“Whether it’s a mobile phone, a watch or a fridge, if it’s connected to the internet, it’s exposed to security risks,” said CIO Paul Hendriks. “By protecting our customers, we are protecting their online lives.”
Attracting and retaining customers continues to be a major priority for AVG. As Daniel Urminsky, Director of ICT Marketing, Sales, and Service, explained: “Security software is becoming a commodity. Customer engagement is the differentiator now.”
To succeed in this increasingly competitive landscape, AVG is not only transforming its approach to customer engagement, but also the entire business. “We are moving away from selling a product to offering a service,” said Hendriks. “We want to engage with our customers throughout the relationship and deliver valuable, meaningful services that protect their online world.”
Personalising and transforming customer engagement on such a massive scale requires integration at every stage of the journey — from capturing leads and closing sales to distributing marketing content and providing support.
To make this vision a reality, Hendriks and his team implemented both an information and communication (ICT) strategy and a new customer engagement platform in 2016. Salesforce is at the heart of both these initiatives. “We want to deliver an integrated security experience. That means delivering an integrated customer experience,” Hendriks said. “With Salesforce, we can follow and enrich customer journeys.”
AVG’s customer engagement platform brings together sales, service, and marketing activities across dozens of countries. “To drive greater customer engagement, you need greater customer visibility,” said Hendriks. “With Salesforce, everything is in one place, which helps increase customer satisfaction, boosts revenue generation, and reduces costs.”
And Hendriks means literally everything. From social media threads and mobile marketing campaigns to software purchases and support questions, Salesforce provides a 360-degree view of the company’s customer relationships.
“With Salesforce, we can tap into an ecosystem of integrated solutions,” he said. “We don’t have to issue tenders or hire developers; we don’t have to build anything from scratch. It puts us ahead of the pack.”
Seamless omni-channel support
Built on Community Cloud, the AVG Support Community provides a seamless customer experience across every channel, including social media. “Supporting millions of customers can be demanding,” said Urminsky. “With Community Cloud, we can deliver a great experience with just a few hundred agents.”
Following its launch in November 2014, the AVG Support Community now welcomes more than 14 million visitors a year. It replaces a mix of legacy support channels, including a contact centre, an outdated website, and various online forums. “In the past there was no single point of contact for our customers,” said Urminsky. “When customers have questions, we want to make sure it is clear where they go for help and that their experience of our support service is as smooth and pleasant as possible.”
AVG uses Service Cloud to track every support contact and case across its customer base. But that’s just the beginning: AVG has taken customer support and engagement to a whole new level by integrating Community Cloud with Service Cloud. This powerful combination provides the company with unique insights into the customer journey across every channel — and helps the company stand apart from its competitors.
“With Community Cloud and Service Cloud, our customer care agents have full visibility of previous emails, community discussions, web chats, social media posts, and telephone calls. Nothing falls through the gap, which means better and faster service for our customers,” said Urminsky.
Social media is becoming an increasingly important engagement channel for AVG; customers can even use their Facebook identity to log in to the support community. Following posts about AVG and its products by millions of customers is a massive task. Using Marketing Cloud, AVG can monitor relevant threads and log any support queries in Service Cloud for a customer care agent to answer.
Every direct interaction with an agent triggers a customer satisfaction survey in Service Cloud, which is linked back to individual team members and showcased on a wall of fame. Support information collected via the community also enables customer care team members to identify recurring questions, and share these with their colleagues in engineering and product management to drive continuous improvement.
“By unifying our customer support activities, we can tap into a wealth of new metrics,” said Urminsky. “For example, we can measure the impact of issues on customer care and put a monetary value on this.” Urminsky can also track how many support queries are resolved via self-service options.
The AVG Support Community features hundreds of knowledge articles and videos in nine languages that can be easily searched. Customers can also answer each other’s questions and share advice. “We surpassed our self-service targets by 25% within several months of the community going live,” said Urminsky.
The power of partners
The AVG team wants to extend its community-based approach to the thousands of channel partners that resell the company’s products. The partner community will be based on the same model as the customer community, and will bring together billing, training, and support into one place. “We currently have five partner portals with different processes. A single community will save our partners time and give them a competitive advantage,” said Urminsky.
AVG has also transformed how it engages with partners and business-to-business customers with Sales Cloud. Sales professionals around the world track and progress leads and opportunities with Sales Cloud, which has replaced a mix of spreadsheets and local systems.
“With Sales Cloud, we can ensure everyone follows the same process,” said Urminsky. “We can monitor different opportunity pipelines in different countries, and see how we are performing against targets.”
The sales team can access and update this information in real time, thanks to the Salesforce Mobile App. With Chatter, team members can also check in with colleagues after customer meetings. “By integrating our sales teams and operations, we’ll be able to increase conversion rates and accelerate the quote-to-cash process,” said Urminsky.
Faster and smarter marketing campaigns
With the goal to more than triple the number of customers served in the next few years, AVG needs to ensure it has a steady stream of new leads. “Having a great product is not enough; you’ve got to tell people about it through great marketing campaigns,” said Hendriks.
As part of its new customer engagement platform, the company is centralising all its campaigns — mobile, email, and social — on Marketing Cloud. “It used to take the marketing team anywhere from several days to several weeks to create content for a campaign. Due to the high level of automation and self-service capabalities of Marketing Cloud, much of it can be done in an hour,” said Urminsky.
For AVG, this means not only more campaigns, but also more personalised and relevant ones based on recent world events and the interests of individual customers. Marketing Cloud helps to power this personalisation by capturing insights from social media posts that can be used to shape marketing content.
“With Marketing Cloud, we can empower the business to define and deliver more granular campaigns,” said Urminsky. “They can segment audiences, they can target multiple channels, and they can track the results. They can personalise customer engagement on a global scale.”
Company leaders plan to extend their use of Marketing Cloud’s email distribution tools to include other company communications, such as order confirmations and support updates. “We’ll be able to look at delivery and bounce rates to improve our engagement with customers throughout their journey with us,” said Hendriks.
The ability to keep enriching and expanding its customer engagement platform is fundamental to AVG’s growth ambitions. “We have to innovate very fast. With one platform, we can add new products, partners, and acquisitions more easily, and accelerate our time to market,” he said. “Salesforce gives us the agility and scalability we need to build for growth.”
People are crucial in partnership between AVG and Salesforce
Although business and ICT transformation of this scale can be intimidating, AVG seems to have found a formula for success. “We have adapted the organization to maximize the success of this transformation,” said Urminsky. “AVG constantly evangelizes the transformation, and has setup a strong enterprise architecture and an agile and structured operational model with centers of excellence.”
“Crucial for the success is the partnership between AVG and Salesforce. And this partnership is first and foremost about people,” adds Hendriks. “I am thrilled to say that the people involved are very engaged, focused on collaboration, open and transparent, sometimes brutally honest, persistent and willing to go many extra miles.