use,” said Doughty. “Cloud services also offered the flexibility for what we wanted to do. Our new CIO, Tim Thurman was spearheading a much larger technology transformation and this fit nicely into his contemporary vision”

ASX started with Sales Cloud, plugging 500+ workers into a single platform that showed them everything about their customers – what they were doing, the services they used, how ASX could help and what it could offer to grow relationships. But it was collaboration app Chatter that really put Salesforce on the company radar and drove adoption rates, leading the deputy CEO, Peter Hiom to utter the refrain familiar to many Salesforce customers: “If it’s not in Salesforce it didn’t happen”.

Service Cloud and Customer Communities came next, paving the way for a self-service community used by ASX business customers to manage their accounts, log requests, notify ASX of any important changes which may affect investors, and even monitor the temperature of server racks running their financial applications housed in ASX’s Sydney data centre. When customers are running short on server capacity, they will be able to send an online request for a top-up – a process that once involved 12 forms and several days waiting. In the future ASX Customers will be able to lodge compliance documents, download financial data, and conduct short selling transactions within the community.

At the other end, ASX stays across every case, providing timely answers and, when help is required, escalating requests to the right people.

As ASX’s portfolio of self-help services and products grow, the company expects a drop in calls and email, demonstrating that when the right tools are available, customers are more than happy to do things themselves.

“When you operate in a competitive environment you’ve got to make it as easy as possible for your customers,” said Doughty. “And that’s the really powerful thing about Salesforce. Additionally our sales executives and senior management are far better informed, using their mobile devices to bring up everything about their clients from a single source. They love it.”

Doughty is bullish about the scope for Salesforce to further improve customer engagement. “Things happen so much faster, now,” he said. “Our customers are impressed, especially when our customer focused teams can deliver all the answers on the spot.”