Every prospect’s needs are different, and that means every prospect’s buying journey is different. Virgin Media wants to be there whenever, and however, a prospect wants to interact with the company, enabling them to ‘buy their way’. This is Virgin Media’s omni-channel vision for lead and prospect management. And Salesforce has helped make it a reality.
“We want to deliver a brilliant customer experience, but we want that brilliance to extend to our prospect experience too – to the people who are considering using Virgin Media services,” explained Chris Coleman, Head of Multi-Channel Sales at Virgin Media.
Virgin Media was the first provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone, and home phone services in the UK. Every year it sees millions of sales interactions, but they don’t all result in a prospect signing on the dotted line. By providing sales people with greater visibility of a prospect’s previous interactions, Virgin Media can provide a more tailored and personalised experience. For example, it can ensure any follow-up communications are focused on the services and products that the prospect viewed or priced up online.
“With Salesforce, we can empower our talented sales people to have even better customer conversations and greater sales interactions,” said Chris. “Our aim is to provide an experience that means more of our prospects choose to become customers.”
Virgin Media implemented Salesforce in late 2015 after research revealed its purchase journey wasn’t giving prospects enough flexibility. As Chris explained: “On average, our prospects engage with at least two of our sales channels when buying. In the past, they had to supply the same details every time they moved to another channel, starting the interaction again from scratch. We wanted to provide a more joined-up experience so that prospects could pick up in one channel where they last left off in the other.”
With more than 80% of prospects starting their purchase journey on the Virgin Media website, it is critical that the transition to an assisted channel – for example a store or the contact centre – is seamless.
With Service Cloud, Virgin Media can make all previous channel interactions visible to agents, allowing them to personalise customer conversation appropriately. Every sales interaction is recorded to capture as much detailed knowledge of the prospect’s journey as possible.
“People don’t think of Virgin Media online, Virgin Media telesales or Virgin Media retail as separate entities, they just think of Virgin Media and want to have a joined-up experience,” said Chris.
To ensure this prospect information is also available to sales agents working in the field, Virgin Media uses the Salesforce1 Mobile App. “If it’s in Service Cloud, then it’s available on the app,” revealed Chris. “More than half of our sales team are mobile, so we have to be able to deliver data to them on the go.”
Virgin Media’s new omni-channel approach hasn't just improved the prospect experience; it’s also unlocked the world of data science. “We are constantly mining data to optimise everything we do,” revealed Chris, “To be the best, you have to be obsessed with your customers, your prospects, and their expectations.”
Thanks to Wave Analytics, Virgin Media has been able to better understand its customers and prospects with an abundance of new metrics, dashboards, and lenses. “By integrating Service Cloud with Wave Analytics, we have gained new insights into prospect behaviour and sales channel performance,” confirmed Chris.
For example, Virgin Media has been able identify the end-to-end cross-channel journeys that different prospects take when buying. As Chris explained: “We always knew where a prospect started their journey and where they completed it, but had limited visibility of what happened in between. Now we can see the whole journey in detail and can make smarter decisions on which parts of the journey to optimise.”
Virgin Media is already seeing the benefits of investing in mobile apps. Thanks to an app for its 500-plus door-to-door sales agents, it has digitally transformed what was traditionally a very manual sales channel.
The app, which is built on Force.com, part of Salesforce App Cloud, has also eliminated the printing of hundreds of work schedules every month, helping to digitise the direct sales operation. “Agents can now access their work schedules on their iPads, which increases efficiency and simplifies planning,” said Chris.
Virgin Media has also boosted efficiency by connecting its sales agents with colleagues in other departments. With Salesforce Chatter, we can collaborate both in and outside of sales, ultimately providing both a better agent and customer experience,” added Chris.
As Virgin Media continues to develop its omni-channel and prospect management capabilities, it will be looking at other new technologies and tools to further enhance the prospect and customer journey, for example gamification and geo-location tools.
“Having amazing products and great offers isn’t enough; you’ve got to deliver a brilliant experience too,” said Chris. “Salesforce allows us to do that in a way that’s never been possible before.”