Fisher & Paykel has undertaken a digital transformation that is putting the appliance manufacturer in more regular contact with the retail customers that buy its products.
The traditionally B2B company is creating a single view of the customer across its sales and service operations, centralising interaction data in a Salesforce-based stack.
“In our previous thinking, we only engaged with people once every 7-10 years,” general manager IT Jon White told iTnews on the sidelines of Salesforce’s Dreamforce 18 conference.
“We want to increase that engagement and remove things that annoy people [when they engage with us].”
Appliance purchasers typically came into contact with the manufacturer in one of two ways: to register a product purchase for warranty purposes, or for customer support - typically when an appliance needs servicing.
“Our primary connection point with customers is around customer service,” global sales operations general manager Rudolph Khoury said.
“So this is where it all started. What we were trying to do was make it effortless and simple for consumers.”
Khoury said that when a consumer connected with Fisher & Paykel for the first time, their details were recorded in Salesforce.
“When you call through to us [next time], we know who you are [because] a screen pulls up your information,” he said.
“We know what products you own, what your service and case history are, what your last customer satisfaction score was, as well as any marketing communication we’ve had with you. So when we engage with you human to human we know all of those interactions.”
However, the company is keen to maintain the relationship by initiating more contact more often.
“Once you’ve given us permission to talk to you, we have multi-year onboarding journeys from you,” Khoury said.
“So if you bought an ice water fridge, we have a two-year email marketing campaign with different elements [through those] two years, and we have similar journeys across all product families.
“In that we might suggest new products that might match the products you’ve got, and help you find a place to buy them.”
The company is also able to reduce outbound marketing if customers have difficulties with a product.
“What we do is pause those marketing journeys when you’ve had a service experience so the two don’t cross over,” Khoury said.
“That’s one reason it’s critical to have all a customer’s data in one place.”
If a customer does require servicing of their appliance, Salesforce is also helping Fisher & Paykel to communicate the repair process more effectively.
“Customers don’t want to wait at home for service technicians, so telling the customer what you’re going to do and then continuously updating them along the journey is really important,” Khoury said.
“An example of this would be we book in a service technician and confirm it via email, but then we fire off a number of text messages along the way reminding you what’s going to happen when and giving you track and trace capability all the way up to when the technician comes to your house.
“Again, you can’t do that unless all your data’s in one place and on one platform.”
Fisher & Paykel is also using Salesforce to power data collection from the point-of-sale such as from retail displays of its appliances in-store or from its own branded “experience centres”.
“Imagine you’re in-store, and you’ve used one of our displays and selected some products and you want to send that to yourself,” Khoury said.
“You send a wish-list to your phone. Obviously that data is captured back into our platform, and we use that to stay connected with you in the future and to help you find a retailer and dealer.”
Swaps Hybris for Commerce Cloud
Fisher & Paykel now has its first business-to-consumer (B2C) foray with a direct e-commerce site launched in the UK market.
The direct sales website is underpinned by Salesforce’s commerce cloud service, the first such deployment of the service.
White said that B2C “has required us to change the way we think”.
“The UK market is really advanced in home deliveries and buying large appliances online,” he said.
Other markets where Fisher & Paykel has presence - including its home New Zealand market as well as Australia and the US - have less well-developed delivery and logistics services to handle the challenges of shipping large appliances.
“We know if we move products between docks the chance of damage increases. So the focus is on direct to consumer in the UK [only at this point],” White told iTnews.
However, other markets still require spare parts and accessories, and the sale of these worldwide will soon run off Commerce Cloud.
Until now, Fisher & Paykel has run sales of spare parts and accessories on SAP’s Hybris platform. The company switched allegiances from SAP to Salesforce for rapid development capabilities as well as the ability to link service to the single view of the customer held in Salesforce.
White said that the first three markets to get Commerce Cloud for spare parts and accessories - including Australia and New Zealand - are due to go live in November or December of this year.
Singapore and other smaller markets will then move from Hybris to Commerce Cloud in January and February 2019.
Ry Crozier is attending Dreamforce 18 in San Francisco as a guest of Salesforce.