The Challenge

Explore and determine what experiences to provide customers to help them better understand the performance of their accounts to increase retention and customer satisfaction.

Initial Approach and User Research

Uncovering the customer experience and sharing it with others.



Documented Current State

Documented Current State

  • Created sitemaps for all Yodle product offerings
  • Captured screen shots for all product properties
  • Created process flows for key tasks (rating a call, adjusting a budget, updating payment methods, and more)
  • Collected email artifacts sent to customers
Observe Customers and Internal Teams

Observe Customers and Internal Teams

  • Interviewed transactional and consultative customer service representatives
  • Shadowed customer service calls
  • Analyzed sales decks
  • Listened to sales calls for key themes and highlights
Researched Parallel Experiences

Researched Parallel Experiences

  • Analyzed experiences in other industries (telecom, marketing services, financial services) around customer account performance
  • Identified experience models and features that may be relevant to Yodle
Reseach Findings

Key Issues

No Standard Experience

The customer experience depended on varying communication methods determined by each individual representative that resulted in confusion and lack of accountability.

A Confusing Dashboard

The existing dashboard overloaded customers with irrelevant details and spoke to customers in internal company language instead of their own vernacular.

Customers Are Busy

Clients were expected to interrupt their daily rouyine to engage with the dashboard to perform repetitive tasks such as rate calls and monitor performance. This is an unrealistic and poor customer experience to demand from already busy small business owners.

Customers Do Not Understand the Product

Customers were shown demos of well established, high-performing accounts that focused only on the lead generation features of the product. This confused customers, leading them to compare their performance against the demo without considering their account’s age and increasing effectiveness over time. This lead to both transactional and consultative customer service representatives spending valuable time resetting expectations with clients, resulting in dissatisfied customers and higher churn rates.

Customers Found It Difficult to Contact Yodle

Customer support was only provided from 9:00am - 6:00pm ET, when customers were busy with their own businesses, making it difficult to receive help or account services. The contact information was emailed to customers and stored in an unobvious location in their already confusing dashboard. In addition, many Yodle customers were not tech savvy, resulting in increased technical hurdles they needed to overcome when help was needed.

Irrelevant Performance Data

The dashboards did not set context or provide comparisons that customers could easily comprehend – only irrelevant and complicated data was displayed with no prioritization. As such, there was an over reliance on customer services to guide customers through the dashboards. There were no hints or prompts for help, therefore the only way customers received help was if they called and asked.

Design Process

Define the Problem and Create a Vision for the Future

Define the Problem and Create a Vision of the Future

Establish Goals

Using findings from research, we reframed the original assignment of simply creating a dashboard into answering the simple question: "How do I [the customer] know if my marketing services are performing for me?"

Design, Prototype, and Test Before Implementing

Design, Prototype, and Test

Working closely with users and stakeholders, we validated and evolved the design from sketches to high-fidelity wireframes and finally into a prototype. During user testing, we identified and refined touch points in each design that instilled trust and confidence in the user that lead to increased customer satisfaction.

Releasing the Product

Ensuring an Iterative Rollout

Design iteration did not stop at the first release. The rollout of the Yodle Max Dashboard began with an alpha release with one dedicated customer service team supporting the new dashboard for two-hundred clients. During this phase the team worked closely with customer service representatives and engineers to identify any outstanding pain points and incorporate user feedback. We were able to respond to user and business needs by adapting the design quickly to ensure success. Throughout the process we helped migrate 30,000 existing customers onto the new unified system.

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Delivering a Great Solution

Principles of Success

A Product that Tells a Simple Story

To better communicate the value of Yodle products, we followed the natural progression of the product story. To strengthen the narrative, we made sure to maintain a consistent experience throughout all sales materials, outbound communications, and the redesigned dashboard.

Engage Users at the Right Time

For non-technical users, we lowered the barriers to customer engagement during regular use by no longer requiring novice users to log in to the product in order to engage in simple tasks. Routine outbound communications are now sent to customers with key performance and billing information. To accommodate power users, we provided more advanced tools for detailed performance analysis and account management tasks.

Show Customers How They Are Doing

Yodle products are used by over 250 different industry segments with users of varying backgrounds and trade skills. As such, we provided simple information that helps any customer understand their account performance by including segment-specific benchmark data to set context. This helps set realistic expectations while avoiding excessive detail and meaningless information.

Lasting Effects of Design Culture

Positive Benefits of a Unified Product Experience

Proving the Value of Consistency

The solution unified the message communicated in every customer touchpoint throughout the entire company. The sales process, online interfaces, automated emails, service emails, service calls, and marketing communications were all telling the same story.

Increasing Engagement and Retention

After nine months from rollout, user engagement increased significantly. Average monthly logins increased by 78%. Traffic from emails increased by 4.1%. The email open rate for the monthly performance email increased 25.9% and the click through rate increased by 9.2%. Additionally, the project helped increase 180-day retention from 35% to 65% from December 2012 to October 2014.

Influencing Organizational Culture

After introducing human-centered design methods into the product development process, there was a noticeable change in company culture. Conversations included customer-oriented dialogue, and leadership dedicated more resources to customer experience projects. By 2014, we quadrupled the size of our customer-facing product development and user experience teams.

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An Ever Evolving Product

Continuously Delivering Features Customers Need

The iteration did not stop after the first release. The Yodle Max Dashboard evolved from an antiquated analytics dashboard into the robust marketing automation platform Marketing Essentials™. The system puts small business owners in control of search engine placement, a website that satisfies consumer and business content needs, an automated social presence, customer reviews, special offer distribution, email marketing plans and more—plus complete setup and ongoing support.


Marketing Essentials™ Updated Visual Design - Shout out to LB
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