When the Scottish water industry opened up to competition, Business Stream had a challenge on its hands. To protect market share, the company needed to shake off its regional provider roots and emerge as a switched-on, sales-driven retailer.
Five years on, Business Stream has achieved exactly that. It has not only retained 98 percent of its customers, but also expanded its technical services business by 150 percent and created more than 200 new jobs. Salesforce has been an active partner with Business Stream along this journey – building and supporting infrastructure to meet customers’ needs.
“Salesforce has been part of the infrastructure in helping us transform our business,” says Mark Powles, CEO at Business Stream. “It has enabled us to take a customer-centric, team-oriented approach that has proved very successful.”
The success of this approach is dependent on sales, marketing and technical services teams having a 360-degree view of each and every one of Business Stream’s 115,000 customers. This visibility has been created by the combination of Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Salesforce Chatter, the Salesforce Platform and Business Stream’s own game-changing customer-centric approach.
Sales Cloud provides visibility at the beginning of the sales cycle when a customer is still just a lead. “Thanks to Sales Cloud, we now have a closer handle on customer behaviour, contract renewals and customer acquisition, which helped to contribute to our high increase in sales conversion rates,” reveals Powles.
Business Stream then uses Service Cloud and the Salesforce Platform to ensure it can deliver a joined-up service to its customers across multiple channels. “Implementing Service Cloud was a breakthrough in case management and means we can deliver on our customer promises,” says Powles.
Service Cloud is used by the company’s contact centre to track and respond to more than 12,000 requests per month and has contributed to Business Stream’s 26 percent increase in customer satisfaction rates since 2008.
Customers also engage with the company via an online account management service called My Business Stream, a self-service portal based on the Salesforce Platform that is tailored to suit customers’ needs. “My Business Stream allows customers to take control of their account at a time which suits them,” explains Powles.
Around 50 percent of customers have adopted My Business Stream, and the water provider hopes this will increase as it adds more self-service features.
Chatter is also helping to facilitate more meaningful engagement, this time between Business Stream’s employees and management team. “Chatter has helped integrate employees at all levels and across all departments,” he adds.
With greater employee engagement, a sharper sales operation and smarter customer service delivery, Business Stream is now looking ahead to when England follows Scotland in opening up the business water market to competition in 2017.
“With these foundations, we now have what we need to extend our success from the Scottish market to new geographies,” concludes Powles.