Personalization, innovation and agility with cloud technology

Fonterra is unleashing the full power of digital service with chat, co-browsing, screen sharing, Salesforce integration and workforce engagement. Results include a 29% decrease in inbound calls, 21% reduction in outsourced support and 10% improvement in agent adherence, enabling six employees to move to higher-value roles.

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29% decrease

in inbound calls supported by new platform developments

More precise matching

of agent schedules to call volume

21.8% reduction

in overflow calls to third-party provider

10% increase

in agent adherence in just four months

6 full-time

employees moved to higher-value roles

Enabled remote working

capabilities to ensure business continuity

Genesys Cloud delivers the omnichannel experience today’s customers expect, including the ability to remain innovative, and provides the opportunity for farmers and customers to engage in multiple ways beyond voice communication.

Melanie Tuck

Manager, Farm Source Service Center


For many years, New Zealand’s Fonterra Cooperative Group ran its farmer- and customer-facing service centers on a collection of non-integrated, on-premises contact center solutions. When the cooperative sized up digital channels to transform its customer experience and operating efficiency, the chasm between traditional technology and possibilities in the cloud drove its selection of the Genesys Cloud™ platform, using implementation partner Pyrios.

Now, with the Genesys Cloud platform at the heart of its contact center operations, a critical piece in the dairy co-operative’s overall customer experience has jumped light years ahead.

Divergent technology obscures single view of customer

Fonterra produces 30% of globally traded dairy products yet runs a lean contact center operation — around 70 seats across four contact centers. The biggest center, known as Farm Source, supports the co-operative’s nearly 10,000 New Zealand farms.

During peak milk season, Farm Source can manage up to 1,100 calls a day. And it handles about 145,000 inbound calls and 70,000 outbound calls throughout the regular season. Other call centers support Australian Fonterra farmers — brands that include Anchor and Mainland — as well as a credit control team.

However, with each contact center operating independently, and the prospect of integration unlikely, Fonterra had to look past its on-premises platform to improve both customer and end-user experience. Moving to the cloud was the first step.

Upgrade decision leads to cloud

Fonterra put five market-leading providers through their paces. It then selected the Genesys Cloud platform and implementation partner Pyrios to spearhead the transformation of its enterprise service management capabilities.

“Genesys Cloud delivers the omnichannel experience today’s customers expect, including the ability to remain innovative, and provides the opportunity for farmers and customers to engage in multiple ways beyond voice communication,” said Melanie Tuck, Farm Source Service Center Manager at Fonterra.

With the new platform, the number of inbound calls was reduced by 29%, enabling the Farm Source Service Center to move six employees to higher-value roles. Combined with the broad benefits the cloud services provide, including simple licensing, continuous upgrades and seamless feature enhancements, the Fonterra service centers can flex and adapt call center technology with minimal development and support costs. Recent service additions include callbacks to suit farmer schedules, webchat, screen shares and co-browsing.

Smarter resourcing improves agent productivity

Fonterra Service Center managers now work more proactively to support resourcing requirements — call flow changes, agent onboarding and queue management — driving efficiencies across the service center. Specifically, managers use agent and call arrival data to make smarter rostering and scheduling decisions, confidently redeploying contact center staff to other parts of the business as call volumes ebb and flow.

Managing this task is also easier with workforce management. Rostering that once took two weeks can now be completed in just two hours a month.

On the training front, more granular information ensures Fonterra team leaders identify struggling new hires for additional training. Agents benefit from more information and control, trading shifts and making leave requests online. The net effect has boosted agent adherence by 10% and reduced call overflow to a third-party provider by 21.8% over the past year.

Agents also noted that improved work-life balance has made them happier in their jobs, easing the load on Fonterra workforce analysts. Building on these successes, the service center has introduced a work-from-home policy to encourage more flexible working arrangements to further improve work-life balance.

With the Genesys Cloud platform managing every customer service center touchpoint, the company can integrate with Salesforce to fulfill its vision for a single view of the customer. This also gives Fonterra customers a seamless, consistent experience and personalizes each call using the Genesys CTI and screen pops.

Cloud agility beefs up business continuity

Having a cloud-based contact center also enables Fonterra to handle unforeseen events with ease. This was proven when a flood occurred in the South Island of New Zealand.

When rain bucketed down and calls from both farmers and internal stakeholders spiked, Fonterra was able to separate calls that originated in the South Island and handle them in a single, high-priority queue managed by its most experienced agents. Additional self-service options diverted inbound calls to an after-hours provider, freeing up agents to assist farmers with urgent needs.

“The team responded to this event in the moment, prioritizing calls with farmers most affected while ensuring services to other farmers and customers were maintained,” said Tuck.

More recently, when the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, Fonterra shifted its entire service center to virtual at-home working. At the same time, it quickly launched a new online sales channel to handle sales orders and inquiries to support its retail stores network, which had refocused on product distribution.

The move to at-home working has also helped to retain high-performing agents who otherwise would have left the business. Keeping these agents in the fold ensures Fonterra is covered for peak calls throughout the milk season.

“Having to move to remote working proved how agile the team could be and provided a very high-speed proof of concept in relation to the technology,” concluded Tuck.

At a glance

Customer: Fonterra

Industry: Dairy processing and nutrition

Location: New Zealand and global

Company size: Over 24,000 employees


  • Establish a scalable contact center platform, including Salesforce integration
  • Empower managers with tools and information
  • Set the stage for a single view of the customer