We’ve all been hearing about Salesforce 2.0’s (SF2.0) capabilities but until you can use the software for your own program, you don’t have any idea how it will improve your processes. Just ask Jamie Hetrick, program manager for PPL.

“We have seen a huge benefit,” said Hetrick, who noted the Salesforce upgrade for the PPL program was completed in December. “It’s a game-changer for the PPL program.”

Hetrick said that there are several advances that made the transition from CMC’s Energy Reduction Management System (ERMS) to SF2.0 worthwhile, including improved scheduling, the field tech experience and customer messaging that should decrease cancellations. In addition, SF2.0 supports an upgraded tablet application that allows techs to suggest deeper energy efficiency measures.

“Previously, it was very administratively cumbersome because work orders were issued from a different location, such as emails, Teams chat or Microsoft forms, which slowed down the techs,” Hetrick said. “Having the work orders readily available in one location on the app has greatly increased the program’s deeper measure work. The increase in production since the transition to SF2.0 has been phenomenal.”

The implementation of SF2.0 was perfectly timed with improvements for the PPL program to create a perfect storm of positive news. Prior to the switchover, there had been increased collaboration between operations and customer care to align goals, boost morale and increase performance. The marketing team also played a key role in the PPL collaboration efforts as well by creating fresh campaigns, working with customer care to provide targeted outbound call lists, and initiated new customer paths such as SMS.

Combining those efforts with the enhanced scheduling capabilities of SF2.0, the PPL team saw a substantial increase in appointments. The PPL team now has 800 appointments scheduled compared to about half that number before the transition.

One of the biggest improvements impacted scheduling for appointments. SF2.0 isn’t working on an individual technician’s schedule, but instead finds the best match for technician and availability.

Almost as important as securing the initial appointment is keeping it. Now, CMC can message customers via email or text with reminders that an appointment is scheduled within the next week, two days and the next day, which helps eliminate cancellations.

This type of feedback is music to IT’s Anita Patel, who oversaw the transition to SF2.0 for the PPL program.

“SF2.0 offers a 360-degree view of the customer and the people we service,” Patel said. “You can use SF2.0 to see that a customer has previously interacted with a utility. Everything is at the business user’s fingertips. Management can see in real-time key stats, such as scheduling status, work order progress, energy savings and program revenue.”

With Salesforce, CMC can track more accurate metrics for customer onboarding.

Patel noted that there are several efficiencies realized with the transition from ERMS to SF2.0, including giving CMC a single system that is consistent across all programs. That means as we move a program into SF2.0 we can reuse processes we’ve created, and the data can be managed in a single manner rather than customized as we did with ERMS.

An additional benefit is that many people have Salesforce skills and experience because of its widespread use throughout the nation and world. That means when you need new employees it’s easier to find and provide training (or onboard them) than with a homegrown solution like ERMS, Patel said.

CMC is also just scratching the surface of what is available with SF2.0. We are now introducing the Marketing Cloud, which supports:

  • Real-time customer engagement and personalization across multiple channels
  • Email and marketing automation, mobile messaging, social media, web and advertising
  • Marketing performance analytics and insights
  • Customer journey management and visualization

Undertaking such a time-consuming and scary—for many employees—change was made easier by the collaboration between IT and the program delivery team.

“Working with IT was always rewarding,” Hetrick concluded, noting that countless people made the project a success. “They were patient and we developed great communications between the teams.”

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