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Case Study: A Simple Solution for a Connected Customer Journey

Case Study: A Simple Solution for a Connected Customer Journey

Hughes Developments is one of New Zealand's most recognised and respected commercial and residential property developers. With a deep-rooted history that changed the landscape, Hughes is well known for inspiring some of Christchurch’s most iconic spaces.

A simple solution for a connected customer journey: How Trineo rapidly built a customer portal that scales using Salesforce Community Cloud.

Hughes Developments is one of New Zealand's most recognised and respected commercial and residential property developers. With a deep-rooted history that changed the landscape, Hughes is well known for inspiring some of Christchurch’s most iconic spaces.

As the business continues to grow and mature, Hughes needed to create further operational efficiencies and a more functional set of workflow processes on their Salesforce CRM. A widely trusted Salesforce partner in New Zealand, Hughes nominated Trineo as the partner to advise on the right processes and build the tools for their business challenges. 

At Trineo, we were especially excited to work with Hughes. Not just because our story also began in Christchurch, but because of the strong synergies between our values and the integrity of our developments - be it property or software and technology.  

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Creating efficiencies across the entire customer journey

Hughes has a long-term approach to developing communities and takes pride in decades of consistent delivery. The business specialises in building and marketing residential subdivisions, as well as delivering industrial and commercial property developments. 

The business challenge required a two-pronged approach as they experienced operational challenges on both sides of the customer journey - from the initial interest through to acquisition and the subsequent activity that happens once a property owner is confirmed.

We kicked off our engagement together by first understanding the customer journey and associated pain points as well as digging into the current Salesforce implementation. From there we agreed on the following business objectives: 

  • Create a workflow that accurately tracks and measures prospects through the customer journey to conversion. 
  • Create a place for customers to submit documentation, track development stages and approval processes, manage multiple property portfolios and receive automated notifications. 

The objectives were relatively straightforward. As such, we advised on keeping it simple and proceeded with building a customer portal using Salesforce Community Cloud. With a few use cases in mind, we were able to spin up a customised portal ready for user testing in just a few weeks.

With Salesforce in tow, and as designed by Trineo, we are in a much better position to cope with the future workloads and challenges ahead.

Jane Donnithorne

Systems Manager

Hughes Development

Building a customer portal on Salesforce Community Cloud 

For Hughes’ customers/purchasers, a lot happens after the initial sale. Let’s say Alix the homeowner buys a parcel of land in a large residential development from Hughes. That’s really just the beginning! Now Alix needs to propose and seek approvals for everything that goes into planning the design and architecture of a house. The residential developments inspire a sense of harmony and so many of the design elements must fall within specific guidelines to maintain the look and feel of the neighbourhood. 

Additionally, we created a centralised hub for all customer data, further supporting their sales efforts with a centralised place and permission-based access to data and workflows across the customer journey. 

Simplified, self-service for all key stakeholders

After the initial concepting, Trineo built a mock-up of the proposed portal concept which they tested and tweaked with the team at Hughes. By providing quick and decisive feedback during the user testing and Q&A phase, we were able to then quickly refine the solution and get the portal up and running within days. 

Before handing over the keys, we made sure all appropriate stakeholders at Hughes were properly trained and feeling confident using the new portal, as well as showing their customers how to use the simple tools they were now providing as part of their service offering. 

Said Jane Donnithorne, Systems Manager at Hughes, “Thanks to Trineo the implementation of Salesforce software has been a phenomenal success for our company. We know first-hand that the setup of Salesforce is dependent on the implementation partner doing it right at the beginning. Now we can customise the object pages in-house, constantly evolve our systems by adding and editing new fields and basically use with complete confidence since everything works as it should.  

“We have met with 100% satisfaction from our lot owners/builders using the customer portal to view and update the approval process. This has translated to Hughes and the builders/owners improving the efficiency of plans going through the approval cycle and the volume of work that can be achieved. Very importantly Salesforce is easy to use for both parties.

“In one Salesforce opportunity page we can view the whole background to each lot including the approval status, the details of the house being built, notes or issues, purchaser details and pictures. Our business relies on maps and photographs and these are easily added to each lot file. Customising is a dream.

“The automation available is endless but we still like to control our triggers by using the email templates, which are exceptional and so straightforward. In addition, we design Crystal reports to add an extra layer of reporting and drive our documentation. For the update of new stock and leads we simply import into Salesforce using the Dataloader. We convert the leads manually as per Trineo’s recommendation and teachings.  

With Salesforce in tow, and as designed by Trineo, we are in a much better position to cope with the future workloads and challenges ahead.”

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Meet the Project Team

Dan Fowlie

Dan Fowlie

Co-founder & General Manager, Salesforce Christchurch

Kate Berlova

Kate Berlova

Auckland