Helping StickerGiant Improve Customer Service and Increase Revenue with User Research
April 19, 2018
StickerGiant is a custom label and sticker producer located in Longmont, Colorado. As a Forbes top 25 small business, the 39-person organization is 100% online, so their website is critical to their success and growth. And every single day, StickerGiant makes customer service a priority.
StickerGiant has been growing at a rapid rate with plans to scale even more over the next couple of years, but they want to make sure scaling doesn't negatively impact customer service. To scale effectively, they either need to hire more customer service representative (CSRs) or become more efficient with their current processes.
Over the course of 2017 we launched a number of major projects for StickerGiant which included a complete redesign, improving customer account functionality, and developing a customer loyalty program.
Nearing the end of 2017 we took a step back and decided to run some research projects in an effort to find the areas their customers and their customer service reps found challenging or where we knew there was room to improve the efficiency. We weren’t sure what to expect.
On-site customer service rep observation
Our goal was to not only understand the behind-the-scenes workflows of their customer service team but to also find out what challenges their customers were facing during the purchasing process. So, how did we uncover these types of issues? We sat with the people on the front line – their customer service reps.
What tasks they were doing
How they were doing them
How long it took to accomplish tasks
Tone of voice (frustration, calmness, etc.)
We asked questions for clarification
It was an eye opening experience. We managed to uncovered a number of inefficiencies in their internal workflows such as how a piece of artwork moved from customer to CSR to art department and then through the proofing process. We also had the opportunity to observe the frustrations their customers were experiencing with some parts of the ordering process.
The research didn’t stop there
After our two-day visit, we went back to our offices and mapped out of all the areas of concerns for both the CSRs and their customers. This process gave us a visual overview of what we were dealing with.
After analyzing the compiled data and mapping everything out we realized we only had a picture of the challenges that were being reported by customers. A big question remained – How many other issues are there in the order process that aren’t being reported?
As a result, we decided to become a StickerGiant customer.
Becoming StickerGiant customers
As an agency partner it’s easy to take the customer experience for granted. We talk about the product, we know the roadmap and we’re involved in the day-to-day updates. Quite frankly we understand the product because of our level of involvement. Unfortunately customers don’t have that same level of comfort and we need to rely on a user experience that facilitates that relationship.
As a result we decided to gain a first hand understanding of what a StickerGiant customer had to go through to purchase custom stickers. Our team went through the ordering process and purchased stickers that were ultimately delivered. We wanted to have the full experience which included everything from the purchasing process to email notifications, shipping updates and customer surveys.
While going through this process our team documented every step of their experience, which included:
How we accomplished each task
How we were feeling while completing the task
What we expected to happen at each step
The possible interaction with a customer service rep
This turned out to be an incredibly valuable exercise and highlighted a number of issues that aligned with the frustrations we observed while on site with the StickerGiant customer service team.
Armed with this knowledge we documented all of the challenges we observed and prioritized them into:
Fix within a month
Fix within the quarter
Our hope was that if we could streamline the internal processes and solve a few of the purchasing process issues customers were facing, we could save time and calls to the CSRs by as much as 10%. This would allow them to get more orders into the queue faster with less challenges leading to more revenue. This goal would also set StickerGiant up to process more orders through without hiring more customer service reps, which would also lead to increased revenue.
What we’ve learned
Our goal as partners is about delivering value. Our business is to help grow our customers businesses. Finishing a project and moving onto the next often feels good because there’s a sense of completion, but our customers deserve more. They deserve a partner that’s looking out for their best interest and ultimately looking for future ways to streamline processes and ways to provide growth opportunities.
We too often get busy with delivering solutions that we forget to take a step back and try and learn how users are actually interacting with the tools we’ve put in place. It’s important to remember that our customers aren’t just the end user, sometimes they’re the internal teams like the CSRs at StickerGiant.
Moving forward we’re planning on doing more of these types of on-site/in-person research studies. They’ve proven to be an invaluable way to uncover the real truths with the products we’re delivering. And our customers deserve it.
After design school, Mark went on to lead a number of design teams and instructed in the class rooms of his alma mater. He enjoys taking complex problems and aligning user goals with stakeholder business objectives. You can find Mark speaking at events across the country advocating for the user and design thinking methodologies.