Prior to the acquisition of one of their largest competitors, our client (Rohrer – a Midwest packaging company) took client orders over the phone. The status of those orders was visible through a web-based portal attached to their website, but little other functionality within the customer portal was available.
Post-acquisition, our client’s customer base increased by 40%. This sudden influx of customers increased the demand and workload of an understaffed call center. They acted quickly, adding more employees to help manage order handling, but realized that a better process would be needed to ensure a high degree of customer retention and satisfaction.
“The addition of our competitor’s clients was exciting, but we knew that retaining them over time would require improving our order management process,” said their Vice President of Customer Experience.
Hiring new customer service representatives helped alleviate congestion with order taking, but lacked quality control, and offered little insight throughout the fulfillment process. Customers were requesting more self-service features within the manufacturer’s web-based portal. Tasked with other acquisition-related activities, however, their internal IT resources were limited.
The manufacturer reached out to us, hoping we would be able to help. We answered the call and eagerly accepted the challenge of creating a new customer portal that would be built for the current needs; yet be designed with long term strategy and support in mind.
“This is what Metisentry was built for,” said Scott Wolf, Metisentry’s Chief Operating Officer. “We build customer facing applications rapidly, with excellent user experience and a deep understanding of what the business needs are”.
Our design team dove in, conducting a discovery meeting to help not only understand the software, but also the business process behind it. The result of the discovery yielded a thorough understanding of the business requirements, which, in turn, allowed for an improved design recommendation.
From there, we conducted various user experience design sessions, which uncovered customer needs by highlighting pain points which needed to be solved. This information was transferred into user flow diagrams and wireframe designs, allowing the client the ability to envision the application ahead of production. An agile development approach was used to yield monthly demonstrations and gather frequent feedback; course correcting as necessary.
Once finalized, the design was built.
Value and Results
The redesigned portal developed by Metisentry now contains features for new quote requests, order entry, order status, and release of current inventory. In the future, features for enhanced customer communication, marketing capabilities, and more order entry features are on the development roadmap.
“Our partnership with Metisentry has enabled us to serve more customers with fewer customer service representatives,” explained the Customer Experience VP.
The more robust online capabilities enabled the manufacturing company to service the additional 40% of new customers with the same number of customer servie representatives which had been in place prior to the acquisition. Had they not upgraded the portal, they would have had to add 12 new customers service reps at a rough cost of $40k per rep, thus saving the company almost $500k in labor expense.
Metisentry will maintain, monitor and supports the new customer portal, allowing the company to avoid additional IT support staff as well, thus changing their traditional IT investment model from a capital expenditure to a variable model.