Guildford Borough Council – CRM implementation

The challenge

Guildford Borough Council embarked upon a major organisation-wide transformation in partnership with Ignite which challenged every aspect of what they did and how they did it.  The aims of the programme were to:

  • Improve services and customer care
  • Future proof the organisation
  • Modernise services and systems
  • Make the council more efficient
  • Deliver £10M per annum of savings to address the financial challenge
  • Create an environment where there are better development opportunities for staff
  • Build a culture better able to adapt to the challenges and issues facing the council.

Technology was a key enabler for change, with implementation of customer relationship management (CRM) software at the heart. Customers were unable to track and manage requests online and the customer services team had to interact with 15+ systems. But the council had not implemented CRM before and previous technology projects had overrun and/or failed to deliver the desired benefits.

Guildford High Street at night

The result

Ignite worked with the council to review the technology estate, assess options and costs, and procure and implement solutions. As a result:

  • Salesforce CRM was procured and implemented in less than 12 months
  • The council centralised 15 separate direct dial numbers for services to one main number, providing customers with a simpler route into the council
  • More than 3,000 customers created online accounts during the first six weeks
  • Customers could raise and track requests online, receive SMS updates and provide feedback to drive ongoing improvements
  • The customer services team was able to resolve 73% of calls at first point of contact during the first six weeks
  • On-the-ground delivery teams were able to pick up and resolve jobs in the field
  • Managers and team leaders could track demand and performance in real time using live management dashboards.

What made it successful

  • Testing the market – we designed a market engagement exercise to help the council understand the strengths and weaknesses of different products, resulting in a rapid procurement of the right solution.
  • Clear vision and priorities – we defined a minimum viable product (MVP), along with a prioritised product backlog of requirements, providing a vision and focus for the implementation.
  • Strong governance – the CRM implementation was one of several interrelated technology projects. Ignite co-ordinated all the technology projects and provided progress updates and escalations into a fortnightly workstream board, maintaining pace and accountability.
  • Benefits driven approach – using Ignite’s benefits model, we ensured the project was aligned to programme aims and benefits.
  • Partnership approach – the council, Ignite and Salesforce implementation partner NimbusPoint formed a great delivery team, with Ignite’s deep knowledge of local authorities complementing NimbusPoint’s 20+ years of Salesforce experience.
  • Strong product ownership – we created an environment where the council’s product owner was able to make decisions at pace to keep delivery on track.
  • Developing internal capability – we mentored the council’s internal team to build their capability in requirements definition, wireframing and other business analysis tasks.
  • Regular show and tells – weekly demonstrations throughout the build phase created visibility and confidence in progress.
  • Solution testing – all partners were closely involved in rigorous testing prior to go-live, resulting in a successful launch.