Amway brings business ownership to every corner of the globe with Microsoft Dynamics 365
By Microsoft Customer Stories on April 13, 2017
Filed under Retail & Consumer Goods
Amway has seen amazing growth and global expansion over the last 60 years, and is now delivering health, beauty, and home care products to consumers around the world. Due to this widespread growth, Amway’s independent business owners were using an abundance of different technological solutions. Amway decided to standardize on Microsoft Dynamics 365 to give its business owners a consistent, easy-to-use experience.
“Amway was founded on very strong family-oriented principals,” begins Hannes Smit, Manager of Global CRM Solutions at Amway. “The name essentially says it all—it’s about enabling the American way for everybody around the world.” Smit is describing Amway’s mission to empower people around the world who have the grit and ambition to start their own businesses. “We work each and every day to help people live better lives,” says the company’s mission statement.
For six decades, the company has been helping independent entrepreneurs set out and work for themselves, offering health, beauty, and home care goods to the markets that they live in. “Over the course of its history, Amway has learned how best to interact with our independent business owners,” says Smit. “We’ve adjusted some of our practices to ensure that not only the Amway brand has a good reputation, but that the business owners can use these best practices to become more profitable and successful in their own right.”
An abundance of solutions hinders innovation
Over the time that it’s been in business, Amway has reached the far corners of the globe and currently brings in billions of dollars in revenue. That widespread growth, however, means that the company found itself with disparate and, in some cases, incompatible processes and systems. “What we’re faced with is that Amway probably uses every technology out there. We have multiple applications in different areas that compete with each other,” Smit says.
As a company, it was difficult to achieve consistency with so many solutions, which meant that customer service for its business owners was different everywhere. If Amway needed to standardize a requirement, it had to make the change multiple times over. “As a company, we could not innovate because we had to change 30-odd different solutions every time a business change was required,” says Smit. “So, the cost to market, the ease of adoption, all of those things were impacted negatively by the fact that we lacked a unifying solution.”
Smit knew that Amway needed to standardize its customer and business owner relationships no matter where in the world the business was operating.
Supporting business owners with streamlined technology
Smit evaluated the technology options for Amway and concluded, “Dynamics 365 was the best choice for our purposes.” Smit says that Dynamics 365 fit the company’s needs for functionality, ease of adoption, and a modern look and feel. He continues, “It’s not just about the features that are available, but it’s also the ability to tweak those features for our purposes and to deploy new instances as needed, scale as our volumes increase.” This makes not only managing customer relationships easier for Amway’s account managers, but also supports further expansion plans and the ability for new business owners to embrace the Amway model.
Having a singular solution for customer relationships allows Amway the greater consistency and visibility it needs to ensure that account managers are able to give independent business owners the best possible experience. “The business owners call Amway and they get a more consistent service process,” says de Velder. “They can see that, and a lot of it has to do because of the technology that supports the process now.”
In addition to making customer relationships easier for the company’s account managers, Amway is reducing unnecessary calls to the contact center by employing knowledge bases. “In the course of this year, we’re looking to open up Dynamics 365 in the form of what we call digital care,” explains Smit. “It’s self-help customer service, so our business owners can use a knowledge base to find Q&A and information; get materials, brochures, documents; and track where their orders are.”
For times when customers need to talk to Amway directly, the company uses Unified Service Desk in its call center in order to give service representatives a full view of customer data and interactions that are stored in Dynamics 365. “It ties the complexity of our business together,” says Michele de Velder, Manager – ABO/Customer Management at Amway. “Having everything in one location and being able to navigate seamlessly is a major bonus to the users of the system.”
By standardizing its customer relationship management, Amway has seen benefits across the business, from increases in end customer satisfaction to greater productivity. With an increased focus on self-service, Amway has been able to “reposition agents to be productive,” de Velder says. “We use the platform now to conduct proactive campaigns and contact to business owners.”
Finally, as the business grows, so does its use of Dynamics 365 and the company doesn’t have to worry about getting left behind or continuing to use outdated technology. “We’re moving into the new digital age, and we very much see Dynamics 365 moving with us, adding more channels, and being able to keep every interaction in one location, which is really important to us and to our business owners.”