VF Corporation (VF)
VF Corporation (VF) delivers high satisfaction and faster service with Salesforce
Ambition only gets you so far. To get where you really want to go, you must map out your objectives and the best routes to them. Just ask VF Corporation (VF), owner of some of the world’s biggest activewear brands, including The North Face, Vans and Timberland. Since drawing up its roadmap for digitalising its business, VF has hit heady heights indeed.
It now has its eyes set on even greater summits. “We’re multi-brand, multi-market, and multi-lingual, and have a clear aspiration to become a truly omnichannel business,” said Michelle Walker, EMEA eCommerce Customer Services Director at VF. “We chose Salesforce because we needed to future proof our business.”
VF took the first steps towards digitalising its customer service back in 2014, with the implementation of Service Cloud at its customer-facing call center, which handles all service requests from EMEA customers regarding its global brands. The roll-out gave agents visibility of each consumer across all contact points, allowing them to respond more intelligently and efficiently and boosting customer satisfaction.
Service Cloud Lightning boosts NPS score and cuts case closure time by 14%
Since then, eCommerce has exploded and channels have multiplied, increasing the demands on service agents and the need to create even greater clarity of the consumer journey. Call center staff count has gone from just 20 in 2014 to almost 400 today.
So, in 2019, VF upgraded to Service Cloud Lightning, which has helped achieve a 14% cut in case resolution time, a 2.4% spike in customer satisfaction and a 2.7% rise in the company’s Net Promoter Score. The roll-out has delivered an extra 69 hours per working week and doubled the number of cases opened and closed. This means that the company has already realised a substantial return on investment.
“Serving the consumer is as important to us as getting the sale,” said Alessandra Greco, Senior Director of Global Product Management and Digitalisation of Services at VF. “We want our customers to really connect with our brands. And that connection needs to be nurtured beyond the point of purchase.
“We need to be fostering lasting, sustainable relationships with our customers. Today, the customer is everywhere. We need to connect the dots to ensure we’re there with them. Salesforce helps us do that, and we’re leveraging more and more of the Salesforce ecosystem as we continue on our journey.”
The journey to long-term goals can sometimes be thrown off course by pressure from unexpected, short-term imperatives. Take Covid-19 – demand exploded with the arrival of the pandemic in Europe in early 2020, but VF was able to respond with agility and stay on course. With just two days’ notice, the company switched to home working just as its service personnel were coming under unprecedented pressure from consumers.
Partnership enables smoother implementation.
Communication between VF’s service and IT departments as the company’s Salesforce ecosystem continues to evolve is paramount, added Walker, pointing out that collaboration between Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud has been key in building a more integrated customer journey. “The ethos at VF is very much that ‘if you’re not serving the consumer, your job is to be serving someone who is’ and we very much try to keep that mindset,” she said.
“There are no conflicting objectives. The digital team asks the service team: What’s most important to you now? Their answers are what drive us to innovate and come up with new ideas. It really is a close partnership. Our Salesforce journey is an evolution. The adoption of Service Cloud Lightning and Einstein for Service are at the heart of this at the moment and we couldn’t do this without working closely together in partnership.”
Service Cloud Lightning and Einstein Case Routing intelligently selects agents.
A key benefit of the platform is that it helps increase the productivity of VF’s service personnel as they deal with increasing volumes of interactions via email, chat and telephone. Einstein Case Routing allows incoming cases to be analysed intelligently and routed to the right agent based on a range of criteria including skills, linguistics and availability.
“We're very excited about the skill-based routing because it has so much potential for us as a business,” explained Walker. “Our business is very prone to peaks, with our staff numbers doubling during the big winter and summer spikes. We're looking to leverage skill-based routing so we can train our seasonal helpers in certain areas and route more complex queries to our longer-term core staff. That’s really exciting.”
Salesforce enables seamless and efficient service interactions.
This is just the beginning. VF is now in the process of implementing Einstein Case Classification to suggest top fields for service agents once they’ve been allocated a case (previously this was a manual process). It is also rolling out Einstein Article Recommendation, which will suggest relevant articles to help agents address problems in seconds. This is particularly beneficial when interacting via live chat.
VF’s Salesforce evolution is a key part of the journey towards its global objective of becoming a consumer-minded, hyper-digital business that maximises customer lifetime by delivering better and more efficient service. “We’re currently working on enabling Whatsapp on to Salesforce for Michelle’s team in Europe to allow our customers to be able to interact with us even more seamlessly and efficiently,” explained Greco.
“Our use of Salesforce to develop closer and longer-lasting relationships with our customers will provide a more cohesive strategy for VF. We will be using Einstein, automation and new channels in a forward-thinking way so that we can do this. Working with Salesforce means we can continue to do this into the future.”