Our Program Architect’s day-to-day work with us allows us to not only iterate more quickly, but it drives the principles of thinking Salesforce-first. We’re moving forward faster because he’s here.”

Richard Sexton, Chief Marketing Officer
 

As the regional club serving both North and South Carolina for more than 100 years, AAA Carolinas decided that the organization needed to change to stay relevant for its members. “Traditionally we’ve been good at transactions, but not as good at anticipating other ways we could add value to members,” said Dusty Holcomb, SVP of Member Experience and Analytics for AAA Carolinas. “We are sometimes seen as your grandma and grandpa’s motor club. We must change that by going to market with a contemporary experience.”

A big part of that change was focused on their technology. Until recently, AAA Carolinas managed its own customer databases for each line of business, including emergency roadside service (ERS) and insurance products (referred to as Car Care and Travel Services). Member representatives focused on completing transactions exclusively for their own part of the business.

The new vision of leadership is to become a highly relational organization, seeing each transaction as a single touchpoint within the entire member lifecycle. “Folks on the front lines have always worked in the dark; it’s been about their relationship with a member, not our relationship,” Holcomb said. “Salesforce helps us bridge that gap.”

 

By bringing in Salesforce Architects, I wanted to make sure we had perspective on the best way to deploy Salesforce. If we didn’t get it right, we’d always be limping along saying we wished we’d done this better.”

Dusty Holcomb, SVP of Member Experience and Analytics

The organization embarked on a transformation aimed at creating a “broader, deeper, and more enriching experience for the member,” according to Holcomb. One of the core ways of doing that was to consolidate data into a single member record and to align field sales and member management processes around it.

AAA Carolinas expanded its Salesforce licenses and embraced Salesforce technologies as the platform for this transformation. To ensure success, AAA Carolinas engaged with Salesforce Architects, which assigns program architects to provide strategic planning, deep industry and product knowledge, and on-the-ground technical advisement and best practices.

 
Dusty Holcomb, SVP of Member Experience and Analytics, explains how a program architect and business architect helped AAA Carolinas expand its vision for using Salesforce.

“By bringing in Salesforce Architects, I wanted to make sure we had perspective on the best way to deploy Salesforce,” said Holcomb. “If we didn’t get it right, we’d always be limping along saying we wished we’d done this better, or naysayers would say, ‘See, it didn’t work.’”

To gradually win over any potential naysayers, the leaders of AAA Carolinas and the Salesforce program architect (PA) focused on creating small successes to drive recognition and adoption. Chief among these successes, the implementation of LiveAgent for online chat support increased member engagement by 330% and reduced service response time by 54%.

 
Dusty Holcomb’s advice about the Accelerators that can help your business learn and evolve with Salesforce.

The PA also helped AAA Carolinas develop an automated way to flag new insurance opportunities for sales reps when members transferred into the Carolinas club from other regions. This generated around 1,250 new opportunities per month and is expected to drive $99,000 to $200,000 in additional gross revenue annually.

Another benefit of this change was the excitement it built internally.

“The team began to rally around every opportunity inside of Chatter and collaborated on what went right and wrong,” said Rob McCloskey, Manager of Enterprise CRM Applications for AAA Carolinas. “They started to organically form best practices, and we saw the quote rate rise two points in two weeks just from that community aspect.”

 
When AAA Carolinas encouraged employees to share on Chatter, some powerful stories emerged. Listen to how the company went the extra mile for a member during an important moment.

The Salesforce Program Architect has also been on hand to add value by helping sales reps understand the full technology capabilities. In one example, the PA told the team about an API that connected Salesforce to an Edmunds database, providing supplemental data about members’ vehicles so reps could flag safety issues and service needs when they talked to members.

In another example, the architect demonstrated how Field Service Lightning could stand in for AAA Carolinas’ existing dispatch system, leading to conversations about strategically developing a new, more robust, and easier-to-use dispatch application that ties into Community Cloud.

“Our PA’s day-to-day work with us here, as part of the AAA family, allows us not only to iterate more quickly, but it drives the principles of thinking Salesforce-first,” said Richard Sexton, Chief Marketing Officer for AAA Carolinas. “He’s so in touch with Salesforce deliverables that he’s been a godsend in every conversation. Sometimes it goes unnoticed because he makes those conversations so seamless, but they save us time and money. We’re moving forward faster because he’s here.”

 
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