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Automating Patagonia’s Pro Program

How Patagonia has integrated Salesforce with Demandware to empower their small Patagonia Pro program team.

Patagonia began as a small company that made tools for climbers, and as they have blossomed into a giant in the outdoor retail landscape, they have retained their roots in the alpine world. They are still making clothing for climbing but have moved into other outdoor sports, each of which reflects the values of Patagonia. Reward is earned through hard work and moments of connection between athletes and nature. In the spirit of their values, Patagonia created the Pro program, designed to support workers and professional athletes that connect with nature everyday, offering them discounted products. As the program grew in size and scope, Patagonia needed to find a better way to process requests to join the program and manage access to the Pro Program and its associated discounts in their Demandware site. They formed a partnership with Traction on Demand to help them develop an appropriate solution leveraging their Salesforce instance and their Demandware site.

Few Hands Make Heavy Work

Patagonia’s Pro team consisted of five individuals responsible for qualifying and managing the 10,000 professional athletes and outdoor employees within the Pro Program. The Pro team received 20,000-30,000 requests to join the program every year, which led to a massive number of email correspondences with applicants by these five team members. Working from Salesforce to email to their e-commerce system to their Demandware site and swivelling back and forth meant that it could take several months to qualify a Pro’s request to join the program. Activating and deactivating discounts needed to be done manually, all with little to no visibility or reporting available to the Pro team. The resulting customer experience was poor as responses came slowly and the burden of so many requests on so few people understandably led to errors. As the solution was not capable of scaling, Patagonia had no choice but to devise a new solution or increase the size of the team.

The Automated Pro

In order to remove the effects of the swivel-chair of disparate systems, Traction and Patagonia built out an integration between Salesforce and Demandware. This allowed for real-time communication between the two platforms, with Salesforce Pro member data determining their status in Demandware. Pro applicants would fill out forms in Demandware that fed into Salesforce. Email addresses from pre-approved partner organizations were added to a whitelist which would enable automated approval and activation, deflecting work from the five members of the Pro team so they could use their time to qualify more complex applications. With the integration, the Pro team can now leverage reporting to proactively find errors and correct them, while both Pro members and the Pro team have visibility into program renewals through automated notifications.

More Time for the Great Outdoors

With the automated process now live, Patagonia’s Pro team are saving time and improving the experience of their customers. An estimated decrease of 60,000 emails processed through Outlook means that the team can focus their efforts on the applications and cases that really need their attention, with Salesforce automatically handling all of the simpler approvals and activations. Customers can start leveraging their Pro status faster and with fewer complications, while the Pro team is enabled and prepared for future growth of the program!

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