Case Study: How Ravensdown leveraged Genesys to boost CX capabilities

The fertiliser cooperative brand’s CIO reveals how implementing a new tech solution boosted CX and customer engagement with the company

Ravensdown’s CIO, Mark McAtamney, reveals how leveraging Genesys technology is boosting the co-operative’s CX capabilities
Ravensdown’s CIO, Mark McAtamney, reveals how leveraging Genesys technology is boosting the co-operative’s CX capabilities

The volatile agriculture industry is placing increasing pressure on industry players like fertiliser co-operative, Ravensdown, to adopt more innovative ways to boost customer experience and engagement in order to maintain a competitive edge.

Ravensdown’s CIO, Mark McAtamney, revealed how leveraging Genesys technology helped boost the co-operative’s customer-centric capabilities and offer deeper insights to help better meet customer needs.

As a farmer owned co-operative, Ravensdown exists to optimise soil fertility and farm profitability in a sustainable way for farmers who seek to lift their productivity and lower their environmental impact. Beyond fertiliser, it provides nutrient management services, technical advice and essential farm inputs delivered how, where and when they are needed by our customers.

The problem: Moving away from legacy systems

Prior implementing Genesys, Ravensdown had a simplistic customer service strategy with a legacy telephony system, McAtamney explained. Once the legacy contract reached its natural end, the New Zealand-based co-operative made a strategic decision to move towards a digital, customer-centric business model to maintain its competitive edge in a volatile agricultural market.

“The motivation to change our systems was threefold,” he told CMO. “First of all, we had that legacy system coming to end of life and so we were getting to a situation where we were needing to make a change and make a new investment. But alongside that there were real drivers around our customer service requirements and our customer centres - while also trying to manage the growing numbers of channels through which all our inquiries and orders were coming in. So it was omni-channel needs, increasing customer service and getting ourselves back onto a current technical platform that really motivated us to change."

The solution: Boosting customer experience capabilities with Genesys

In 2016, Ravensdown enlisted customer management technology vendor, Genesys, to overhaul its customer experience capabilities.

The roll out of the end-to-end solution saw the introduction of Genesys Customer Interaction Management, routing email and Interactive Insights solutions, which allowed the Ravensdown customer service team to work more efficiently during periods of peak demand.

According to McAtmney, the new solution offered customers the flexibility to choose how and when they interact with Ravensdown while at the same time providing business analytics to help the company better understand its customers and adapt its services to meet their needs.

“While it is a very competitive industry we're in a fortunate position to be selling direct to our customers and therefore we have an intimate understanding and recording of our interactions with our customers and able to leverage those in as really the smarts of the Genesys that allow us to use what we know about our customer and turn that into a fantastic experience for the customer,” he added.

But the rollout was not without its challenges, especially as the change to a more personalised level of customer service required significant shifts in staff structure as well.

“We have three customer centres and traditionally really the only tech involved was low balancing across finding an available agent those centres,” he explained. “But with this solution we wanted to up the ante on our customer service, so we had to do our homework on how we wanted to segment our customers and how we wanted to service those customers and what we thought was an appropriate service level and set of skills that those customers could expect from us. And then effectively segment our staff and two similar groupings where they were answering calls within their capabilities and experience.

“So aside from a normal technical project implementation those business changes analysis and setting out the logic of how we wanted to work was where the complexity came from.”

The result: A more personalised CX strategy

Improved CX processes ensure all inbound customer inquiries – regardless of channel – are answered promptly and by the correct person within the business.

As a result, McAtmney revealed the co-operative has made significant improvements in its customer service levels by being able to appropriately marry the right customer to the appropriate agent of commensurate experience, skills and knowledge.

“We have a customer base that ranges from very small volume transactions through to large corporate customers who have a very high end complex need for servicing - and we’ve now married that up with incoming and largely inexperienced agents coming on and joining the company through to the other end the scale, where we have very senior people with a number of years of experience and breadth of knowledge," he said.

Moving forward, Ravensdown now has the opportunity to build in proactive engagement in the roadmap for upcoming instalments, and the business benefits of the customer experience overhaul have been so successful that Ravensdown is expanding its capabilities with Genesys over the coming months. But despite the opportunities ahead, McAtmney agreed that like any other organisation, the need to open up different digital channels for customers is becoming an ever-pressing need and expectation.

“Our customers are wanting to engage with us whether it's over email whether it's via the website or social media and we're wanting to ensure that they get a good experience across whatever channel they choose or whatever channel suits them,” he said. “What Genesys and its omni-channel functionality does for us is allow us to queue those calls according to our required priority logic and ensure that they get the service levels that is appropriate for those various channels and the type of inquiry that they're making.”

Ravensdown announced a profit before tax and rebate figure of NZ $62 million for continuing businesses in the year ending 31 May 2016, compared with NZ $46 million in 2015.

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