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    November 3, 2020
    7 minute read

    Salsify Moves to Salesforce Service Cloud From Zendesk to Ensure Global Growth

    by: Salsify

    Purchases are rarely made without first being influenced by something we saw online. Whether our preferred shopping method is at the local town store or Amazon, we conduct product research, look up reviews from other customers, and learn more about brands online.

    Particularly since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the digital shelf has become the primary shelf.

    Supporting Exceptional Commerce Experiences

    Salsify has seen tremendous growth in recent years by ensuring some of the world’s largest brands, such as Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, and Bosch, can offer their consumers an incredible commerce experience at every single touchpoint on the digital shelf. Whether consumers are shopping on third-party (3P) sites or directly on a brand’s websites, the Salsify platform helps ensure they are greeted with exceptional and productive commerce experiences.

    Since our founding in 2012, Salsify has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing enterprise software companies in the U.S. and closed a $155 million Series E round of funding in September 2020. This success has come in large part through offering a robust and highly customizable customer experience.

    Keeping Up With Our Company Growth

    Zendesk, the legacy customer service management software our team had in place, however, was not able to keep up with the growth of the company. As customer implementations grew to be more global — and as customers could select from an increasingly large variety of products — our team required a higher level of customization in their customer service technology.

    Additionally, our team needed a more holistic view of all customer activity, requiring more powerful integrations with other platforms, such as sales CRM and their product usage data lake.

    “Being a customer-first organization means one thing when you have a few dozen customers. It means something else entirely when you have 800 enterprises using your platform across the globe,” said Lee Feigenbaum, EVP of customer success at Salsify. “We began to realize that in order to maintain a full, 360-degree viewpoint into each customer, we needed to revisit the current processes and technologies we had in place.”

    “The customer service software we were using is great for your typical customer service organization,” said Genady Rashkovan, VP of support, enablement, and scale at Salsify. “We are anything but your typical organization.”

    An Ambitious Implementation Timeline

    Rashkovan joined Salsify in April 2019, tasked with effectively scaling Salsify's customer support infrastructure. While he had overseen successful implementations of Salesforce Service Cloud at prior companies, he decided to test out the legacy vendor's software.

    After about four months, Rashkovan realized that the software's lack of self-service functionality and rigid user interface (UI) would increasingly come at odds with how he planned on scaling the operations and enablement of Salsify's services team.

    In December 2019, Rashkovan received internal approval to move to Salesforce Service Cloud. By February 2020, the Salsify team had an implementation plan with Salesforce and one of Salesforce's official implementation partners, GearsCRM. The project was for Salsify to be off our current system and entirely up and running with Salesforce Service Cloud by August 2020.

    COVID-19 Forces Changes Across the Industry

    Then, COVID-19 struck. Like many companies, Salsify implemented a mandatory remote work policy for all employees worldwide and restricted all business travel. Salsify, Salesforce, and GearsCRM all understood that the lack of traditional implementation checkpoints, such as in-person meetings and get-togethers to discuss progress, might act as speed bumps to their aggressive timeline.

    Additionally, the sudden macroeconomic turmoil impacted Salsify's customer base. Consumer spending decreased across the industry in response to the pandemic, affecting brands' sales forecasts worldwide.

    However, at the same time, online shopping accelerated at an unprecedented pace, with ecommerce seeing multi-year growth within a matter of months. Platforms like Salsify, which helps facilitate better commerce experiences for brands, became a necessity seemingly overnight.

    An Uptick in Customer Service Support

    The result was a sharp uptick in customer service support activities. Rashkovan notes that in Q2, Salsify saw a 30% increase in customer support cases, an increase they could not have forecasted at the beginning of the year — and certainly not when planning the rollout of a major new piece of technology in Salesforce Service Cloud.

    “Our customers were under an incredible amount of pressure, and that means our customer success team was under a lot of pressure as well to make sure we could service our customers at the level they had come to expect from Salsify,” Rashkovan said.

    “Salesforce and GearsCRM were both incredibly helpful in ensuring that the rollout continued to progress in a timely fashion while we kept our eyes on servicing customers,” he said.

    Leveraging Analytics to Drive Impact

    Despite remote work and the most calamitous economic period in at least a decade, the team continued to push through with rollout and implementation. In early September, a mere few weeks behind the original proposed go-live date, Rashkovan sent an email to the entire Salsify organization, announcing that customer support has moved to a true enterprise service platform.

    In place of the old, rigid interface, members of the Salsify customer support team can now see the information most pertinent to them about each customer and how they can help solve their needs. Salesforce Service Cloud also provides employees with granular detail about how each customer has interacted with other parts of the organization in the past, including sales and product.

    Feigenbaum and Rashkovan now also have more analytics to prove the impact of the organization’s efforts on the overall growth of the business and more insightful data as to where they need to invest resources to ensure that their department continues to grow in the right way.

    “There were really two goals with the Salsify rollout of Salesforce Service Cloud,” said Harry Radenberg, founder and CEO of GearsCRM. “They wanted to ensure that they had a much more detailed view of each customer, and they wanted to be in a place to scale their support infrastructure to a global level. We are incredibly proud to have helped them achieve both in an aggressive timeline and under such unprecedented circumstances.”

    A Partner in the ‘New Decade of the Digital Shelf’

    While the current iteration of Salesforce Service Cloud is already a significant step up from their previous system, Rashkovan can highlight a host of additional functionality that he is looking forward to putting into place. These functionalities include leveraging Salesforce Einstein to increase efficiency through artificial intelligence and moving the company’s knowledge base to Salesforce.

    Rashkovan is also looking forward to Salesforce’s expertise in global rollouts as Salsify continues to scale internationally.

    “There’s so much more we can do with the system. My goal is to make Salsify the most forward-looking and innovative company when it comes to helping our customers succeed. We have the right partner in Salesforce to help us see that through,” Rashkovan said.

    “Salsify has always believed that the key to growth is through the success of our customers. As our customers continue to rely more on ecommerce as a primary driver of sales, they will rely more on Salsify. Key initiatives such as this help to ensure that we can be a partner and counselor in this new decade of the digital shelf.”

    — Lee Feigenbaum, EVP of Customer Success, at Salsify

    Watch our on-demand webinar, “3 Principles for Growth on the Digital Shelf,” to discover the challenges that traditional organizations face in adapting to this new world.

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