Fourth has had the same mission statement for the last 10 years: Create customer lifetime loyalty. It’s also had the same business platform: Salesforce. With Salesforce underpinning every customer relationship and every business process, Fourth has grown from a small company with three employees and one customer to a global leader in its field with more than 1,100 customers in 60 countries.
It’s creative, it’s competitive, and it’s always evolving. Fourth’s aim is to help companies in the hospitality sector safeguard profitability with its cloud-based cost management solutions.
Fourth has seen significant change itself over the last decade. “We’ve experienced rapid growth, including four acquisitions, six new office openings, and two changes of ownership,” said Simon Bocca, chief operating officer. “Salesforce has been a constant throughout these changes, keeping the business on track and helping us track and manage year-on-year growth.”
Today, Salesforce provides a 360-degree view of Fourth’s 1,100 customers and its business. For example, Salesforce helps to track 5,000 support queries every month, automatically creates 2,000 invoices a month, and captures performance metrics that drive smarter decision-making.
“Salesforce is the engine driving our business forward,” said Bocca. “It simplifies acquisitions, underpins the sales activities, and helps us provide customers with the highest possible service levels.”
It all started more than 10 years ago, when Fourth became an early U.K.-based adopter of Salesforce to manage customer accounts, sales opportunities, and support cases.
Fourth has continued to take early advantage of new features and functionality, including Salesforce App Cloud and Community Cloud.
“Our strategy is based on the premise that disparate systems and spreadsheets are not good for the business,” said Bocca. “With Salesforce, we’ve been able to create a centralized platform for our core business processes.”
All 350 of Fourth’s employees — from relationship managers and customer support personnel to developers and accounting staff — use the solution, many on a daily basis. “We have very few admin staff at Fourth, as we’ve automated so many processes with Salesforce,” said Bocca.
This automation starts with the sales cycle. “Leads are automatically allocated to members of the sales team, who use Sales Cloud to track every email and meeting for every prospective customer,” said Bocca.
When a contract is signed, Sales Cloud initiates various workflows, such as creating an invoice, sending a welcome pack, and assigning a project manager for each new customer account.
The customer relationship continues to be managed via Salesforce throughout the lifetime of the contract, with all support tickets being tracked and resolved via Service Cloud.
“We also use Service Cloud to log customers’ ideas and requests for functionality to be incorporated in future releases of our solution,” said Bocca.
Fourth tracks whether it is continuing to meet customer needs and expectations by managing its Net Promoter Scores and satisfaction surveys within Salesforce.
“We have a dedicated team that records quotes and testimonials from customers in Sales Cloud for use on our website and in marketing materials,” said Bocca.
Forth also uses Salesforce to manage marketing events, with tools from the AppExchange simplifying the invitation process for customer conferences and breakfast seminars.
Customer loyalty is just one of many KPIs captured in the solution. Using App Cloud and Sales Cloud, Fourth has created a customized dashboard based on the company’s “Fourth Wheel” model.
Segmented into sales, technology, finance, and operations, the Fourth Wheel provides an at-a-glance view of business performance based on KPIs, such as revenue, expenditure, customer satisfaction scores, and development activities.
In addition to being accessible from mobile devices, the Fourth Wheel is displayed on large format screens around Fourth’s offices so everyone has visibility of business performance. “We focus our attention on ‘red’ items and how to turn them green,” said Bocca. “The Salesforce dashboard provides the metrics that fuel conversations, innovations, and business decisions.”
Thanks to direct integration between Salesforce and its accounting systems, the Fourth team has the same visibility and control of key financial processes — from invoicing, credit management, and commission management.
“We don’t want finance to operate in a silo,” said Bocca. “At Fourth, people can view the finance information that matters to them. For example, relationship managers can check if their customer has an overdue payment pending from their mobile device on the way to a meeting.”
Chatter is also key to information sharing at Fourth. Everyone in the company has access to the enterprise social networking tool, which is used to announce new starters, distribute documents, organize office nights, and reinforce the company’s values.
As Bocca explained, “We have a value-based culture founded on simplicity, quality, honesty, and fun. We hashtag these on Chatter to keep us focused and highlight when an employee demonstrates exemplary commitment to these values.”
Impressed with how greater collaboration has benefited its own business, Fourth has embarked on a major initiative that will touch more than 300,000 end users at 1,100-plus hospitality companies.
Using Community Cloud, the company plans to establish a number of private and public communities that will bring Fourth closer to its customers and its customers closer to their employees. For example, waiters and kitchen staff will be able to view schedules, swap shifts, and book vacations much more easily.
“A community-based approach will revolutionize how hospitality firms communicate with their staff and us,” said Bocca. “With a more connected workforce, they will be able to provide a more connected service to their clientele.”
The new collaboration features will also make it easier for Fourth to provide support to its growing customer user base. For example, service-level agreement documentation, knowledge articles, and a Q&A function will be hosted on Community Cloud, but still accessed directly from Fourth’s own solution via single sign-on.