How Release the Hounds is creatively leveraging Salesforce and Chatter to boost efficiency and customer experience
Release the Hounds is a Vancouver based dog-walking/boarding and training organization. The staff of 15 are credited with providing the best canine services in the city.
In 2011, the company was purchased by a group of partners who determined that the business required new systems in order to implement and make repeatable the proven service model for small businesses. They looked to Traction on Demand to help them find a solution with a small budget and a big vision.
Working with a limited budget, Release the Hounds had to find an innovative and cost-effective approach to implementing Salesforce with the intent to replace and improve their business systems. They needed to fully integrate and merge their suite of business systems into one that would increase efficiency through a reduction in workload and improvement of customer service standards.Release the Hounds’ legacy system leveraged pen-and-paper daily reconciliation, loose customer request notes and an excel spreadsheet. They required a system that could easily create walking and boarding/sitting schedules to save time and allow for scale. Their legacy system did not support customer profiles, making it difficult to target clients effectively. Release the Hounds’ sales team did not have the ability to efficiently track leads and opportunities.
Traction implemented a customized instance of Salesforce.com, leveraging a custom data model, new custom objects (including a dog object), service records, invoices and dog-walkers as Chatter Plus users. This meant that all data could now be logged in Salesforce. Traction leveraged out-of-the-box configuration and inexpensive AppExchange applications such as Geopointe and Calendar Anything to transfer the entire Release the Hounds business onto the Salesforce.com platform. Limited licenses were used to keep costs within budget, with only 2 Enterprise Edition licenses and 9 Chatter Plus licenses.
All of Release the Hounds’ previous systems were integrated into one efficiently run instance of Salesforce.com. This platform allows Release the Hounds to schedule services and boarding/sitting times effectively while immediately communicating that schedule to their dog-walkers. Their Salesforce instance is also an effective lead and opportunity management system that allows for the creation of customer profiles as well as the generation of accurate metrics and reporting. Customer experience is improved and employees can more easily view schedules and record data.
Traction provided Release the Hounds with a platform on which to build their vision, with further Communities integration and GPS locators for their service vans (tying into Geopointe mapping). Most importantly, the project established an operating template for Release the Hounds to rapidly expand and duplicate to other service areas.
- Average daily dog walks doubled within 2 years
- Scheduling errors, which were a top customer complaint, have been reduced to a currently non-existent level (4 conflicts in over 40,000 touch-points) reinforcing their Dogtastically Happy Guarantee
- Release the Hounds’ business has grown nearly 75% in the two years since implementing Salesforce.com
- The new customer close/win rate is at 95%
“We have seen tremendous growth in our business since working with Traction and using Salesforce and now have an unparalleled advantage in our industry. Traction was quick to help us customize the Salesforce platform to fit our business needs and identify solutions for our obstacles and roadblocks. The team at Traction did an excellent job helping us to build a strong platform and position us for rapid expansion.” – James Woller, President, Release the Hounds