WBP Group

Moving to Salesforce has been a positive experience for employees and they’re genuinely excited to do virtual valuations—especially as there were concerns over whether we’d even be able to operate.”

Brendan Smith | Chief Executive Officer


processes running on Salesforce within 6 weeks


WBP Group fast tracks innovation and introduces virtual valuations

As one of the country’s largest, independent property valuation and advisory firms, WBP Group has helped millions of Australians make more informed property decisions based on its comprehensive valuation reports. These reports are typically based on property inspections carried out onsite. However, in response to COVID-19, WBP Group has introduced virtual valuations so that it can continue servicing the market while keeping customers and employees safe.

The virtual valuations are enabled in part by Salesforce which WBP Group has been rolling out to improve efficiency and accelerate innovation. Like most firms in its industry, WBP Group has historically operated using a number of bespoke systems and managed all of its development in-house. However, this made it difficult to break free from standard legacy processes and take new ideas to market.

“We are always looking for ways to add value and simplify things for our customers and that’s what led us down the path of Salesforce,” said Brendan Smith, Chief Executive Officer of WBP Group.

Automation and self-service improve customer experience

WBP Group is now more than three quarters through its implementation and managing 90% of its processes on Salesforce. These include a streamlined process for scheduling whereby customers can log on to a portal and schedule their own appointments. Bookings are then automatically assigned to valuers based on location and availability.

The process—which is managed through Field Service Lightning—has reduced the time it takes to confirm appointments from an average of two to four hours down to one to two minutes. In addition, all booking queries are handled by WBP Group's small admin team as compared to in the past when 50% of bookings were handled by valuers. This has given valuers more time for value added activities and helped the firm handle an increase in volume without adding headcount.

WBP Group is now expanding the use of Field Service Lightning to automate other processes like sending out customer surveys via GetFeedback. WBP is currently using Field Service Lighting to replace the current app used by valuers and giving them everything they need to manage valuations from the palm of their hand.

"One of the challenges with our existing app is that any updates or changes require the support of our whole development team," said Adrian Graham, National Operations Manager at WBP Group. "So replacing this with Salesforce will allow us to adapt and change much more easily."

Virtual valuations ensure safety of customers and employees

While WBP Group has been working on the wider rollout of Field Service Lightning, COVID-19 has presented a more urgent challenge. A large part of the firm’s work involves valuers travelling to properties and inspecting them physically. However, the spread of the coronavirus and new social distancing and quarantine guidelines required WBP Group to change how it was operating. An obvious solution was to offer virtual valuations. It was something that WBP Group had talked about in the past, and while its banking partners had been hesitant about the idea before, the company was able to get them on board in less than one week.

It was Thursday, 12 March and late in the afternoon the decision was made to move forward, and by 6:30pm that same evening, one of the firm's developers presented SightCall as a solution. Available from the AppExchange and integrated with Service Cloud, SightCall could be easily and quickly embedded into the firm’s existing IT infrastructure. This made it an attractive solution for the long term—as opposed to standard video conferencing which would have been a short-term fix.

WBP Group started implementation right away and within two weeks it was able to go live, becoming the first in the industry to offer such a solution. Now, customers can opt for their valuations to be done virtually if they feel there is a risk in having someone onsite. They simply select the option upon booking and are sent a link to an app. Once downloaded, the app then guides them through the steps needed to complete the virtual inspection. The data flows back through Service Cloud where valuers can access it and complete their report.

In delivering this solution now, WBP Group has been able to ensure business continuity while prioritising the safety and wellbeing of customers and employees. It has also fast tracked the use of virtual valuations in Australia; based on the industry’s previous hesitation about going virtual, this could have taken months.

Another benefit has been the engagement and excitement of employees. They are not only pleased to be able to work from home, but excited that WBP Group is leading the industry with this innovation.

“Moving to Salesforce has been a positive experience for employees and they’re genuinely excited to do virtual valuations—especially as there were concerns over whether we’d even be able to operate,” said Smith.

WBP Group is already expanding its use of SightCall to provide valuers with technical assistance onsite and to provide customers with a more accurate timeframe on when they can expect jobs to be complete. In the future, it will be used to deliver on the job training and support for less experienced valuers.

Increased transparency and engagement

For Smith and the rest of the management team, another benefit of having Salesforce at this time is that it helps them navigate the impacts of COVID-19 with complete visibility into how the firm is performing. “When you have a situation where things are changing daily, being able to analyse and react to different sets of data in real-time is crucial. I’ve never had that visibility before Salesforce and it is something that I’ve really appreciated as things like the logistics of getting out to properties at this time affect our costs and revenue,” he said.

The next step in WBP Group’s technology transformation will be to embed the virtual valuations capability right into the Field Service Lightning app and roll this out to the valuations team. This will provide them with just one app to manage everything from their daily scheduling through to the completion of valuations, both in-person and virtual. WBP Group also plans to launch a new customer community which will be used to deepen engagement with banks and showcase all of the services that it can offer outside of standard valuations.

The firm is looking forward to using Einstein Analytics to explore its data sets and use artificial intelligence to react faster to changes in service levels or shifts in market conditions. It also plans to create custom dashboards to share information with clients and is exploring how it can use Einstein Vision to extract insights from the 750,000 property images it captures each year.

“It goes back to breaking free from standardisation and the way that things were done in the past. We want to show customers how we are different and can add more value. That’s what leveraging Salesforce is all about,” said Smith.


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