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UX Research: Target audience studies and usability testing to unify customer touchpoints and guide marketing, customer acquisition, and sales process transformation.

Challenge

Constellation Energy Group, a subsidiary of Exelon, is a leading competitive energy company providing electricity, natural gas, renewable energy, and energy management products and services to consumers and business clients across the United States.

In 2011, the company was a patchwork of operating companies and brands that needed a more consistent and unified face in the marketplace. Constellation Energy’s sales and marketing team wanted a consultancy with experience and capabilities in user research, usability testing, and a collaborative and user-centered experience approach to design. The goals were to:

  • Study the company’s target audiences to make sure their products and services and marketing were rightly aligned.
  • Help evaluate and redesign processes and tools to support a sales organization that was being reorganized to function in more customer-centric ways.

Approach

Experience by Design (EBD) kicked the project off with a series of informal work sessions with the project sponsor team and stakeholders to discuss available resources, timelines, and other topics relevant to the project including: the competitive energy industry, target audiences and markets, and Constellation’s products, services, and capabilities. We used the findings and takeaways from these meetings to:

  • Build an inventory to identify and track the in-scope inputs, websites, and tools we needed to review, as well as list the team leaders and SMEs that we wanted to consult and work with.
  • Create and socialize a plan and timelines for discovery, UX research, and information architecture, as well as design and deliverables.

Once our plan was approved, we kicked off multiple streams of work. This included secondary UX research to understand the target audience, and meetings and work sessions with team leaders and SMEs to discuss Constellation’s sales processes, tools, and the company’s digital marketing ecosystem. Using the learnings and inputs from these efforts, we created initial sketches of Constellation’s target audience and a diagram modeling the customer engagement lifecycle. This helped us guide discussion, refine and validate our findings, and set a foundation for further UX research.

Next, we started to flesh out and better understand each of Constellation’s target audience segments by creating key journey flows and audience personas identifying informational and functional needs, key triggers, and other characteristics to help inform design direction and measures of success.

Additionally, we initiated a series of expert reviews of Constellation’s websites, sales tools, drafted test plans, and procedures for in-person and remote moderated usability testing with representative users.

We also built a mobile usability test lab to conduct onsite and remote usability tests at different Constellation Energy sales offices. These tests were used to conduct interviews and observational studies. We provided progress updates and key takeaways to the project team at weekly meetings. We also presented more formal findings and recommendations to project sponsors and stakeholders at the completion of each study, or as needed.

Result

Constellation’s marketing and sales team received the help they needed to inform, guide, and track the progress and the success of changes to their operations with a clearer understanding of their internal users and external target audiences, the team received the insights and guidance they need to deliver:

  • Marketing communications, services, and support experiences better aligned to the needs of their customers
  • Tools better suited to the needs of their sales people that improve productivity and performance.

List of Services

  • UX Strategy
  • UX Team Management + Tasking
  • UX Research (One-on-one Interviews, Contextual Inquiries)
  • Collaborative Workshops  
  • Target Audience Profile + Personas
  • Formative Usability Testing + Expert Reviews

Explore Our Work

Explore Our Work

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