Becoming a Trailblazer: GreenThumb keeps customer service in bloom with Field Service Lightning

When the first rays of sunshine hit the UK each spring, GreenThumb’s expert field crew members are eager to help homeowners across the nation bring their lawns to life. That’s why the company recently decided to rejuvenate its customer service processes.

For years, customers who wanted to book a GreenThumb lawn treatment had only one option: pick up the phone. Once they did, hold times were long—and call centre staff had to toggle between multiple screens just to provide basic information. No wonder GreenThumb’s call abandonment rate was higher than the company wanted.

“We want to give our customers a choice of how they interact with us,” explains Paul Edwards, GreenThumb’s Managing Director.

“Later this year we are aiming to provide a frictionless customer experience in which someone can visit our website and click through to schedule an appointment. We were also wasting far too much time punching in data from paper-based work orders and reconciling that with customer payments. It was clearly time to go digital.”


We want to give our customers a choice of how they interact with us.”

Paul Edwards, GreenThumb’s Managing Director.

Trailblazer plants the seeds for a digital transformation.

As a mid-market business, GreenThumb had to consider potential technology solutions carefully with a mind for overall value. GreenThumb became a Trailblazer by implementing Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning and integrating them with a newly installed Sage financials system.

GreenThumb now has an integrated view of invoices, payments, and balances, and has automated its reconciliation process. When a field crew member clicks a button on their phone to say they’ve completed a job, it immediately shows up in the customer’s account with a balance due. As soon as the customer makes a payment, Sage Financials reconciles it to their account in Salesforce.

Clearing Away Obstacles to Great Customer Service

Edwards admits he wasn’t sure how quickly GreenThumb’s field crew—many of whom didn't use computers at home or at work—would adopt Salesforce. But they have proven themselves to be true Trailblazers.

“One of our long-time crew members, Gareth, told me Salesforce has revolutionized his job,” remarks Edwards. “He used to sit at home in the evening laying out his work orders on the kitchen floor and using a map to plan his route for the next day. He now wakes up excited to come to work because he has all of the answers to customers’ queries on his handheld device and he can now focus on providing solutions for customers.”

Previously, when customers asked a field crew member to deliver an additional service or book their next treatment, the crew member would direct them to call the office. Today, field crew can manage customer service right from their mobile devices while they are standing on a customer’s lawn.

Smart scheduling increases team productivity.

Meanwhile, GreenThumb’s dispatchers are working more efficiently than ever. Rather than calling field crew to check in on job status, they can use one screen to track everyone’s location and progress. When cancellations and last-minute bookings pop up, they can easily re-route crew. Powerful scheduling capabilities within Field Service Lightning are helping GreenThumb get the most out of its field team.

“Salesforce lets us build schedules that take into account the skillset and efficiency of each of our crew members,” Edwards explains. “We’ve identified the workers who are the most productive and can do the most complex jobs, and we’re now able to give them work most suited to their experience—which helps us to keep our customers happy.”

Going green also grows the bottom line.

Just months after implementing Field Service Lightning, the Trailblazers at GreenThumb are saving money—and the environment. Smarter scheduling has enabled GreenThumb’s field crew to complete at least one extra job per worker per day, which generates more revenue. By routing crew efficiently, the company estimates it will save over £400,000 in annual fuel costs.

With no more need for paper work orders, GreenThumb will cut its paper requirement by three million sheets per year. Edwards believes this number will rise as the company also gradually replaces traditional mail with digital communications. In addition, working on a lightning-fast system has enabled GreenThumb’s dispatchers to resolve customer inquiries an average of 45 seconds faster than before—going from seven clicks per case to just three.

“These are initial results that will only get better,” Edwards is quick to mention. “With Salesforce Field Service Lightning, we’re providing agile service that our competitors can’t match. Meanwhile, we’re reinvesting our savings in our people as well as research and development so that our industry-leading lawn care products will always give customers the greenest, healthiest lawn possible.”

How to become a Trailblazer.

Why was GreenThumb willing to embrace a new platform—and a whole new way of doing business? Edwards reports that his organisation is full of Trailblazers.

One such employee is “Lisa,” who was the first GreenThumb dispatcher to adopt Field Service Lightning. “Whenever one of her colleagues seems hesitant to use Field Service Lightning, she encourages them to press on and use it to solve their biggest business challenges,” Edwards explains.

That’s why Edwards strongly urges other executives to make the same decision he made. “Don't underestimate what your crew members will be willing to adopt,” he concludes. “When you put Field Service Lightning in front of them, you’ll find they’re far more adaptable than you thought.”


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