Tom has finished the plumbing jobs for his clients earlier than expected. Before he finishes for the day, he checks for any new leads from Rated People and finds a job that he can do on the way home. As an online marketplace, Rated People has transformed how homeowners connect with tradespeople across the UK.
“We don’t want to just enable connections; we want to enable good connections so people can enjoy better homes, better work, and better lives,” said Adrienne Minster, Chief Commercial Officer at Rated People. “We are very committed to quality and screen out around 25% of all applications from tradespeople.”
Simplicity is also important to Rated People. Finding a tradesperson to do a good job for a good price takes time. “With online directories, you still need to reach out to all the different suppliers individually,” explained Minster. “We’ve taken it one step further, so homeowners can engage with multiple suppliers in one hit. Within two minutes to two hours of a job being posted, the majority of our homeowners will have been contacted by at least one tradesperson.”
To ensure it can continue to provide such a speedy response as job volumes grow, Rated People needs to be an expert at managing supply and demand. This means filling any gaps in its network of 50,000-plus tradespeople, who provide a range of home services – from cleaning and carpentry to plastering and plumbing. “We need to ensure we have sufficient suppliers to meet job demand from different postcodes across the UK,” said Minster.
Balancing supply and demand becomes even more important when bad weather is thrown into the mix. And Rated People has come up with an idea that proves it is a real Trailblazer. “By combining the power of our marketplace with the power of Salesforce, we can use weather forecasts to predict the impact on demand for home services in certain areas, and alert both tradespeople and homeowners,” explained Evan Morgan, Rated People’s Chief Technology Officer.
Rated People also draws on the power of Salesforce to ensure that the right jobs are flagged with the right traders at the right time. With millions of jobs posted on the site since the company started, this is no easy feat but it’s one that Rated People must master to maximise revenue generation. “With Salesforce, we can share better leads, and share them faster,” said Morgan. “There’s a lot of science behind our business, and we are constantly looking at how we can make that science sharper whether it’s through algorithms, apps, or artificial intelligence.”
It was this commitment to continuous improvement that kick-started the relationship between Rated People and Salesforce in mid 2016. “We needed to simplify our customer services operation,” said Morgan. “When dealing with a customer query, agents had to bounce back and forth between different systems and screens to log and access information. Technology had become a hindrance not a help.”
This disjointed approach was not only impacting the efficiency of the customer services team but also the overall customer experience. “We needed better visibility of customer problems and our own processes,” added Morgan. And that’s where Service Cloud comes in.
With every customer query now logged centrally, Rated People’s leaders can not only respond better to individual cases but also track long-term service trends. And achieve all this for a lot less money. Since deploying Service Cloud, customer service costs have reduced by 40%.
“We have shifted from a reactive to a proactive approach. If a trader wants to leave us, we spend time trying to solve their challenges to retain their business,” said Minster. “We can also build up our internal knowledge base to solve problems faster – and prevent them from happening again in the future.” A proactive and personal approach to customer service as well as sales and marketing has contributed to a two-fold increase in new customer lifetime value in just over a year.
Customer journeys are central to Rated People’s new personalised approach to marketing. “Prior to deploying Salesforce, we had really limited visibility of how many emails we were sending to customers let alone how many people were opening them,” said Minster. “We now have much better visibility of customer behaviour, which enables us to engage with tradespeople at the right time and on the right channel. We can make sure our communications cut through the noise and deliver maximum ROI.”
Rated People’s marketing team has created more than 25 journeys that cover a range of scenarios with its tradespeople – from screening and onboarding to up-selling and nurturing. “As part of our rigorous screening process, tradespeople often have to provide a range of documentation before they are approved to join the marketplace,” said Minster. “The Marketing Cloud journeys help to ensure applications are processed efficiently and fairly.”
Greater segmentation and automation are also key success factors for Rated People’s personalised approach to marketing. “It used to take weeks to make a small copy change on our old system,” explained Ruby Heera, Head of CRM. “With Marketing Cloud, anyone in the team can log on and make updates, which boosts our agility and efficiency.”
Introducing mobile push notifications has also enabled Rated People to do more with its marketing resources. “Our customers like to engage with us on mobile, and it’s proving a really cost-effective platform for us,” said Morgan. “With Marketing Cloud, we can make the most of different communication channels and provide a joined-up experience.”
As part of its more personalised approach, Rated People has also introduced a new sales and subscription model, which gives tradespeople access to different plans that can generate up to 90,000 leads per month. “Sales Cloud was fundamental to the launch of our new model and will help us become a strategic partner, not just a lead generation funnel, for trades businesses,” said Minster. “It provides our team with the intelligence they need to offer the right plan to the right customer, and to have more informed conversations.”
And when a sales person lands a new deal or meets a target, their success can now be shared via Chatter. The social enterprise networking solution helps to bring together the four disparate sales teams at Rated People. “Chatter has given sales people a voice and a face,” said Minster. “It also makes it easier for service and sales colleagues to collaborate and for management to share performance stats.”