GoHenry banks on Salesforce to speed up customer interactions

Madeline Bennett Profile picture for user Madeline Bennett June 28, 2022
Kids’ money app combines social and customer data to help agents solve queries quicker.


When Louise Hill co-founded GoHenry 10 years ago, the team always had plans to grow the business quickly and build for scale. The idea behind the pre-paid debit card and financial education app was – and still is – to make every kid smart with money.

Its customers are not only the 6-to-18-year-old children, but their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Hill, COO and Co-Founder of GoHenry, explains:

We're talking to all those diverse groups and the way you talk to a six- to 11-year old is very different to how you talk to a 14- to 18-year old and different to how you talk to grandma. Our CRM has to be very agile. We have to be able to identify those customer groups and create bespoke journeys for them.

Despite its ambitions to build for scale, its technology wasn’t particularly conducive to this goal. The firm was using a simple email tool rather than a proper CRM system and had basic social media monitoring technology, she recalls: 

We were using Excel spreadsheets, Google Sheets, bits of paper, all the things you really want to avoid. To start with, we used some proprietary software from a company that helped us set up the contact center but very quickly, because we were growing so fast, it became apparent it was not scalable.

GoHenry looked at all the big providers in the market for the best technology to run its contact center. Hill had worked with Zendesk in previous roles - her background is in operations and she has run warehouses and contact centers for e-commerce and bricks and mortar retailers.

But while she was familiar with Zendesk and had never used Salesforce before, the GoHenry contact center management team opted for Salesforce, determining that it offered a complete infrastructure. This meant the firm could start small, plug in extra aspects and grow without having to make a big commitment upfront. This was important to the business six years ago, when it was very small, says Hill:

We've doubled our growth every year for the last six years, we doubled our revenue in 2021. When you're growing at that pace, you need to conserve cash. You could start small, and then there were all the bolt-ons and add-ons that you could build out your ecosystem around to build that technology stack that enabled our agents to talk to customers in a way where they've got all the tools at their fingertips.

The level of support and information available was also a factor in the decision to go with Salesforce, she adds: 

It was very easy to access 10 different ways that it had been done before rather than us having to figure out how to do it.

Seven years later

The firm has now been using Salesforce for around seven years. It started with Service Cloud because that was the pressing need so contact center agents could talk to customers. Initially, there were only about 20 agents using Service Cloud; due to the company’s growth, there are now well over 100 agents.

GoHenry is also using Einstein bots, so that customers can self-serve, and has rolled out Marketing Cloud for the CRM element and Social Studio to monitor social channels. This lets the business escalate any concerns raised on social media and ensure it is contacting those customers as quickly as possible, says Hill: 

It's made a huge difference. We've been able to concentrate on automating processes, on building bespoke customer journeys.

The Salesforce platform has enabled GoHenry to scale very quickly, both in terms of head count and customer numbers. As well as increasing contact center agents from 20 to 100-plus over the past seven years, the firm has grown from around 60 employees at that point to over 300 now. Its member base has grown from one million to over two million across the UK and US in the past two years. Hill argues: 

To support that scale, we need to use our money really effectively, which means we need to be clever with how we spend that money. We want to spend as much of it as we can on acquiring customers, but then retaining and dealing intelligently with our existing customers so that we serve them well. Being able to do that effectively and productively is massively important.

Plugging in Social Studio was a key aspect, as it meant the firm has been able to bring the social media side into the overall picture of the customer. GoHenry has now migrated to Salesforce Customer 360 and has plugged in Einstein bots to offer the knowledge base that the agents were using within Salesforce directly to customers, explains Hill: 

If a customer accesses GoHenry via live chat, as they type their question in the bot can immediately surface the right bit of information for them with hyperlinks either to the right place on our website or our mobile app or to the information that they need. It lets us deal with the customer quickly and effectively.

The ultimate goal for GoHenry is having a 360-degree view of all its customers. This would mean whichever contact channel they use - social media, email, phone - if they're using a recognized contact detail or email, their details would pop up with their GoHenry account and any previous interactions. Hill says: 

We can see any problems they've had and we can see any CRM communications that have gone out to them. Maybe we've just told them about the new junior ISA we've launched or maybe it’s to query a decline transaction. All of that information is at the fingertips of the agent and that means you would be so much more effective.

However, GoHenry has some work to do before it can achieve this full 360 customer view. There are some elements that were built inside the GoHenry product that the firm needs to bring over into Marketing Cloud: 

And we've got more automation journeys. We've picked off the key ones, but there are other contact reasons. We're working down the list of why does the customer contact us.

What we want is, if our service, our product, our user journeys in the product are good enough, you get very few contacts in the onboarding journey, and then the contacts after that are only when something unusual happens. But there's more automation to cover off some of the more common contact reasons yet that will speed up our ability to close those contacts and resolve the problems.

As well as the Marketing Cloud integrations and automation work, GoHenry is considering whether to expand its use of Slack. The business was using the communications tool before it was purchased by Salesforce in all parts of the business except the contact center, which uses Google Chat for group interactions. GoHenry is currently exploring whether to roll Slack out to the contact center, how that would work and what benefits it would bring.

While all of the above are possible with the technology available today, there is one element Hill would like to see added that she doesn’t believe is currently offered by Salesforce. In the contact center suite of products and Service Cloud in particular, GoHenry can access excellent dashboards and reporting, but it shows what has already happened:

We can't put our forecasts into it. I need to be able to look at how we're performing against forecast and budget and the re-forecast, take the last five or six weeks of actuals and cast forward based on the patterns.

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