CitySprint’s same-day deliveries can be “emotional”. Commercial director Rosie Bailey says the company’s specialisation in intra-day deliveries means the stakes are often high.
“CitySprint is the largest same-day courier service in the UK,” she says. “I think our absolute strength is where customers need bespoke solutions, same-day being quite an emotional sales process for our customers.
“They often need same-day delivery because something’s gone wrong in their business. We work with big media companies, and they might have a broadcast about to go live, and somebody hasn’t got their skates, for Dancing on Ice, as an example.”
Or it can be another need for urgency, as with healthcare deliveries. “Blood samples, tissue samples for poorly patients, and we have to get them to the lab,” says Bailey. “Or a massive tender for a corporate company with a pressing deadline coming up.”
CitySprint makes more than 15 million deliveries a year, and its customers include retailers, manufacturers, broadcasters, and more than 100 NHS trusts. It operates 34 delivery service centres across the UK and has access to a fleet of 5,000 couriers.
Bailey’s role as commercial director is, she says, to “look after the end-to-end customer experience” and it extends over marketing and sales. She sits on the company’s operating board, which decided a few years ago that a lot of its technology was “legacy, and we needed an update”.
She adds: “We weren’t getting the results we needed from it. And we wanted to improve the customer experience across the team [sales and marketing].” And so, CitySprint invested significantly in IT in 2019, happily for the firm, ahead of the pandemic in 2020.
Bailey says the way Salesforce engaged with CitySprint’s business was what secured the initial engagement. “They listened to the challenges we were looking to solve in our business and identified how the Salesforce product could solve those challenges for us,” she says.
“I am immensely proud of my Salesforce administration team”
Rosie Bailey, CitySprint
The company implemented Salesforce in 2019 to bring its systems, processes and teams closer together. The platform is also integrated with the company’s operating system, CityTrak, and touches every stage of the customer journey – from nurturing leads and booking deliveries to answering queries and resolving complaints.
The firm’s biggest single customer is a major DIY retailer, whose goods are typically not “suitable for going into a parcel network” and whose business experienced a Covid lockdown-related surge, with people stuck at home doing DIY, says Bailey.
The company uses Vonage for contact centre management, as well as Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. Bailey said it has about 460 users across the business, spending most of their working days operating within Salesforce.
“The big advantage for any member of the team, whichever role they’re in, they can see what’s happening for the customer at any part of that journey,” she says. “So, they’ll know, for example, if they’re a customer service agent, if we recently sent a marketing campaign out for that customer. They’ll know if we’re talking to them about a new opportunity.”
When the pandemic and lockdown began in March 2020, all CitySprint’s teams switched over to home working “with no pain whatsoever”, says Bailey. “In fact, our contact centre productivity improved. Now, had we been tried to do that the year before, when we didn’t have Salesforce and Vonage, in our business – that would have been hard.”
Bailey is the executive sponsor for the company’s use of Salesforce, but she works “very closely with Mike [Timlett, IT director] and his project management team, who help us whenever we’re delivering something significant into the system”.
She reports quantifiable benefits to the use of Salesforce. “We answer all our calls on average in 28 seconds, we have an abandoned rate of less 3%,” she says. “It used to be around 10%. And we answer 98.8% of all our emails within a 60-minute SLA. We get 11,000 calls and 6,000 emails a week, all of which are processed and handled through Service Cloud.
“I am immensely proud of my Salesforce administration team. They were all business users who’ve now learned Salesforce skills and have delivered process after process and streamline after streamline. Each little change might only save half an hour of work, or couple of minutes of activity. But when you combine it all together with the fact that we’ve got all the information about our customers in one place, it’s really excellent what we’ve achieved.”
Post-pandemic, the company intends moving to more of a mixed model, with the operations staff working more on site. “But our contact centres are moving to a flexible model where some locations will be on site, and some will be on permanent work from home,” says Bailey.
The logistics sector has been “given a chance to prove itself” by the pandemic, she says. Some activities, such as reuniting passengers with their missing luggage, practically disappeared. But, speaking for CitySprint, Bailey says: “Our central London business changed quite dramatically in the work-from-home environment. So, far fewer short journeys for pushbikes and motorbikes with documents, and much more out to the outskirts, with larger vehicles going out to people working from home.”
The same has been true of all major UK cities, she adds.
CitySprint’s use of Salesforce does not touch what the couriers do, most of whom are self-employed. But that is “something we are currently looking at”, says Bailey.
“It has potential to be part of our future, because we are looking at what our operating platform and model will be in the future. And we’re considering a courier portal out of Salesforce as well because it would be just as simple to manage our couriers in the same way, with their documents, their accreditation, their invoices, all of those things.”