How we Helped a Global Software and Services Company Find the Right Customer Preference Management Solution
Customer data is always a critical topic especially when, in today’s personalized marketplaces, customers expect you to know their preferences and respond immediately.
Increasingly sophisticated legislation puts significant risk on failing to adhere to those preferences. A company’s failure to capture a customer’s wish to unsubscribe or change contact preferences can have far-reaching business impacts and result in steep fines.
Nevertheless, more and more companies are adopting cloud-based, SaaS solutions to manage the customer experience and customer preferences – placing key customer data out of immediate reach and introducing complex compliance issues.
Our client, a Fortune 100 Software and Services company headquartered in Redmond, Washington, was facing a big business challenge and needed answers. They sought to understand which customer preference management solution would balance the following: tough compliance requirements to comply with strict regulations and fines, the preferences and needs of their customers, and a complex marketing technology landscape.
Would it provide the beneficial cost structures of a SaaS marketing solution? To make matters more complicated, how would they handle this scenario when managing 4.5 billion customer records?
Enter Centric: A Custom Solution to Better Manage Customer Preference Data
Centric Consulting’s Seattle office partnered with the client to develop a custom solution in just 12 weeks. Doing so allowed the client to avoid the legal ramifications inaction would have caused. It also led to improved customer experience and lower overall operating costs.
“Because of the sheer number of records, we knew right away that an out-of-the-box solution wasn’t going to work,” explains our Sr. Architect Dave Melendez, who oversaw the project. “Instead, we had to build a custom solution that would honor customer preferences quickly, and be capable of moving massive amounts of data.”
The main project priorities were speed to delivery, lowering the latency of data updates and building a scalable architecture. We took the lead, orchestrating the collaboration of worldwide stakeholder teams with varying roles across the business, including external vendors, marketing and engineering groups.
Scaling Using Azure
In this case, we knew going in that the chosen platform would have a dramatic impact on the success of our client to mitigate risk. The platform had to keep up with demand in managing new client records, while managing changes fast enough to meet internal and external compliance metrics.
To meet these challenges, we architected a highly scalable system using Azure, which was able to handle the migration of 4.5 billion users, ensure legal compliance and maintain or improve client experience.
As a first phase, we successfully designed and deployed a system that could handle the load while maintaining 99.9 percent uptime and meeting a best-in-class sub-second response time requirement using Azure.
“Even in its infancy,” explains Melendez, “our platform needed to accommodate billions of user records and billions of requests each day.” Despite the highly technical requirements, the initial migration of all 4.5 billion customer records was completed in 2.5 days after implementation.
With a key milestone complete, the team went to work on hard-hitting improvements to the system.
From Good Enough To Unmatched
With the initial infrastructure build complete, we provided engineering talent and project oversight to deliver a series of significant improvements. We began by engineering a management portal to provide insight into customer contact preferences for newsletters and improve the welcome email delivery processes.
In improving the data management in these areas, including the integration with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, the delivery time of welcome emails dropped dramatically from 24 hours to a just few minutes. This markedly improved customer experience after an initial purchase, resulting in an improvement in product engagement early in the customer engagement cycle.
“Finally, we had to ensure the business, the engineering teams and outside vendors were all playing from the same sheet of music,” notes Travis Hall, Lead Program Manager for the project. In order to accomplish this, we oversaw the product rollout to Marketing, Compliance, Engineering and vendor teams with world class multi-group, multi-vendor and multi-national project management.
From project inception to project completion, we were able to mitigate our client’s risk, improve customer experience and reduce costs in only 12 weeks.
As a result of this engagement, our client is able to send emails to users in multiple countries and meet various international contact laws and LCID requirements without the risk of serious legal ramifications.
The Results: A Bright Future with a System that Handles Millions of New Users Per Day
Our client is now able to handle millions of new users per day, with the ability to migrate more than 350 million users per day if needed.
The system we implemented became the foundation for the client’s current Contact Management System that is now used to track customer contact preferences across the company.
With our help, our client was able to migrate their customer data, honor customer preferences and achieve legal compliance.
Centric has been a solid partner with domain expertise in helping integrate our data infrastructure with Salesforce and Marketo as well as the various internal systems. They’ve been involved in building on top of Azure and COSMOS, integrating with various engineering teams across the company. Pricing wise they are pretty in line with other vendors I’ve dealt with.