The tech team behind the most customer-friendly supermarket

Ilonka Cornelissen 27 Jul, 2023 37 - 5 min read

At Picnic, we dream of being the best milkman on earth. While we believe we still have a long way to go, we’re definitely on our way: Picnic was recently awarded the titles of ‘the most satisfied customers’ (Supermarkt & Ruimte 2023), the most customer-friendly supermarket (MarketResponse 2023), and ‘the best online supermarket’ (GfK: E-Commerce in FMCG Formulerapport 2023). Achieving this was a true collaborative effort from everyone working at Picnic, not least from our amazing Customer Success agent team, who jump right in whenever a delivery doesn’t go exactly as planned. In this blog we give you the chance to look behind the scenes and find out what role the Customer Success tech team plays in supporting the agent team in delivering excellent service.

My name is Ilonka Cornelissen, and I’m the Product Owner of the Customer Success tech team. As a Product Owner, I’m responsible for developing a product vision, drafting a roadmap, and aligning with all our stakeholders to make sure we are working on the right things that deliver value to our customers and internal users. On a daily basis I work closely with my team: Xavier Gribble (Tech lead), Gonçalo MoreiraUjwal PansariCarlos ArcenasKrystian BednarekSaul Santiago (Salesforce Developers) and Hanna Tsiushkevich (UX Designer). Together, we develop innovative solutions for the Customer Success agent team using Salesforce Service Cloud and empower them to deliver great customer service. Curious to learn more about the tech projects we are working on? Keep on reading!

A balancing act between reply quality and speed

The key challenge for the Customer Success team is to balance the quality and the speed of the reply. We want to keep on being the most customer-friendly supermarket, but we also want to make sure we help our customers as fast as possible. With the help of our Data Analysts, we’re able to scan through all of our customer interactions and identify certain categories of cases that often require the same action from our agent, making these ripe targets for automation.

Gonçalo developed a new data model object in Salesforce, called a Bulk Case List, which represents a list of case records that can be handled all at once instead of having to be handled one-by-one. The supervisors of the Customer Success agent team have the flexibility to turn the automatic creation of these bulk lists on and off, depending on how many cases are waiting for a response. So, when the Customer Success agent team is dealing with a large backlog, supervisors can start creating bulk lists and route them to an available agent. We use this in tandem with skill-based routing, which means we only route cases to agents that have been trained to handle these types of cases. An agent can then quickly scan through the cases, select the correct case issue label (we love that data for further analysis), pick the right solution and send out an informatory message.

Tackling unforeseen peaks

While Picnic is speeding along its journey to becoming the best milkman on earth, we sometimes experience some unforeseen and sudden challenges, like extreme weather or a power outage. Of course we try to proactively inform customers about these situations, but people also reach out to the Customer Success agent team with questions, resulting in a massive influx of messages in our backlog.

Ujwal was keen to tackle this challenge. We identified a feature that Salesforce offers as part of Service Cloud, called Incident Management, which looked like the right tool for the job. After a proof of concept phase where we checked whether it fits our needs, we decided to use this tool. We added a bevy of custom enhancements so that we can handle incidents in a better way by having a consolidated overview of affected customers, helping us align communication, and thereby minimize response times.

Let’s minimize context switching!

At Picnic we love data and customer feedback. A lot of it comes directly from the reviews our customers leave on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Customer Success agents read this feedback and make sure it’s shared internally with the right teams. However, to access the app reviews, agents need to leave Salesforce and manually log in to these platforms to read the reviews and reply to them. That’s a lot of context switching, which doesn’t sound very efficient, right?

Therefore, Carlos picked up a project to have these reviews directly translate to cases in Salesforce. Carlos dove into the APIs provided by the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store to understand how each platform allows for custom-developed integrations. With this, he built out a list of actions that our agents could potentially perform on Salesforce, such as viewing and replying to reviews, and shared it with our designer Hanna for initial UX conceptualization. He also worked on extending the platform’s current Slack integration to support Slack’s Block Kit, so that we could share richly-formatted review comments and details with the rest of the company, too!

New value-add: bundles!

Picnic recently launched ‘bundles’: the more (similar) products customers buy, the more of a discount they get! To make sure the Customer Success agents are able to help customers with all their questions, Krystian started up a project to verify that bundles are shown correctly in Salesforce. We discussed that bundles need to be shown in three separate places, which are all rendered as custom Lightning Web Components. Krystian validated the functionality of these elements and ensured compatibility with the updated data structure, how it interacts with existing promotion information and how it would affect our front-end Jest tests.

Putting tools in the hands of the users

The Customer Success agent team uses the Salesforce platform on a daily basis. However, there are some features that only the Salesforce Developers can access, such as turning on automated replies to messages if our response times are getting longer. We believed that these features shouldn’t only stay with the developers. It would be better to put these valuable tools in the hands of the supervisors of the Customer Success agent team.

With the help of our designer Hanna, we designed a custom component that displays all the existing auto-replies, providing an intuitive interface for editing the message content and enabling or disabling them as needed. Saul then used this design to build the Supervisor Console, a custom Lightning app page with a host of Lightning Web Components to support the different functionalities we wanted to expose. This also required some changes in the backend, with Gonçalo coming on board to develop the Apex methods used to load the records.

We’re just getting started…

What I laid out above is just a small snapshot of the many interesting projects we worked on last quarter. As a Product Owner, I’m constantly talking to the Customer Success agent team to understand how we can create even more value, and help them maintain the high level of service Picnic is known for. I also closely collaborate with all the other Product Owners across Picnic to discover all the exciting things we have in the works for our customers, and how we can integrate with them to improve the whole customer journey. Lastly, I align with external stakeholders, like Salesforce representatives to understand what new features become available and how we can benefit from that. Lots of interesting projects to come!

Are you also looking for a new challenge, for example as a Product Owner or as a Salesforce Developer? Check out our vacancies and let’s talk 🙂

Want to join Ilonka Cornelissen in finding solutions to interesting problems?