Puget Sound Energy has served the region’s energy needs for more than 135 years. Like many utilities they needed to extend their expertise in customer service to the digital customer experience, PSE approached Connective DX to improve the self-service capabilities of their website and lower the volume of calls to their customer service center. They were looking to significantly improve the performance of their site without making any changes to the established design and development frameworks. Reviewing the existing experience we quickly realized that the main challenge to overcome was user perception. Customers didn’t seem to believe that the web experience would provide the same level of service as a live person. It was up to Connective DX to help build that trust in the Puget Sound Energy web presence.
It’s moments like these where having a holistic method of connecting the business goals with the needs of the customer can get you much further than ad-hoc A/B testing. We executed a rapid research program to identify how users interact with Puget Sound Energy, both on and offline. Organizations often have a lot of useful data at hand but struggle to see the full picture. By integrating user surveys, usability tests, CSAT, and A/B testing data we are able to understand the full context of the user experience and identify points of friction and opportunities.
Rather than focusing on reducing calls, we focused on helping them provide better customer experience.
Forming a hypothesis
- Up-leveling existing content
- Create new content to fill identified gaps
- Simplify and streamline contact options
Optimize the Customer Journey
Analysis of the web analytics data and call center data helped us determine where to focus optimization efforts, and where customers seem to have the most confusion. Customer input and interviews with the Customer Service team validated our data and provided context to create our hypotheses. Researchers and user experiences designers then used the research findings to create personas and scenarios the website would need to support. The optimization strategy was then aligned specific pinpoints that were discovered in the customer journey.
Optimize content and create context
Connective DX believed that if existing content were up-leveled to be more contextually relevant and placed on pages where users encounter the most questions, users would have fewer areas of confusion, and be more empowered to find answers on the website. To test this hypothesis the Connective DX content and copy team clarified the language and messaging and ensured the proper supporting materials are available at critical touch points.
User research showed that users that had questions around billing and were unable to find the content they needed. Basic content could address these questions without having to be specific to their accounts and could prevent their need to call. Answering common questions is a win-win that often gets missed with sites that aren’t built around the customer and content
These hypotheses were validated by a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis after the designs were pushed live. By keeping customer needs at the center of all our recommendations, Connective DX was able to exceed expectations and deliver results with real impact for the PSE business.
“THE WEB UI FOR MOVING SERVICE WAS VERY EASY TO USE. I WAS VERY IMPRESSED.”
“VERY EASY TO NAVIGATE AND BE SELF SUFFICIENT ON THE WEBSITE. I APPRECIATE THAT.”
“VERY STRAIGHTFORWARD & UNDERSTANDABLE!”
“THE SIMPLICITY, AND THE ABILITY TO DO IT ALL ONLINE!”
Making a big difference to your bottom line, as well as for customer satisfaction, doesn’t always require a huge investment in infrastructure, design, or revamping business processes. Sometimes having a clear, concise problem statement like lowering call-center volume is all you need to start down the path to increasing customer satisfaction while reducing the load on customer service.
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