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Alva built a company-wide window into customer relationships using Salesforce


Alva is a company that provides water and energy services to consumer and business customers in the Jyväskylä and Viitasaari regions. After decades of local operations, the company has embarked on expanding its activities to a national and partially international level.

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Alva, formerly Jyväskylän Energia, has an ambitious vision to become a visionary pioneer in its field, offering customers greener and more sustainable technology options while significantly reducing heat and water losses.

Having operated locally for a long time, Alva aims to become a national player recognized for customer-centricity, transparency, and openness. Jukka Pennanen, the company's Customer Relationship Manager, emphasizes that achieving the vision is not possible through solitary efforts.

"We want to act proactively towards customers and, at the same time, influence the direction in which the entire industry is developing. This kind of mindset is still somewhat rare in our industry," says Pennanen.

"We want to act proactively towards customers and, at the same time, influence the direction in which the entire industry is developing."

Building a new way of operating hasn't happened with the snap of fingers but has required systematic work from the company, such as breaking down silos and opening the customer view for the entire group. All the pieces have had to fall into place. Also, the tools. Alva chose Salesforce as its unified platform due to its nearly limitless utilization possibilities.

A 360-degree view of customer relationships

Alva is in the midst of change, where, in addition to the company's own operations, the entire industry is in constant upheaval. The increasing freedom of choice for customers and technological development create fierce competition, where continuous development is an absolute necessity for companies in the industry.

Pennanen is convinced that significant changes can be achieved when things are done together. For Alva, this means not only collaboration with customers but also close cooperation between the company's different functions.

"We needed a unified view of customer relationships. Salesforce enables serving all the organization's different functions in the same environment, so it doesn't remain just a tool for sales, for example."

"We needed a unified window into customer relationships. Salesforce enables serving all the organization's different functions in the same environment, so it doesn't remain just a tool for sales, for example. When all functions, from sales to customer service, have the same access to customer information, a window into customer relationships is created throughout the entire group. With this unified view, our collective understanding of customers increases, and we can serve our customers even better," describes Pennanen.

According to Pennanen, the increased transparency has already helped Alva develop its operations in a proactive direction.

One concrete example of this development that Pennanen mentions is the workshops they organize increasingly together with business customers. In these workshops, issues can be discussed more from the customer's daily perspective, taking a multidisciplinary approach, also considering environmental impact and resource efficiency.

Traditional roles are becoming blurred

Pennanen mentions that the change in operating methods has practically meant tthat traditional roles are becoming blurred. For example, defining the role of a salesperson is now more challenging when everyone has access to the same customer data.

"Our activity towards customers has clearly increased. It's not always a salesperson meeting the customer; customer meetings involve a variety of experts from our side. With a team-centric approach, we can bring all our functions closer to the customer. In our industry, we are talking about a significant change," says Pennanen.

Changing the company's operating methods wouldn't have been possible without transparency enabled by the organization-wide platform.

"We already use Salesforce extensively, but in the future, we want to expand the platform's usage even further. In the future, we won't find many functions that don't have Salesforce in daily use," Pennanen continues.

Pennanen acknowledges that there was initial shock following the changes, but it quickly turned into enthusiasm. As employees noticed the breakdown of silos and increased collaboration, they became more excited about the new operating model. Feedback from customers has also been encouraging.

"Over this past year, we've already launched about half a dozen new pilot projects with customers. We've gained many new ideas for productizing new services. At the same time, we've received particularly positive feedback for being more present in the customer's everyday life. I'm confident that it will yield business results over time," says Pennanen.

Active engagement as the cornerstone of partnership

Alva chose twoday as their partner, impressed by their references and business expertise. Pennanen appreciates twoday's approach of starting from the customer's needs and expresses great satisfaction with the collaboration.

In my opinion, active engagement is crucial in partnerships. It ensures the success of the project. I have been able to exchange ideas constantly with the twoday team, even if it wasn't explicitly stated in the contract. Things have progressed according to the schedule, and unexpected situations have always been handled very promptly. Smoothness is the word I would use to describe our collaboration, Pennanen summarizes.

Pennanen wants to remind that even though the changes have been visible, the journey has just started.