High-stakes work is better left to specialists; heavy-hitters skilled in a specific field. Channel management specialist Leading Edge takes care of sales and service for leading brands in the same way specialist IT providers manage complex systems for today’s businesses. How fitting that Leading Edge looked to the cloud and Salesforce, specifically, to drive its business.
As consumers spend more online, bricks and mortar retailers are hiring outside experts in a bid to increase sales. It is big business for sales agency Leading Edge, who provides smart people and systems to some of New Zealand’s best known retail brands.
With Salesforce, Leading Edge helps brands carve out a reputation for switched on sales and service. And they’re doing it in ever more powerful ways, even building self-service communities, where customers order new products, manage invoicing and track items they purchased.
Leading Edge people drive its success. But even good people have their limits, especially when they’re starved of quick access to customer information and systems that minimise paperwork and data entry. And that was precisely the battle Leading Edge was waging.
In the absence of a CRM system, their employees took matters into their own hands, creating spreadsheets to manage customer leads and opportunities. In some cases they were sifting up to eight email inboxes to deal with customer requests.
It wasn’t working and it was stressing out staff, who were bogged down by a backlog of service requests and customers less than amused by having to explain themselves and their requirements, one more time.
With Salesforce at the centre, leads were made visible, managers tracked sales and revenue, and clever integration with legacy systems automated the creation of purchase orders and invoices. Salesforce Communities extended new functions to the Leading Edge self-service portal, where customers place orders and manage their own inventory.
Soon after, Leading Edge got cracking with Service Cloud, mapping and testing cases before launching a new case management console in just six weeks. That spelt an immediate end to spreadsheets and general email inboxes. Suddenly, service agents could connect the dots between customers, their queries and how they had to be handled.
In quick succession, over 1,000 open cases were put to bed and case resolution times plummeted from four-to-five days to just two-to-three hours. Almost overnight Leading Edge notched up a 50% improvement in meeting client service level agreements.
Today, Leading Edge service agents work with a single view of each customer and richer data that illuminates the nature of each case and how it should be resolved. Conversation strings and historical contact related to each case flash on agents’ screens; they’re automatically notified when service time limits have passed; and they work with tools to manage different service requests and timelines. Now, when customers call Leading Edge, all the facts are clear to everyone – what customers have purchased, plan changes, problems, in fact the entire history of the relationship.
Most markets are at parity, and providers must look for new ways to wow customers. In the end, this is what Leading Edge delivers to its clients: sales and service so efficient that customers keep coming back for more. They do it on the back of Salesforce.