World Surfaris

We want not only to grow, but to elevate the business and that’s what’s made Salesforce super powerful for us. It’s helping to accelerate all the ideas that we’ve imagined, including those we never even thought would be possible.”

Steve Adam | General Manager
 

40%

reduction in time to create new customer bookings

 

World Surfaris unlocks ocean of opportunities

World Surfaris has been sending surfers all over the world for more than twenty years. As a full service travel agency, it takes care of everything from accommodation to boat bookings so customers can focus their time catching waves. The business also connects customers to more than 80 tour operators globally. This wide reach, together with years of experience, have helped World Surfaris become a category leader. It is now capitalising on this reputation and growing globally with Salesforce. A  personalised customer experience and smart automation are just the start of a new beginning.

“We want not only to grow, but to elevate the business and that’s what’s made Salesforce super powerful for us. It’s helping to accelerate all the ideas that we’ve imagined, including those we never even thought would be possible,” Steve Adam, General Manager, World Surfaris.

Salesforce helps make operations truly global

Today, World Surfaris has two offices in Queensland, Australia, and a presence in Bali, South Africa, the US and Europe. Customers can now organise trips through any of these agents worldwide, and experience the same great service. However, this was not always the case as agents overseas previously lacked access to the business’ pricing and inventory management tool and so had to work with agents in Australia to finalise pricing and bookings. This process could take one week or more and, with the time difference between Australia and the US and Europe, there were many delays in communication and lost opportunities as a result.

As World Surfaris was getting ready to replace its CRM, it identified an opportunity to finally address this problem and bring everyone onto the same platform. We had an old CRM that worked well for capturing data, but there were a lot of limitations when it came to accessing data and pulling any insights out about our customers. We couldn’t even see who our VIP customers were or do any tailored marketing,” said Adam. “Our goal was to replace that system and use our data to improve the customer experience, and as we began talking to Salesforce, we realised we could go further than that and use the platform to centralise and run our global operations.”

World Surfaris implemented Sales Cloud first, giving it a single view of customers which — unlike before — it can access from any device and browser in real-time. This allows agents to see all of customers’ interactions with World Surfaris at a glance and provide a more personalised service. The use of Sales Cloud has also helped reduce the time it takes to create a customer booking by 40% by streamlining activities like updating inventory control and creating trip files.

Automation of other processes like processing payments and tracking balances has delivered an additional 30% savings in the time allocated to ongoing booking management. These efficiencies have led to an exponential increase in consultant’s capacity to manage new leads and follow up existing opportunities.

“Now that we have a better understanding of our customers and more time to follow up with them, we’re less reliant on new leads entering the sales funnel and can therefore reduce our advertising spend over time,” said Josh Allen, Marketing & Partnerships Manager.

With a new Partner Community, overseas agents can now leverage some of the same capabilities to manage the end-to-end booking process themselves. This has eliminated double handling and made the sales process much more scalable to support World Surfaris’ global expansion.

Allen said that the potential time savings were significant with Salesforce also making it much easier to onboard new agents. “In the past, we would have to allocate resources to train new agents for two weeks, but by using Salesforce and the easy to use process we’ve created, new agents can now work and figure things out independently. The two employees we’ve hired since using Salesforce have each learnt the basic fundamentals within 48 hours.”

New insights for smarter engagement

The rollout of Pardot has helped to bring sales and marketing into greater alignment, and given World Surfaris new insights to deepen customer engagement. For example, it has allowed marketing to accurately measure the performance of advertising campaigns and track where leads are coming from. They can also see where leads have landed on the World Surfaris site and what pages they’ve visited. All this information can be viewed by agents as well to help them tailor their approach and travel recommendations.

“Using Pardot we can get a much clearer view of engagement and the value we’re getting from different advertisements. We’re still optimising that, but it is definitely a step in the right direction towards increasing our conversion rate,” said Allen.

Another thing that World Surfaris is now doing is segmenting data for more tailored campaigns. One of these was a loyalty promotion sent to repeat customers who had been on of the company’s surf charter boats in the Maldives or Indonesia in the 18 months prior. The promotion included a discount to incentivise customers to rebook for the 2020 surf season. More than 54% of customers opened the email and 27% clicked through to the offer, generating more than $100,000 in potential sales.

"One of the most exciting things for me from a marketing perspective is that I can now track which customers are clicking on campaigns and set up completion actions around their behaviour,” said Allen. “The segmentation we’ve been able to create from something as simple as this campaign will also give us valuable insights into customers and their buying trends which we can use in future targeted campaigns.”

Endless possibilities innovation

While the efficiencies and growth in sales are important, Adam said improvements and innovation in service are what sets the business apart in its space. "As a travel company, making sure the customer's trip runs smoothly is everything and with Salesforce we can apply automation to ensure even greater accuracy with logistics.”

As an example, World Surfaris has used custom objects in Sales Cloud to automate some of the more challenging logistics like managing inventory on tour operators’ boats. In the past, this was a very manual process involving lots of emails between agents and operators; double bookings were common which was frustrating for customers and bad for the brand. Now, this risk is removed with agents having a calendar view of inventory in Sales Cloud where they can easily allocate places on each tour and automatically push customer details out to operators.

In the future, the business hopes to open up this inventory management tool to operators via a Partner Community. “A lot of our tour operators are working out of very remote areas and spend a lot of time on their boat so communication can be very difficult. The idea of being able to provide them with the logistical information they need in the palm of their hand is really exciting,” said Adam.

World Surfaris also sees the potential to build out a Customer Community and mobile app where customers can easily make payments and access travel documents on-the-go. This would also provide another channel of communication which the business could use to help build customer excitement about upcoming trips.

Both Adam and Allen are using Trailhead and tapping into other experts in the Salesforce Community to explore these ideas and optimise their current use of Salesforce. They have also created Trailmixes to help with agent onboarding.

“There is a lot we are doing to streamline our internal processes and communication with operators, but at the end of the day we are in the business of sending people on memorable surf trips and that’s where all our innovation with Salesforce is heading. It’s helping us build a better customer experience and retain customers for life,” said Adam.

 
 

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