Resumes are easy to fill with buzz words. Case studies show real results in real-world situations. So, I’ve pulled together THREE CASE STUDIES to help provide some genuine examples that put substance behind the otherwise potential clichés on my resume. You can read about them or watch the videos to get even more insight into these fun and impactful projects!
I met Dwight in 2016. At the time, they were in the process of moving their website from a platform that had been set up by a family friend, to Shopify. The project had been stalled at the 10-yard line for months. I was contracted to help get the website update over the goal line. I managed the project remotely from Seattle and was able to get the new website launched in a matter of weeks, just in time for their holiday sales rush.
The website Dwight and Marilee crafted was a huge step forward and performed really well. However, as I launched it, I saw a number of areas that I thought could be updated to help improve the conversion rates and AOV. At the time, however, the objective was to get it launched and any proposed changes had to be tabled.
One year later, I had the opportunity to lead a re-design project.
The website presented a clear path to our products which was good for returning customers but there were little to no value propositions or education to help new visitors understand why they should try our products.
For a customer to see and understand the benefits of the different products, they had to click in and out of every single product of interest. Consequently, the journey from the home page to review all 15 scents before making a purchase required more than 31 clicks! It was a long and arduous customer UX.
We led so strongly with the product that the story, the ethos, the personality of our brand was lost, creating a product pitch that was devoid of a deeper connection to our prospective customers.
We had limited resources and had to work through the redesign project. Instead of the $100,00 - $500,000 website design budgets I had previously led for Microsoft, as a young growing company, we only had a fraction of that!
I collaborated with customer service, our social media manager, our web designer, and a UX expert to identify a list of customer pain points.
I evaluated the quantitative and qualitative data from my teammates and developed a project brief that outlined the goals, requirements, and potential roadblocks for the project.
I established a small and nimble team that worked through the redesign process.
We had a project brief meeting.
The web developer created a series of wireframes based on the extensive list of goals, requirements and potential roadblocks.
We vetted the wireframes with a select audience to get help shaping the design from a UX perspective.
The web designer developed mockups for the home page, product collection page, and product page.
Our team provided feedback which led to the second round of designs that were then vetted with a select audience to get feedback from a UX perspective.
We finalized the design templates.
Our web developer then went into production at which point he and I worked closely together addressing the various challenges that inevitably arise when you take a template and implement it across a host of different usage scenarios.
On launch day, the developer and I worked closely together with our customer service representative to identify and quickly fix any bugs leading to a seamless transition from the old site to the new one.
We reduced the number of clicks to go from the home page, to review the benefits of each soap product, to purchase from over 31 clicks down to 2!
The average conversation rate rose 1.34 percentage points!
The average order value rose by $1.50!
The updated web design drove an incremental $225,000 in revenue within the first 6 months of the launch!
By running a small, well organized, strategy focussed, and nimble team the ROI was over 800% within the first six months of the launch!
Bend Soap Company had developed some great gift baskets over the years. They offered compelling selections of our products, packaged in various crafty gift baskets. However, they were sold at a deep discount and they shipped at a very costly shipping rate due to the size of the gift baskets and the arrangement of the products. There was a real opportunity to improve profitability while also improving the customer shopping experience.
The size of the gift baskets and the way the products were arranged for display forced us into larger USPS boxes, driving high shipping costs.
The gift baskets were created over time for various occasions and did not have a clear progression of pricing or products making it challenging for customers to find the right gift basket.
I pulled product data and collaborated with the customer service reps to identify a simple and logical progression of gift arrangements wherein each gift set included the options in the previous gift set and added on one or more products.
I collaborated with the shipping team to identify the most cost-effective method of shipping the gift sets. This helped identify things that would drive up shipping cost so we could evaluate if the value of those items to the customer was worth the added cost. Where the cost/value was not justifiable, we cut the items from the gift set.
I crafted a customer survey to assess the customer’s opinion regarding gift sets to evaluate if making a switch from the various gift baskets to a more crafty and cost-effective gift box would be perceived as a positive change.
I worked with Caleb Zollinger from WCP to create a custom packaging solution that would simplify our shipping process and dramatically cut our shipping rates.
Reduced the average shipping rate between $2.00 - $4.00 per shipment depending on whether it was a small or large gift box.
Reduced the packaging cost by an average of over $5.00.
The results listed above as well as an updated pricing strategy let to an increase in profit which was on average about $10.00 per gift set.
Improved packaging efficiency by reducing the shipping variations from many to two. The new boxes were also more efficient to arrange. Together, those improvements empowered the team to get more packages out per hour resulting in higher profitability.
Customers loved the new, recyclable, custom branded boxes and appreciated still having the option to get a gift basket if they wanted it!
Reduced Customer Service Issues
Our team is charged with the goal to surprise and delight our customers. I agree with Leonardo and Micah, in their book “Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit” that when you “resolve a service problem effectively your customer is more likely to become loyal than if she’d never run into a problem in the first place.” Despite that, our aim is to have as few customer service issues as possible!
In their sixth year of business, Bend Soap Company exploded! The growth was outpacing the systems that were in place leading to a high error rate and a significant number of customer service issues. This, in turn, created a large time demand on the small and already stretched team as they tried to coordinate with customers to resolve the issues.
I established regular communication between the customer service representatives, key production team members, and key shipping team members to identify the most common customer service issues.
I spent time working with the production team and the shipping team to get a better understanding of their processes and systems to help identify areas that could be improved.
I coordinated internal and external resources to identify solutions to the most common problems and had those solutions implemented.
As solutions were implemented, I worked closely with the production and shipping teams to help work out bugs and to assist in training until teams were fully empowered to deliver excellence on a consistent basis.
Customer service issues as a whole have dropped from over 5% of sales to on average only 0.5% of sales.
The production team has had a significant reduction in the number of batches logged in the issue log.
The shipping team has dropped the shipping errors to less than 0.05% of sales!
Our customer service requirement has dropped from approximately 1.5 full-time employees to about 25% of an FTE which has created much-needed capacity for our customer service representative to help with a host of other initiatives allowing us to move the business forward.