The 2014 CRM Elite

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SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA: Building Business with Better Service
Using Salesforce.com Service Cloud, Sony Computer Entertainment wins at the sales game.

THE CHALLENGE

In anticipation of the release of its next-generation gaming console, the PS4, in November 2013, Sony Computer Entertainment America, responsible for all of Sony's PlayStation business in the United States, Canada, and Latin America, wanted to better engage with customers.

Unfortunately, the technology infrastructure at its San Mateo, CA, headquarters was fragile and complex and couldn't provide a full view of customers. This made it difficult to support new product introductions and adapt to customer needs.

"We were on disparate systems that gave us fragmented views of our customers," recalls Catherine Jensen, support operations executive at Sony Computer Entertainment America.

THE SOLUTION

In mid-2013, Sony Computer Entertainment America began rolling out the Salesforce.com Service Cloud. It started with a module to handle grief reports, escalations, and formal complaints; implemented an agent desktop module to handle case management; and, in February, upgraded with a service and repairs processing module.

The group now has a 360-degree view of its fan base, enabling a more streamlined and personalized customer experience.

"The insight we've gained into consumer behavior has been the biggest benefit," Jensen says. "Now we can see what [fans] play, when they play, and how they play, and that has had a tremendous effect on how we promote ourselves to them."

Though Sony primarily uses the Salesforce technology to respond to customer issues, "being able to have a sales component was a key business imperative from day one," Jensen says.

Extended warranty sales are a big part of the customer interaction, but agents also can sell memberships, games and other content, and peripheral devices. "Every interaction is really a situational upsell," Jensen says, noting that the Salesforce system allows agents to tailor sales messages to the original call driver.

Though the system is primarily used to handle inbound contacts via phone, chat, and the Web, it can be used for outbound campaigns as well.

Currently, Sony fields roughly 12,000 interactions per day, with about 2 percent of those resulting in a sales conversion. This has enabled Sony's agents to exceed their extended warranty sales goals by 34 percent.

Sales agent ramp-up time has decreased by 66 percent, saving Sony more than $300,000 during the peak holiday shopping period from November 2013 to January 2014. Overall agent productivity has increased by 17 percent.

Sony can now identify language preferences, route interactions to the right agents, and proactively target sales or service messages around specific products in the customer's geographic area.

Additionally, the system collects and categorizes grief reports, allowing users to report players for terms of service violations, enabling Sony to better protect its products' integrity.

The company also uses Salesforce Chatter to notify agents about social engineering tactics to protect customer account information and other sensitive data.

As an added benefit, the company now responds to 100 percent of customer inquiries within 24 hours and resolves 90 percent of issues in three days or less.

All of this has led to Sony's Better Business Bureau rating improving from an F to an A+ in just four months. Better Business Bureau ratings reflect the number of consumer complaints filed against the company, whether the company honors its commitments, the reliability of the company's products and services, and truth in advertising, among other factors.

Globally, more than 7 million PS4 game consoles have been sold since the launch. PS4 software sales remain strong, with more than 20.5 million copies sold in retail stores worldwide and through digital downloads from the PlayStation Store.

"[Last year] was an exceptional year," Jensen says, "and things keep looking up."

Real results

  • Extended warranty plan sales exceeded goal by 34 percent.
  • Agent productivity increased by 17 percent.
  • Agent ramp-up time decreased by 66 percent, resulting in more than $300,000 in savings in three months.
  • Better Business Bureau rating went from an F to an A+ in four months.
        
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Agent productivity increased by 17 percent.

Agent ramp-up time decreased by 66 percent, resulting in more than $300,000 in savings in three months.

Better Business Bureau rating went from an F to an A+ in four months.

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