Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages Refreshes its Customer Experience with Salesforce
Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages Refreshes its Customer Experience with Salesforce
How this digital-first bottler blends digital and human engagement – and lowers cost to serve.
If you’re sitting on Clifton Beach in Cape Town, enjoying a cold Coca-Cola, chances are it was made, bottled, distributed and cooled by Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages.
Coca-Cola Pen Bev has been serving Coca-Cola products to businesses in South Africa’s Western Cape region for over 80 years – from the biggest hospitality and restaurant chains to the smallest hole-in-the-wall corner stores. By 2013, as the first generations of slick ecommerce experiences started to change the way people shopped, the company saw an opportunity to reinvent itself as the 21st century digital bottler.
It started – as ambitious digital transformation often does – with an idea and a marker pen. The objective was simple: put the customer in the centre of everything, with a full 360-degree view. And that personal, scalable, end-to-end digital experience would make selling Coca-Cola products as straightforward as online shopping – for customers and the business.
Today, Coca-Cola Pen Bev uses a comprehensive multi-cloud solution to make every step of every customer journey convenient, personal, and entirely tailored to individual needs. This story highlights the outcomes of that transformation journey, and how CCPB is set up to continue evolving its customer centricity.
But there’s another story here about why even the most mature Salesforce users build value gradually and incrementally. Coca-Cola Pen Bev’s multi-cloud journey is a great example of how to break up big transformational goals into small, iterative and achievable steps.
Keep reading to discover the four key pillars of Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages’ customer-centric transformation.
“We effectively rebuilt our entire customer experience around meeting every customer where they are – big or small. Today it’s clear to me we could only have done this with Salesforce. With every new challenge, our first question is ‘Can we solve this with Salesforce?’ and the answer is always: Yes.” Christine Bosman, Business Applications Manager, Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages.
1. Build an eCommerce hub to bring B2C convenience to B2B buyers
It’s no secret that B2B buyers increasingly expect B2C-style online shopping experiences. But “B2C” convenience is hugely subjective with Coca-Cola products – a bar ordering weekend inventory late on a Wednesday night has very different needs to a school canteen planning lunches for the month.
As one of two Coca-Cola bottlers in South Africa (serving everyone from luxury hotel chains to neighbourhood corner stores), Coca-Cola Pen Bev needed a way to make buying feel better for everyone while also reducing the cost to serve.
Today, Coca-Cola Pen Bev achieves that vision through My Pen Bev – a self-service customer portal built on Salesforce Experience Cloud and integrated with Salesforce B2B Commerce storefront. It’s the result of a business-wide, customer-first multi-cloud transformation that will help more customers increase IPS (Items Per Store) with horizontal product growth, more frequently, at a lower cost to serve.
Now every customer can buy whatever, however and whenever they like, through an intuitive, mobile-first interface. It’s both more convenient and a better buying experience, as every customer profile is enriched with personalised promotions, product recommendations, and account-specific pricing.
“Customers love the platform. Combining B2B Commerce, Experience Cloud, and Service Cloud has meant we can provide a more personalised buying experience for every customer, at a much lower cost-to-serve.” Christina Rodrigues Bester, Commercial Process Analyst, Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages.
2. Engage customers with an end-to-end digital experience
True customer-centricity is about more than the buying experience – it’s about making every customer interaction as valuable as possible. Coca-Cola Pen Bev wanted to build more than a storefront: it wanted a digital customer hub that could serve any step in every customer journey.
My Pen Bev brings B2B Commerce, Experience Cloud, and Salesforce Service Cloud together, so customers can manage any requirement in a few clicks (or taps) – like browsing and ordering stock, arranging deliveries and equipment maintenance, raising and resolving enquiries, and more.
The addition of Salesforce Marketing Cloud helped the portal become a key channel for proactive communication. Customers never need to ask the most common questions in FMCG (like “where’s my order?”) because the portal automatically pushes out updates and notifications for order and delivery status.
Marketing Cloud has also helped to streamline key processes, like onboarding new customers. A digital customer take-on form means new customers can self-serve the entire set-up process – along with reminders and guidance for partial completion to drastically reduce abandonment rates.
Overall, My Pen Bev is a win for everyone. Customers get a seamless, streamlined end-to-end experience and Coca-Cola Pen Bev’s sales reps and service agents are free to spend more time building strategic, value-added relationships with key customers.
“We knew our portal needed to serve a huge breadth of needs across the entire customer journey. There are two ways to consolidate all that functionality in one place. You can manage a sprawling application landscape, or you can do everything through Salesforce.” Christine Bosman, Business Applications Manager, Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages.
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3. Give service agents a 360-degree view to enrich every interaction
For sales reps and service teams to provide the best service, they need a clear, joined-up view of every customer, available on demand.
Before Salesforce, that was something Coca-Cola Pen Bev’s agents had to pull together from multiple data sources (like Salesforce, SAP, and Excel spreadsheets) – for every call. Which meant time-to-resolution went up, call availability went down, and customer satisfaction wasn’t growing fast enough.
With a combination of Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, CCPB rebuilt its Customer Service Centre (CSC) to give every agent a 360-view of every customer. They’re empowered to have organic and empathetic conversations from the moment they connect.
Agents can see order history, tickets raised, non-delivery issues, equipment maintenance schedules and more – so they have the full context to add the most value, whether that’s resolving issues or upselling.
The new CSC rebuild complements My Pen Bev, meaning Coca-Cola Pen Bev can serve every customer exactly how they want to be helped.
For example, tech-savvy customers can place orders and raise service tickets through the portal – a huge bonus for pubs, bars, and schools who might not be able to order during typical 9-5 working hours. Whereas customers who prefer the human touch – like Coca-Cola Pen Bev’s network of small mom-and-pop corner shops – can still deal with their rep in person.
“Our issue resolution was primarily email-based before Salesforce, and it just wasn’t that effective. It was hard to track, trace and resolve cases – and frankly the close-out rate wasn’t great. Now with Service Cloud, our customers log requests with our ticketing system and every agent has a 360 view of every customer at their fingertips. We’re resolving more cases faster than ever.” Christina Rodrigues Bester, Commercial Process Analyst, Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages.
4. Create a continuous feedback loop of communication and improvement
From the very beginning, customer-centricity has been a journey rather than a fixed destination for Coca-Cola Pen Bev. Take the portal itself: it was launched in two phases to give customers (and employees) time to provide the valuable feedback that will guide its development.
Today, the company is still looking for new ways to add the most value to every customer interaction.
For instance, today the company is expanding its use of Marketing Cloud to automate more sophisticated and personalised customer communications.
Admins are empowered to create their own customer journeys using clicks instead of code, so the business can collaborate on meaningful customer journeys around dynamic events like stock notifications, new promotions and releases, and maintenance reminders.
In the future, Coca-Cola Pen Bev plans to use Marketing Cloud to run more frequent customer satisfaction surveys, in the form of Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys, which will help to identify and resolve common customer experience issues.
In one example, new customers couldn’t always follow the equipment application process after signing up. Today, the equipment take-on form is a slick, digital extension of the customer take-on process – setting every customer up for success quickly and frictionlessly.
Coca-Cola Pen Bev’s customer 360 journey isn’t over: that journey is never done for truly customer-centric businesses. But with Salesforce, the company is primed to meet every customer relationship on its own terms as efficiently and effectively as possible.
“When you buy Salesforce, you don’t buy it for what it could do for your business today. You buy it for the foundational and evolving needs of your customers and your business. Customer-centricity is a journey, not a destination, and Salesforce is the vehicle that keeps you on the path to the most valuable outcomes.” Christina Rodrigues Bester, Commercial Process Analyst, Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages.