What happens when a small, family-owned bake shop in suburban New Jersey becomes the subject of a hit reality television show? After “Cake Boss” debuted on TLC, orders at Carlo’s Bakery grew more than 1,000%. Rapid growth is every small business owner’s dream, but the 100+ year-old company’s antiquated pencil-and-paper ordering system couldn’t keep up with the sudden flood of orders. That’s when the Cake Boss put in their order for Salesforce. Today, Carlo’s Bakery’s “Cake Boss” is in its seventh season with TLC and they sell 24,000 cupcakes each week. They have nine retail stores, a mail order shop, a cooking school, and significant business-to-business sales. They are also launching an online cooking program that will bring their CEO, Buddy Valastro, into kitchens everywhere. With help from the Salesforce Customer Success Platform, Carlo’s continues to maintain the feel of a neighborhood business as it expands around the world. Carlo’s customers range from a little old lady in Hoboken with a fondness for cannoli to large corporations that want to send rugelach to clients around the holidays. Even Norwegian Cruise Lines has Carlo’s branded bake shops on board their ships. The company manages all of these relationships through Sales Cloud. Individual stores and corporate headquarters can share information and customer details from Sales Cloud via Chatter. Retail managers, area managers, and the executive team all use Salesforce to see daily, weekly, and monthly reports ranging from financials to average wait times. And with the Salesforce mobile app they can access real-time metrics and keep an eye on customers from anywhere. “We’re a celebratory business,” says Leo Minervini, CIO. “Salesforce helps us track birthdays, corporate parties, and other special events so we can build relationships and grow sales.” The company creates elaborate email campaigns around the holidays and uses Data.com to find the right targets, like financial companies in Manhattan. “We’ve seen significant gains using Data.com,” says Minervini.
“Salesforce helps us track birthdays, corporate parties, and other special events so we can build relationships and grow sales.”
“We’re nothing without our customers,” is a favorite saying of Buddy Valastro, CEO and the eponymous Cake Boss. “As we continue to grow, we want to make sure every experience with our cakes, pastries, stores, and school — even our online classes — is outstanding.” To support their sales efforts, Carlo’s uses Desk.com for customer service. Having a support system that’s as easy as email is critical for onboarding staff at Carlo’s retail stores. Customer comments and inquiries are routed to individual stores so front-line people can address them personally and retain local relationships. Taking advantage of Desk.com’s flex licenses means everyone at the company, from product management to human resources, can check in on customer issues and see how responsive the company is. It’s easy and cost effective to get new staff up and running quickly during wedding season or the holidays, or for everyone at the company to pitch in during busy times. The company is even using it to power sign ups for their new online cooking school. Carlo’s also uses Marketing Cloud to monitor social channels, see trends, and communicate with fans and followers. Desk.com and Marketing Cloud seamlessly integrate with Salesforce so data is automatically shared between the sales and customer service teams and everyone can work together to help customers. “Bringing together sales and service is helping us drive new levels of efficiency,” says Minervini. “On a scale of 1-10 it’s a 12.”
Carlo’s Bakery also takes advantage of the power of the Salesforce Platform to reimagine the experience of buying baked goods. Customers at the company’s shops are greeted by a retail associate carrying an iPad powering a Salesforce custom point-of-sale app. The associate walks customers by the showcase and takes their orders, which are automatically communicated to counter staff to package and quickly ring up on the register. Another custom app —called “Cakeforce” — lets employees take new orders on iPads and over the phone, and instantly share information with bakers and decorators. Now bakery staff can spend time working with frosting and fondant, not sorting through stacks of paper to check dates or verify flavor requests. “As we grow, we want to keep our focus on building fantastic wedding cakes, not on IT infrastructure,” says Minervini. “Salesforce is magic.”