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Vax cleans up its contact centre act with smarter customer conversations and stronger sales results
Vax believes in making everything effortless for its customers – whether it’s cleaning a floor, placing an order or resolving a fault.
“You can’t put a value on time we want every customer interaction to be seamless,” explains Carole Edwards, Director of Customer Service at Vax. “Salesforce has made it easy for people to do business with us.”
So easy, in fact, that agent basket conversion has increased by an average of £10 per customer since the UK contact centre started using Service Cloud in October 2014.
“In the last four years, sales volumes for the contact centre have almost tripled to £1.6 million,” reveals Edwards. “It’s no longer seen as a cost centre, but a revenue generator.”
Vax has seen a 26 per cent year-on-year growth in ecommerce sales, exceeding its targets in 2015 by leveraging Salesforce.
All in good time
The secret to Vax’s success didn’t involve hiring more resources or launching more promotions it simply involved freeing up more time. As Edwards explains: “Our agents no longer have to navigate between nine different systems, they just use Service Cloud. This means they can spend more time helping customers and having meaningful conversations.”
In the past, these ‘conversations’ would have primarily been telephone-based, but not any more. Vax has adopted an omni-channel approach that also includes self-help, email, social media and live chat.
“The live agent feature of Service Cloud has been a massive success. Our agents love it and so do our customers: 91 per cent of customers that engaged with us via live chat said they were happy with the experience and would use it again,” says Edwards.
More than three-quarters of customers also indicated that their issue had been resolved on first contact.
Regardless of the engagement channel, details of every customer interaction are captured in Service Cloud. Since introducing the solution, Vax’s database has grown to encompass more than 2.5 million customers.
As the UK’s best-selling floor care brand, Vax sells its cleaners both online and in stores across the UK. By integrating Service Cloud with its ecommerce systems, Vax can pull through customer’s registration details and purchases from its website.
“With Service Cloud, we have a 360-degree view of the entire customer relationship. If they place an order or send us a tweet, it’s logged in their record,” explains Edwards.
To help agents identify existing customers, Vax has deployed an integrated telephony solution from the Salesforce AppExchange.
“In the past, we had to ask a customer for their details every time they called – even if they had just got off the phone,” reveals Edwards. “Now, we can automatically recognise our customers and intelligently route their calls based on existing information within Salesforce.”
For example, if a customer calls about an existing claim in the event of a product causing damage, the call is automatically routed directly to the claims team, bypassing the standard interactive voice response (IVR). Or if a customer has given a low NPS score, they are automatically routed to a customer advocate agent.
As well as tracking inbound customer interactions, Vax uses Service Cloud to log outbound communications, such as marketing emails. “If a customer contacts us saying they’ve received an offer, we can check the details in Service Cloud to make sure the conversation starts on the right footing,” says Edwards.
Email-based promotions and campaigns are co-ordinated via Marketing Cloud, with an average of 3,000 communications sent out each month. “We don't want to push the same email to everyone,” says Edwards. “With Marketing Cloud, we can segment customers to provide more tailored and personalised content.”
A clean slate
It took Vax just eight weeks to implement each Salesforce solution. “The business had been advised by external consultants that implementing a new customer relationship management system could take 18 months,” explains Edwards. "We didn’t have that much time, as we were due to move our operational sites, and did not want to take legacy on-premise systems with us. With Salesforce, we didn’t need it.”
By involving agents from its customer engagement team in the system selection process, adoption was a breeze. “The Service Cloud resonated with the team as its interface has a social media feel,” adds Edwards.
Saleforce’s cloud-based model also means the server outages, which used to impact both customers, and the internal team’s morale are a distant memory.
Over the last two years, the contact centre has boosted its agent retention rate and the team is now rated top for employee engagement across the entire company. “Our agents can now add more value, and that means they feel more valued too, which is great for our customers,” says Edwards.
Since introducing Service Cloud, first contact resolution has increased from 78 per cent to 87 per cent. Customer contacts via telephone have also reduced from 81 per cent in 2014 to 76.5 per cent in 2015, with this channel increasingly being used for complex queries and up-sell/cross-sell opportunities.
Vax wants to ensure its agents continue to feel empowered, and uses the information captured in Service Cloud to measure a number of key performance indicators. “Just tracking call handling stats is a thing of the past,” reveals Edwards. “We want to understand how agents contribute to sales and how they drive an effortless customer experience.”
Vax’s customer-centric approach helped it win Best Contact Centre of the Year for over 50 seats at the Midlands Contact Centre Forum Awards in October 2015.
Art of the possible
The company is now expanding its use of Salesforce to other areas of the business. For example, the purchasing team uses Service Cloud instead of multiple spreadsheets to track its suppliers and performance ratings.
Vax has also deployed Sales Cloud and the Salesforce MobileApp to provide the UK sales and commercial teams with visibility of customer information while on the move. As Edwards confirms: “It used to take five phone calls to check the status of a customer case with Salesforce CRM, it’s immediate.”
The sales and commercial teams also use Salesforce Chatter groups to communicate and share customer information.
Mobile, knowledge base and online communities will be next on the radar for Vax. “Writing our strategy for 2016 was really difficult there are so many options. Every day, someone asks can we do this or that with Salesforce,” says Edwards. And, invariably, the answer is ‘yes’.
Vax has dispensed with external development resources relying on its in-house knowledge. “We can apply 98 percent of changes in-house. Click and configure is really easy with Salesforce, it’s the art of the possible,” concludes Edwards.