South Australia Office for Ageing Well

We have an ageing population which is increasingly digitally savvy and Salesforce has helped us to respond to that and keep up with their expectations.”

Evlynn Hayes | Manager Seniors Card and Business Services

Office for Ageing Well connects with tech savvy seniors

South Australia’s Office for Ageing Well offers a range of services to help older people connect and contribute to the communities in which they live. One of these services is a Seniors Card program which provides people aged 60 years and over with transport concessions and discounts from 700 businesses. The popular program has 390,000 members and the department uses Salesforce to provide them all with a streamlined experience.

Evlynn Hayes, Manager Seniors Card and Business Services within the Office for Ageing Well, leads the small team responsible for the program and she began using Salesforce more than ten years ago to manage memberships and marketing with business partners. The benefits were immediate and the department has since expanded its use of Salesforce to support its customers in new ways.

"We have an ageing population which is increasingly digitally savvy and Salesforce has helped us to respond to that and keep up with their expectations,” said Hayes.

Delivering more value to stakeholders

In the months prior to implementing Salesforce, the Seniors Card team brought the marketing for the program in-house to reduce costs and provide more value to members and business partners. The problem was that they didn’t have a solution to effectively manage opportunities and basic things like quotes and contracts. The team was doing everything in spreadsheets, and with just three people to manage 700 partners, it simply wasn’t sustainable. So upon advice from IT, they began using Sales Cloud to manage the entire relationship with business partners.

“We were able to get started with Sales Cloud with very little customisation and, even with the investment in technology, we were able to deliver cost savings of $150,000 in the first year,” said Hayes.

Improved data management facilitates 100% drop in complaints

The program team soon adopted Sales Cloud as its CRM for members, and their operations were running smoothly until the launch of a new digital magazine a few years later. The magazine, WeekendPlus, was meant to be sent to subscribers only.  However, because the member data for marketing was held separately from the data in Sales Cloud, preferences were poorly managed and emails were often sent to the wrong contacts.

“We received a lot of complaints because we were sending the magazine to people who had opted out,” said Hayes. “The other issue was that we couldn’t get the segmented data we needed to run effective campaigns for our business partners.”

These challenges led the team to replace its previous marketing platform with Marketing Cloud and make Salesforce the single source of truth for member data. The implementation was led by Salesforce Platinum Consulting Partner Simplus who established a seamless flow of data between Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud. In addition, Simplus helped the Seniors Card program team to create web pages where people can apply to the seniors program online and manage their own subscriptions. The data is updated in Salesforce immediately so there are no more issues with newsletters being sent to the wrong members and no more complaints.

“We still have paper applications for those who are not online, but what we’ve found is that there are many in our target demographic that are demanding these digital options and now 85% of new members are applying online,” said Hayes.

The team’s data also shows that members are highly engaged with a steady open rate on eDMs averaging 30-40%. Satisfaction has increased among business partners as well as they’re are able to work with the Seniors Card team to send members more targeted campaigns and receive increased insights on the results.

“The transformation has been worth it for the increases in productivity alone, but it has been exciting to see the tangible difference it has made to our members,” said Hayes. “A 76-year old woman recently signed up for the Seniors Card online and, after attending an event she read about in WeekendPlus, she went back online to update her preferences and signed up for our special offers eDMs. Afterwards, she phoned the office just to thank us for making it all easy.”

Increasing community support

The Office for Ageing Well is continuing to increase support for seniors, their families and support services, with initiatives like the Adult Safeguarding Unit; the first of its kind in the country. Underpinned by Service Cloud and delivered with the help of Simplus, the Unit helps the Office for Ageing Well to confidentially manage cases related to concerns of elder abuse. “Elder abuse is a very complex and sensitive issue and we needed to be careful about keeping the customer at the centre of this solution. The complex case management system developed on Salesforce really fits that purpose,” said Hayes.

Service Cloud is also used within the Office’s Retirement Villages Unit to manage cases and mediation between village operators and their residents. There is an average of 350 cases at any one time and replacing spreadsheets with Service Cloud has helped the team to manage these more effectively. 

“With all the capabilities of Salesforce, there’s always more we can be doing and the focus for me is expanding and improving the digital experience,” said Hayes. “The next generation of seniors is really changing the game and if we don’t react, we will fall behind.”


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