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DPD - getting people off spreadsheets and onto Salesforce

Stuart Lauchlan Profile picture for user slauchlan June 17, 2024
DPD is a major user of the Salesforce platform to personalize customer experience. Gen AI is going to play a role moving forward.


DPD has big plans to embed AI across its Salesforce platform, not just to automate tasks, but to provide an even better experience for DPD customers and employees alike.

That’s the mission statement cited by Adam Hooper, Head of Central Platforms at the delivery and courier giant. DPD  delivers around 400 million parcels a year and services vast numbers of customers. Managing its relationship with those customers is essential and to that end the firm is a big user of Salesforce tech, including Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Mulesoft.

As per Salesforce’s most recent DPD-related announcement:

With Service Cloud, DPD will ensure the right cases are transferred to the right advisors using AI-powered insights, helping to automate processes and resolve cases faster.

In addition to traditional channels, customers can contact DPD on WhatsApp, which supports both self-service through a chatbot and the automated creation of cases. Interactions via this service have doubled year-on-year since its introduction.

With Mulesoft, DPD’s finance team can now access invoices and issue statements in one place. It also allows DPD account managers and business development teams to access financial and parcel data, and make business-critical decisions, without leaving Salesforce.

Teams can automatically and accurately capture forecasts from customers, enabling DPD to adapt to volume fluctuations and market changes more quickly and easily.

DPD’s marketing team uses Marketing Cloud to engage B2B prospects and customers at key relationship milestones. DPD also uses the segmentation capabilities of Marketing Cloud to develop campaigns that target specific industries, such as healthcare.

Spreadsheet objectives

At last week’s Salesforce World Tour event in London, Ben Pyne, Salesforce Platform Manager at DPD, drilled down some more into current use and future plans, including around AI. Pyne works in a team whose members essentially work like internal consultants to the wider business in order to improve the way that the organization and its employees work. Or as he puts it to people not familiar with Salesforce:

My role is essentially to get people off spreadsheets and onto Salesforce!

He went on:

Within DPD there are about 40 different departments and teams working on Salesforce. This is far, far greater than just your normal Sales and CRM, your Service Cloud users. These are people right across the business. We use custom applications within that to be able to customize and personalize their experience. We take away from the stuff they don't need to see and we bring stuff that they do need to see more to life.

Taking that further with things like Prompt Builder and all of those kind of elements, we’re able to specify to a greater intent. So an example of this is we've recently built a project management app within Salesforce and using Prompt Builder, we have been able to tailor it to be able to write things like acceptance criteria or user stories, being able to do the bits and pieces. I want our guys to focus on designing and building, less on the admin.

When DPD considers the use cases for AI in general and generative AI in particular, there are some obvious applications that can reduce the number of tasks that need to be done operationally. Pyne said:

The obvious one is always case summarization. We have millions of cases that get created from customer service each year. Being able to summarize those cases, without any interaction, [gen AI]  a really easy way of being able to do that.

Starting small 

When it comes to rolling out new tech like generative AI, Pyne said DPD has a clear approach:

It's starting small, finding the right teams to be able to do it. But fundamentally, starting somewhere and being able to make slow progressions into it to make sure that we don't just go ‘big bang’ with things and scare everybody away.

And that means keeping a close eye on security and trust issues, he noted:

We've got a pretty strong IT security team. There’s not much that they'll let us do without having run it through their scrutiny and rightly so. The plus side of working with Salesforce is they've got it all covered. Between anonymizing all of the data that goes into the LLM (Large Language Model) and also the fact that the LLMs aren't able to learn off of our data, it really nails down the fact for for us and it gives us that peace of mind that we don't really have to think about it too hard because Salesforce has thought of everything for us. We can kind of just get on with doing the bits that we're good at and not focusing on the rest.

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