Consistent, high-quality customer service is crucial to any client-facing organisation. But sometimes hunger for global expansion can make that a challenge.
During the early part of this decade as Travelex grew into the world’s largest commercial currency exchange, its different regional operations were reliant on a range of customer relationship management (CRM) systems. In some countries, Travelex’s customer lists were maintained through Excel spreadsheets, while elsewhere CRM was handled through products and services as diverse as Siebel, Goldmine and Salesforce.com.
Not only did this mean that the data streaming through each system was inconsistent, the lack of consolidation meant that the company had little chance of getting a single view of customer records. Different regions could be dealing with the same customer but the diversity of systems made it difficult to identify this interaction, the company says. “Our data was unreliable and inaccurate,” acknowledges Hannah Cleaver, a CRM manager with Travelex in EMEA.
Acutely aware of the need for a global, standardised solution, the company asked its sales staff around the world for their input: The most positive feed came from the North American staff where an early roll out of Salesforce.com’s on-demand web service had been very well received.
Not only did they find it easy to use, but it kept their sales administration and data input tasks to a minimum. “It meant that they only had to log on to Salesforce.com to fill out all the different client set-up processes,” says Cleaver.
For its part, Travelex liked the predictability of costs: the monthly per-user subscriptions meant there were no hidden costs in terms of ongoing maintenance, support and upgrades.
Of equal importance, as a web-based offering, Salesforce.com was quicker and easier to implement: roll out of the service to around 300 users across five continents took just three months.
The consolidation has also enabled users to achieve a much higher level of analysis, without going through the bottleneck that was the IT department.
As well as providing better customer service, the system has gained fans internally. “The results were quite simply astonishing; we were surprised by how easily and eagerly people picked this up. They wanted to use it,” says Cleaver.