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Quick Take: Integration and automation bolstered West Shore Home’s ability to define business goals and scale quickly.
When Danny Fisher stepped through the doors of West Shore Home on his first day, it was as a corporate trainer for its sales team.
Six years later, his scope is a little wider.
Today, Fisher is the company’s Chief Technology Officer, leveraging his expertise in IT, training and sales to help West Shore Home become one of the leading technology-enabled home improvement companies in the U.S.
We sat down with Fisher to learn more about how West Shore Home has leveraged Salesforce to help expand its business during the pandemic — growing revenue by more than 100% — and how the company is using technology to make home improvement more approachable for the everyday person.
Q: Tell us about West Shore Home
West Shore is a group of people whose passion is home remodeling. Our field technicians replace showers, windows, and doors.
It may seem like a pretty simple business. But we’re changing the traditional model and going to market as a tech-enabled service company. That means choosing to solve our problems with technology. Everything’s on trial for its existence at West Shore and we believe in continuous improvement. Salesforce has definitely been a big part of that.
Q: Why did you choose Salesforce to help develop your digital-first offering?
Back in 2016, our founder, B.J. had the vision for an adaptable platform specifically built for the service business.
Salesforce technology works really well for that. It’s flexible and can be changed based on your business needs. Salesforce — specifically Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud — provides automated business processes and workflows. And that may seem very elementary, but it allows service businesses to turn their processes into tangible things that we can manage and improve over time. For example, we’re now able to track and report on sales leads in real time.
Before Salesforce, West Shore had no experience with any sort of enterprise software. Salesforce really helped us to define our business goals, which has ultimately enabled us to scale and create a standard way of doing things that has allowed us to continuously improve.
Q: How has Premier Success [a Salesforce Customer Success plan] helped you on your Salesforce journey?
We’ve truly benefited from working with the same Salesforce team over a long period of time. We’re more aware of how new features and product releases will help us. Premier Success also removes a layer of risk; if we make a mistake on our end, we have a dedicated team of Salesforce experts, ready to help us 24/7.
The expert coaching sessions available with Premier Success have also helped us increase efficiency. A recent example is the Org Health Review Session. Very often, activities like reducing technical debt and making system performance improvements get put behind revenue and profit. The Org Health Review Session introduced us to tools my team could use to evaluate and improve our platform and security settings. It helped us prioritize what’s working and also get rid of processes and things that weren’t working so well.
The expert coaching sessions are also a shortcut for new hires to ramp up on Salesforce quickly, and that’s been super valuable for us as we’ve grown.
Q: How are you thinking about the customer experience?
Generally, home remodeling is not that simple for customers. People want to do home remodeling, but they don’t know who to trust, how to get started, or how to make it affordable. Questions like those drive our business model and inform how we’re trying to improve the remodeling process for our customers.
“Generally, home remodeling is not that simple for customers. People want to do home remodeling, but they don’t know who to trust, how to get started, or how to make it affordable. Questions like those drive our business model and inform how we’re trying to improve the remodeling process for our customers.”Danny Fisher, Chief Technology Officer, West Shore Home
The information transfer from party to party, across the customer journey, has to be extremely dialed-in. Our data and our processes live inside of Salesforce.
The same way manufacturers look at their machines, the layout of those machines and their design process, we’re thinking about our Salesforce automation. How can we rearrange certain steps to improve value and efficiency while decreasing risk? There are a lot of opportunities to fail in our service business, which could lead to a family not having a shower or having a leak in their home. People’s homes are their castles. It’s often their most valuable possession, not just valuable financially, but from a mental perspective as well.
Q: With increased demand for West Shore’s services, how are you ensuring your teams in the field are in the right place at the right time?
Every part of our business is built into Salesforce, including applicant tracking, budgeting, contact management, and inside sales. Any instance where you’d want to use a spreadsheet, we put that data into Salesforce.
We also use Salesforce for all of our dispatch functions, including scheduling and utilization capacity. Our ability to assign the right rep to the right appointment is informed by the data in Salesforce. We are a team of teams working together on a single platform to ensure customers know what’s happening at every step of their home renovation journey.
We understand we live in a world where people want things fast. Customers want alerts and pings. They don’t want it to be a guessing game. That’s what we’re aiming to do and Salesforce absolutely allows us to provide that visibility for our customers.
Q: What was the impact of the pandemic on West Shore Home?
We’ve been incredibly fortunate that demand for home remodeling has increased exponentially. We believe that’s for a few reasons: people’s homes have become their offices, their schools, and their restaurants — the epicenter of their lives. People also aren’t spending money on vacations. They’re investing and thinking about more family-oriented financial endeavors, and home improvement is one of them.
“Rather than extending our lead times, West Shore was able to scale and pivot quickly. Having an integrated technology platform like Salesforce for recruiting, training, procurement, and sales really allowed us to address the opportunity that the pandemic presented.”Danny Fisher, Chief Technology Officer, West Shore Homes
I would say a lot of home remodeling companies experienced increased demand and generally, marketing costs went down. However, very few could scale to meet the increased demand. Rather than extending our lead times, West Shore was able to scale and pivot quickly. Having an integrated technology platform like Salesforce for recruiting, training, procurement, and sales really allowed us to address the opportunity that the pandemic presented.
Q: As CTO, what are some of the business challenges or trends keeping you up at night?
Mobile is huge. Half of our staff is mobile. Our design consultants and installers are out in the field 100% of the time. They’re not in the office, they’re in people’s homes; they’re in people’s bathrooms; and they need real-time, accurate information.
They also need to have two-way communication. And that gets super complex when you’re dealing with very customized products that are measured down to an eighth of an inch. The ability to train new sales reps and hire new design consultants who are able to sell that kind of product is not an easy thing to do. Those tools, specifically the mobile experience for our employees, are really top of mind for me.
Q: What’s next for West Shore Home in tech innovation?
We’re wrapping up our Salesforce Field Service implementation now to connect people to the right kind of work in an efficient manner.
We’re also excited to have a map interface for field service — that will answer so many questions. We have little hacks that we use to get by for now, but having maps embedded into the Salesforce experience will be a game changer.