Maersk Line makes waves with greater digitalisation and personalisation
“Our mission is to help our customers – big and small – manage their global supply chains with greater agility and effi ciency,” said Vincent Clerc, Chief Commercial Offi cer at Maersk. “We need to provide customers not just with visibility but actionabilty.”
Maersk Line is already blazing a trail in actionabilty with its Remote Container Management initiative, which enables customers to monitor the conditions of their cargo while in transit. “By leveraging the Internet of Things, we can empower our customers to take decisions and actions that safeguard the quality of their products,” revealed Clerc.
Maersk Line is the world’s largest container shipping company. From blueberries and bricks to cars and clothes, it helps its customers bring their products to new markets and achieve their ambitions. “We want to transform our business to fi t around our customers’ needs instead of our assets by delivering a more personalised experience,” said Clerc.
To learn more about its customers as well as their behaviours and goals, Maersk Line also needed to give its customer and operational data a voice. And that meant becoming a fully digital business.
“Customer interactions are a goldmine of information,” said Peter Hartz, Senior Director of Customer Experience and Service at Maersk. “The more we digitalise the customer journey, the more data we can capture and analyse.”
By centralising its sales, customer services, and marketing activities onto a single platform, Maersk Line can not only tap into this data goldmine but also accelerate its digital roadmap. “Salesforce enables our teams to interact more seamlessly and access a common view of our customers. It has transformed the way we engage and encouraged greater synchronicity across the business,” said Dave Strain, Head of Commercial Projects and IT Portfolio at Maersk.
The shipping giant’s Salesforce journey began around 2010 when digitalisation had yet to become a business gamechanger. “For us, the initial driver was to create a single platform for tracking customer information and interactions,” said Strain. That might sound like a simple goal, but when you have 59,000 customers, 33,000 employees, and 300 offi ces, it’s a massive undertaking. But as Trailblazers, the leadership team at Maersk Line rose to the challenge – and achieved it.
“We have a long history and a proud heritage but a lack of visibility was holding us back,” said Clerc. “Salesforce has opened up new horizons for me, and helped the business raise the bar. We are setting the new standard in the shipping industry.”
This new standard isn’t just founded on greater visibility; it’s also founded on greater consistency and effi ciency. “In some countries, we used to receive up to 20 emails from a customer per shipment,” revealed Hartz. “Shipping cargo around the world can come with a lot of complexity and uncertainty. Our goal is to make things as easy as possible for our customers.”
Digitalisation enriches customer Services and Sales.
Deploying Salesforce presented Maersk Line with an opportunity to professionalise and digitalise both customer services and sales.
The company’s 2,500 customer service agents handle around 270,000 calls and 355,000 emails per week. From confi rming shipment schedules to helping with export queries, the customer service agents at Maersk Line play a fundamental role in ensuring containers arrive in the right place at the right time.
“We have around 100 customer service centres and they do a lot of complex problem-solving,” said Hartz. “To ensure a seamless service, we need to empower both our staff and our customers to engage across multiple channels – both traditional and digital.”
As well as deploying Service Cloud to around 6,000 employees around the world, Maersk Line embarked on a number of improvement initiatives: it streamlined the contact email addresses; introduced live chat for resolving certain queries; established customer satisfaction KPIs; and started to exploit analytics via Einstein.
Greater visibility and intelligence shorten the sales cycle.
Maersk Line has unlocked similar insights and effi ciencies across its sales operation. Every customer contact, every account plan, and every new opportunity are now logged in Sales Cloud. “It’s become the one and only platform that a sales person needs to get their job done,” said Shereen Elzarkani, Vice President and Global Head of Sales at Maersk Line. “It’s helped to reduce the sales cycle and enabled a more intelligent approach to sales.”
For example, if a prospect requests multiple quotes but never proceeds with a shipment, the sales team can focus their eff orts on leads with a higher potential for conversion.
As well as empowering around 2,000 sales professionals to work faster and smarter, Sales Cloud provides Elzarkani and her management colleagues with unrivalled visibility of the pipeline in real time. “We can look at why we won and lost diff erent opportunities and use this to support our sales teams,” she said. “With Einstein, we can also see the time required to nurture certain accounts and adapt sales portfolios to maximise productivity.”
Personalisation makes Sales and Marketing more relevant.
As Maersk Line diversifi es its customer off erings, Lightning and Sales Path features will help minimise administration and complexity, so account managers can spend more time selling. The teams are already using Chatter and the Salesforce mobile app to collaborate and access customer information while working away from the offi ce. “With Salesforce, we can help account managers pick the right value propositions for the right customers, which makes our business more relevant and more competitive,” said Elzarkani.
Being more relevant is also an increasingly important factor for the marketing team. “We want to move away from volume blast notifi cations to targeted communications based on a customer’s individual needs and interactions,” said Louisa Cort Andersson Loran, Vice President and Global Head of Marketing at Maersk.
To help achieve its personalisation goals, Maersk Line deployed Marketing Cloud and Einstein in the second half of 2017. Within weeks, there was a tidal wave of increased customer engagement. For example, customer to confi rm stats on email open/click through rates please. “With Marketing Cloud, we can segment and target customers better, which means we can create more personalised journeys,” said Loran. “We can also test and publish content more easily.”
New Go-to-Market strategy promotes stronger growth.
By transforming and integrating sales, customer services, and marketing, Maersk Line can deliver greater visibility and actionabilty to both its own people and its customers. For example, customer service agents can now see pending sales opportunities while account managers can track outstanding queries.
“Salesforce has helped us lift the constraints that were holding back business growth and optimisation,” said Clerc. And Maersk Line has the fi gures to prove it, with revenue growth topping 13% in 2017.
“With Salesforce, we can grow our business and help our customers grow with us. It has changed how we go to market. We can now sell, support, and market to thousands of customers on an individual basis around the world,” said Clerc.