Degree 53, a digital services agency, has developed a new customer account system in conjunction with the Manchester-based furniture retailer, Sofology. The new online My Account system, which was launched in April 2016, enables customers to track orders, view outstanding balances, make payments and receive notifications. The system was designed to improve Sofology’s customer experience, making it a smoother and easier service, as well as providing useful and timely information about purchases and products. It has already shown nearly a 20% increase in online bookings in its first month of operation.
Degree 53 redesigned Sofology’s My Account system by implementing an easy-to-use content management system, Umbraco, which allows the marketing team to provide updates about products as an after-sales service. The information is displayed using ‘content cards’, a familiar design seen on most social platforms. The system integrates with an e-commerce system to enable online payments and a messaging service technology for key order updates, such as production and delivery status. Customers can easily access it by registering on the Sofology website and begin using it in no time.
Sofology’s previous account system was not as fluid as they would have liked it to be. This did not provide the best experience for the customers. Upon purchasing a product, they would contact Sofology’s customer services team to retrieve the login details. The company realised that calls relating to delivery enquiries were growing. This meant that some customers were waiting unnecessarily on the phone. Sofology wanted to make this process more accessible as they understood the majority of customers preferred to book their delivery online. The retailer approached Degree 53 to provide an easier solution to address these challenges.
The digital agency began working on the project in October 2015 by inviting the Sofology team to a Product Design Sprint – a week-long group activity, pioneered by Google – to determine the objectives and functionality of the desired solution. This allowed both teams to explore various options and test them to find the best approaches and agree on the necessary steps to achieve set goals. After this, the developers implemented the Umbraco content management system into Sofology’s back-end functionality to display the required customer information on their website. In addition, Degree 53 worked closely with Sofology’s marketing team to create the new system according to their new brand guidelines.
Jon Cleaver, Chief Technology Officer at Sofology comments: “We are delighted with the results our new My Account system is delivering. We’ve already seen significant improvements in our customer experience, with increased online bookings from 45% to 64%. This has taken the workload off the customer services team, allowing them to focus on other enquiries. Most importantly, this solution has provided a smoother self-service for our customers who receive regular updates about their purchases, as well as allowing us to send messages to them. We’ve received positive feedback so far and are confident that we’ll continue building on this success going forward."
He adds: “We are very impressed with how quickly Degree 53 managed to implement this solution. From the Product Design Sprint to working closely with our team to develop and integrate all our systems with the new My Account solution, it’s been a great experience. Their agile process allowed us to make changes while they were working on it, which saved us time and cost.”
Andrew Daniels, Managing Director at Degree 53 says: “Retail is a new and important sector for Degree 53, and I’m glad we’ve had an opportunity to work with Sofology to help them redefine their after-sales customer journey. Customer experience is ingrained in many business processes, especially in retail. It is therefore crucial to make it enjoyable and user-friendly at every stage. The Sofology My Account system does exactly that and has made a seemingly complex procedure into a quick and easy task, which saves time for both customers, as well as the Sofology team. We are delighted to have helped to turn around Sofology’s customer service approach and we look forward to working with them and other retail businesses in the future.”