Barclay Communications redefines outstanding customer support with Salesforce


When it comes to communications, businesses looking for quality know who to call. Barclay Communications is Northern Ireland’s largest telecoms and managed service provider for digital services. The company exudes quality at every touchpoint, bringing a consumer-like feel to B2B services.

The company’s 11,000 customers and over 150,000 end user connections across the UK range from small businesses through to world-renowned organisations such as Cambridge University and the Welsh Parliament. As Sales Director, John Roulston, said, “The University of Cambridge houses many cutting edge leaders in their respective fields, they know what good looks like, so if anyone understands the value of a great customer experience, it is the people of this organisation. We are very proud of the service we provide to the University of Cambridge.”

Barclay Communications prides itself on offering a joined-up approach. Its multiproduct portfolio spans mobile, IP telephony, and digital services such as IT, but it’s the in-house customer service team that really sets it apart from the competition.

So, how does the company delight its diverse customer base? By centralising sales and services on Salesforce, and keeping teams motivated with gamification from Salesforce AppExchange solutions.

“No two customers are the same. The level of service isn’t based solely on customer size or how much they spend with us, it’s based on what they want the service to look like,” revealed Roulston. “We use Salesforce data to determine how much support each customer requests, how many products they have, and find a balance that works for everyone.”

“Salesforce invests in growth and innovation. It’s good for our business now, and I can’t wait to see what it can do in 10 years when our business has gone to the next level.”
John Roulston
Sales Director
Barclay Communications

1. A platform you can build on

Following rapid growth, Barclay Communications needed to swap its heavily customised on-premises CRM solution for a cloud-based platform.

“We wanted to give our team one platform that does everything,” said Roulston. “Salesforce has great functionality that you can expand really easily using the AppExchange and APIs. When we evaluated what was available on the market, the Salesforce account manager demonstrated how perfectly the platform supports our vision.”

The company’s in-house tech team partnered with Ignyto to migrate data to the new environment and integrate core systems such as the accounting platform and Microsoft Office 365, which is currently in deployment.

Having used Salesforce earlier in his career, Roulston was impressed by how much the platform had evolved. “Salesforce invests in growth and innovation. Now, we get a front row seat to any exciting new launches. It’s good for our business now, and I can’t wait to see what it can do in 10 years when our business has gone to the next level.”

2. Smarter sales from anywhere

The sales team includes office-based staff and mobile workers visiting prospects. Today, all 50 of them live and breathe Sales Cloud.

As well as giving staff access to customer information from anywhere, features such as the in-app calendar and automated approvals process are helping them be more productive than ever.

“There’s a need for speedy responses in sales. With Salesforce we can spend more time talking to customers. If a rep needs pricing approved to close a deal, we can do that quickly from a mobile, even if we’re in the middle of a meeting,” Roulston explained. “That alone has improved conversion rates by 35% – we can give customers everything they need to make a decision there and then.”

The team is also using AppExchange solutions to get smarter. An AI-empowered training tool analyses sales calls to help reps cut through the noise and have more focused conversations, while an IP telephony integration gives them click-to-dial capabilities to improve efficiency.

3. Working together to win more business

With greater visibility in Salesforce, teams are also able to collaborate and share insights to secure more appointments, have more informed conversations, and reduce duplicated effort. For example, during contract renewals, sales reps can highlight the amazing support the customer has received from the service team to clinch the deal.

Dashboards are also a hit with the management team, who have the power to pull custom reports according to their needs. This has unlocked the ability to forecast figures six months in the future, and drill down into existing data to find out what’s causing performance issues or maintain focus on what is working.

“Sales drives the rest of the business, and ultimately our success. By identifying areas for improvement, we’ve seen an 80% uplift in appointments and a 35% increase in conversation,” said Roulston. “Reps are more accountable now. They understand that when the company does well, they do well.”

To keep motivation high, Roulston installed 75-inch screens throughout the office and used AppExchange solutions and Salesforce data to gamify sales performance. This allows the management team to get creative with how they incentivise their teams and adds an element of fun and healthy competition to the workplace.

But winning customers is just one part of the puzzle. Retaining them is just as important. And once the deal is signed, more efficient processes have slashed implementation times for different areas such as landline services, for example, from nine weeks to just four. The account team also proactively follow up with the customer one week after onboarding, and regularly over the forthcoming months to make sure they’re getting the most from their products.

“By optimising sales we’ve seen an 80% uplift in appointments and 35% higher conversion rates – and half of that comes from being able to approve pricing in real time when reps are with a customer.”
John Roulston
Sales Director
Barclay Communications

4. Outstanding service as a USP

Customer service can be difficult for many telecoms providers, but with Salesforce, Barclay Communications is putting service in the spotlight and winning more business as a result.

“One prospect with 1,600 connections was frustrated by the lack of support they got with their current provider, so we set up 60 connections and told them to test our service to the max over the next few weeks,” revealed Roulston. “We challenged them to break things, raise cases, and see how we handled them in a real-life setting. They signed up with us a month later.”

The support team is divided into two tiers, and cases are routed to the most relevant person depending on complexity, whether the customer has previously spoken to a specific agent or has a multi-product suite. Tickets are answered within one hour, with a maximum resolution time of 24 hours.

Service Cloud gives staff full visibility of the customer history, open cases, and documents associated with the account. This isn’t just beneficial for the contact centre; it gives multiple teams the single source of truth they need to operate efficiently.

The connections team, for example, can track commission, stock levels, licensing, and hardware orders in Service Cloud, while the finance, legal, and debt collection departments have comprehensive records to deal with outstanding bills or disputes.

“Salesforce gives us a holistic view of our customers. The beauty of a cloud platform is that you can scale it to keep everything in one place so everyone can work in the Salesforce app,” said Roulston.

Next, the team is rolling out an omnichannel contact centre to handle cases by WhatsApp, SMS, Live Chat, and email, as well as traditional channels such as phone and email.



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“You’re never lost when you’ve got Salesforce. We went on this journey knowing we had the best CRM solution on the market, but Salesforce has given us so much more.”
John Roulston
Sales Director
Barclay Communications

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