September 7, 2021
Customer Experience Case Studies
We’ve talked a lot about the impact of CX, how it’s changing, and why you should care. We also know that it can be difficult to grasp exactly what that means for your business. How CX initiatives impact day-to-day work or how you’ll interact with customers and what that looks like in action are just a few examples.
This article highlights some customer experience case studies that make the benefits of investing in customer experience far more tangible. We’ll look at customer experience examples from our experience working with clients from various industries and the impact CX investments had on various parts of the business.
Trex: Bridging the Gap Between Analog & Digital
Trex, a home improvement company specializing in sustainable deck materials, reached out to 3Pillar Global to help them build a photorealistic deck design app to extend the customer experience.
The company wanted the app to address a major pain point: deck customers were largely on their own in terms of design. Either it was on them to try to design and build a deck on their own OR they’d need to hire a designer or rely on a builder to take care of the design AND build process.
By creating a photorealistic app, Trex saw an opportunity to eliminate the time and expense of outsourcing the design process. A: it allowed customers to reallocate that budget to better materials and B: it ensured that they could get the deck of their dreams—on the first try. In turn, that means more revenue, referrals, and recommendations for Trex.
They also knew that building a custom deck design app was an opportunity to offer something their competitors didn’t.
Rather than building an application from scratch, many Trex competitors simply white-label existing technology without considering customer feedback. Unfortunately, that approach creates a subpar UX experience. Users don’t walk away with an understanding of what their design will look like in real life. Customers are left wondering if the deck would match their home and if they choose the best material for the job.
3Pillar Global experts worked with the Trex team to build a custom app that could really bring DIY deck designs to life—beyond basic floor plan sketches or outdated 3D designs.
We started the process by performing deep user testing, which enabled us to design and build a solution that solved for real-world needs.
The final product was a user-friendly app that allows customers to upload an image of their backyard, input dimensions, and share preferences. From there, the app recommends specific materials and products to help them make their dream deck a reality.
At the end of the process, customers receive a blueprint, estimate, and a shopping list for everything they’ll need to complete the job.
Customers were really impressed with the app. They were impressed by the app’s baked-in photorealism—including the wood grain, colors, textures, and details that allowed them to really make their designs their own.
We also built an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) system directly into the app’s backend to support the Trex team on the job. As a result, the sales team now has access to more data and contacts. This data is helping them fill their pipeline with qualified leads and provide personalized support and solutions throughout the entire sales process.
CARFAX: Tapping New Markets
Sure, helping B2C customers find vehicle history information might be their bread and butter, but CARFAX is continuously looking for new ways to use its extensive database and deep customer knowledge to create new digital solutions.
Throughout the course of our decade-long partnership, we’ve helped CARFAX bring six new products to market—including CARFAX for dealers—a digital B2B solution helping used car dealers reach more potential customers.
Most recently, 3Pillar Global helped the company expand into the public sector with CARFAX for Police—a mobile/web app that streamlines the process of filing accident reports.
This customer experience case study is a great example of how you might repurpose an existing solution to meet the needs of a completely different market.
When 3Pillar Global developed CARFAX for Police, a big part of this process was learning more about the unique challenges officers face on the job and what they wanted from a potential solution. While the technology was there, we had to get to know a completely different user segment—with completely different priorities than car buyers and dealers.
3Pillar Global conducted user research (interviews, app usage patterns, etc.) with 8 officers. The team interviewed them to learn how to create something they’d actually use—and could be adapted to fit different county/state workflows, while at the same time, providing some flexibility for different forces to adapt the solution to their unique needs.
The 3Pillar Global solution helped CARFAX reduce report completion times by 50%, which enabled law enforcement organizations to capture and integrate more data across their systems.
This made it easier for officers to collect better information at the scene using their smartphones, also reducing the amount of work involved in filing a report.
While this particular application focuses on one specific part of policing, it does indicate the potential impact similar digitization efforts might have in other areas—shared data between jurisdictions, transparency between police forces and the community, better information, fewer opportunities for paperwork to “go missing” or get destroyed.
A major online brand specializing in custom blinds, shutters, and shades reached out to 3Pillar Global to modernize their e-commerce site.
At the time, the brand realized that their aging infrastructure could no longer support the incoming traffic they were seeing. At the same time, they were looking to expand into new geographical markets.
The solution covered two main areas. The first was modernizing the client’s system. We built them a new website, along with a fully-integrated point of sale system.
3Pillar Global worked with the client to redefine the front-end technical infrastructure and improve website performance. We ran a performance test report to capture the parameters of our response with the goal of being able to support 200+ users at the same time.
We revamped the website’s front-end design but kept backend APIs the same.
We also sought to improve the user experience to drive sales and boost satisfaction.
All hands were on deck for this engagement. From design to product and engineering teams, all worked together to define aspects of the buying process (an effort that can take several weeks, depending on how many touchpoints/segments you’re dealing with).
The new website allowed the client to penetrate international markets and increased online sales by 20%.
Fortunately, the client had a really clear voice and well-defined customer values—which made the process of modernizing and improving the shopper experience much easier on our end.
Kathryn Rosaaen, one of 3 Pillar Global’s experts who was involved with the project, says, “it was about understanding the customer journey from the beginning. Where do people start, and what devices and touchpoints do they use to interact with the brand along the path to purchase—the iPad browsing experience at home, the point of sale experience in the store, the desktop website, the point of sale experience out in the field, and so on.”
She also noted that while much of the process was about making sure the systems were integrated and all APIs were synced so that they could communicate with each other, the core focus was about making sure the entire experience—from design to editorial positioning—was unified, consistent, and easy-to-use at every touchpoint.
PBS: Modernizing Public Broadcasting
We’ve worked with PBS since 2009 when the public broadcasting giant sought out our expertise to begin transitioning from a traditional media company to a leader in digital media.
The organization recognized the need to find new channels and formats to educate and inform audiences of all ages and backgrounds—and unify its disconnected network of nearly 200 member stations.
For more than a decade, we’ve helped PBS optimize and expand their digital footprint as part of an ongoing collaboration.
3Pillar Global helped PBS build the technical infrastructure needed to serve content on multiple channels and in various formats. We developed original iPad apps and created APIs that enable content delivery on any channel and built custom content management systems (CMSs) that made it easy for member stations to deploy a consistent stream of online content. At the same time, PBS is in full control over when and where its content appears.
What’s more, we also helped the broadcasting organization develop a digital-first culture and the Agile development methodologies that enabled them to sustain and expand on those initial digitization efforts.
The 58M app downloads and hundreds of millions of videos streamed each month speak for themselves. However, we think the real takeaway from this customer experience case study is what can be achieved through long-term partnerships.
CX isn’t a one-and-done effort, it’s something that requires constant attention. With PBS, we’ve laid a strong digital foundation that allows them to anticipate and respond to viewers’ needs, rather than scrambling to play catch up like other legacy broadcasters.
In the end, these examples demonstrate that improving CX isn’t a one-size-fits-all effort. As you can see, each of the CX case studies we looked at focused on a very different set of goals.
The key takeaway is, initiatives should align around a specific business case and be driven by the customer.
To find out more about how 3Pillar Global experts can help you reach new markets, build breakthrough solutions, or completely revamp the online shopping experience, contact an expert today.
Special thanks to these members of FORCE, 3Pillar’s expert network, for their contributions to this article.
FORCE is 3Pillar Global’s Thought Leadership Team comprised of technologists and industry experts offering their knowledge on important trends and topics in digital product development.