They say that “change is the only constant”. It’s fair to say that in the 20 years I’ve been in marketing positions, the role of the CMO has changed completely.
When you are taking on the giants in an industry, it pays to treat every customer like royalty. That starts with getting to know them better.
But for fresh food retailer, Harris Farm Markets, the desire for better customer management was hampered by customer interactions that were fragmented across a number of channels.
“We had all of these customer interaction points, which weren’t assigned to a single customer view,” says online operations manager, James Kerridge. “It was hard for us to maintain any form of CRM with a customer. Customer referral is a huge channel of growth, particularly for our ecommerce business, so maintaining a very strong customer experience is paramount to the success of our business.”
In mid-2015, the company began searching for a solution that would pull its many channels, including inbound calls, in-store visits, Facebook interactions and emails, into a single system. Harris Farms’ goal was then to take that information and combine it into an internal CRM that could be tied to other digital systems such as its NPS surveys, email marketing and ecommerce software.
After a brief search, the company selected Zendesk.
“It was quite affordable to start with, and the setup was so simple,” Kerridge says. “We started with a trial, and we had the whole solution set up within a couple of weeks.”
The system is tied into Harris Farms’ loyalty program, Friends of the Farm, which assigns a unique number to every member.
“Whenever they email us, we pick that up and we are able to identify them as a member and speak to them at a much more personal level,” Kerridge says. “In terms of our overall customer experience, it is fantastic. We are collecting everything. Any interaction on Facebook, email, over the phone and so on creates a ticket that is then classified.
“There are a lot of administrative benefits, and we are able to get some strong KPIs on how quickly we are responding to customers and that sort of thing.”
Having all customer interactions captured in one system is also turning up new insights.
“We’ve noticed things, like for some of our stores we have a customer base that is far more engaged digitally than others,” Kerridge says. “We have also been able to highlight two main pain points that are now getting full company resource and attention.
“We are asking what other sort of interactions we can capture and automate through Zendesk, and at the same time, we are looking for more pre-emptive angles, such as the option of being able to contact customers to say ‘hey, your delivery is running five minutes late’ well before the fact occurs.”
As a result, Kerridge says Zendesk is playing a key role in Harris Farm’s transformation and overall business growth strategy.
“We’re a very ambitious organisation, and we are taking on the big boys,” he says. “We have to be very lean and agile and execute big ambitious goals.”