Yarra Valley Water has started working with Salesforce to implement a new customer engagement platform.
The utility, which provides water and sanitation services to more than 1.9 million people in Melbourne's east, is developing a new digital platform using Salesforce Customer 360 to respond to customers more quickly.
Yarra Valley Water is working with Salesforce Industries, a new division within the cloud company focused on industry-specific CRM tools that was formed after Salesforce acquired Vlocity for US$1.33 billion in February.
“We are actually at the beginning of our journey but we've got some bold aspirations on how we can leverage Salesforce Industries,” Yarra Valley Water's technology strategy and security manager Rupesh Ratilal said.
Speaking during a webinar hosted by Enlit, Ratilal said the goal was to offer self-service options for customers and to have tools to understand the experiences of the different housing developers, residential and business customers that the utility serves.
“We want to be able to capture our stakeholder interests as well as make sure that we have tailored experiences for anyone dealing with a customer at Yarra Valley Water," Ratilal said.
He said that adopting the platform’s out-of-the-box capabilities “can absolutely accelerate our business value to our customers", and also highlighted the importance of data from both customers and the network to prevent water loss.
“We have done a lot of work around data collection for known customer interactions and we’ve done a lot of trials collecting information around our network," Ratilal said.
For example, Yarra Valley Water has worked with its field contractors to provide near real time information on the status updates of the maintenance work.
To make sense of this data, the utility recently hired a data scientist in asset planning to take a more proactive approach to asset management and network performance management, where ”traditionally the water authorities have been very reactive”.
“In the future, we are looking at using customer data, asset data and performance information and pulling all that together to see what else we can do to optimise our operations as an organisation,” he said.