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Clark Public Utilities

Website Redesign

As a public utility company, Clark Public Utilities (The Utility) places customer service above all other goals. To further enhance their customer service experience, The Utility partnered with Subtext to recreate their website to be responsive, simple to use, and provide The Utility’s customers with the same great customer service they expect offline.

Focusing on their customers’ website goals, Subtext created a new website that helps residential and business customers quickly accomplish what they came to the site to do–view and report outage on their mobile device, pay bills, and start and stop services.

Clark Public Utilities

Project at a glance

  1. 01.A phased approach was used to determine the appropriate website budget and project plan

  2. 02.Website addressed multiple user personas across internal teams and customers, on both desktop and mobile

  3. 03.Key user functionality, such as viewing and reporting outages, were designed to improve customer experience and reduce load on internal team

  4. 04.A WordPress content management system was used for ease of content entry, as well as content approval process for future website updates

Outcomes

  1. 7% decrease in overall website bounce rate, 19% decrease on the homepage
  2. New Responsive Consumer Site
  3. 4% decrease in website exits

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Investing in the customer experience, both online and off

Customer service has always been a core value for The Utility, and this value is reflected in the accolades the utility industry has consistently recognized them with. Astonishingly, The Utility has ranked highest in customer satisfaction in their class according to J.D. Power since the first year they were eligible.

However in 2015, The Utility recognized that their current website experience was not living up to their customer experience standards. There were significant issues in finding information by both their customers as well as their internal teams that relied on the website as part of their job duties.

The Subtext team was brought in to help develop the website strategy, design and implement a new user experience to address the multiple user needs the website.

Determining the website strategy and budget

The Utility’s current website was a classic case of too many hands in the pot. With no posting guidelines or strategy, content was added to the site without forethought on user experience or how how it fit into the larger site architecture. Their website had became an overwhelming 400+ pages of repetitive, disorganized information that lacked a singular brand voice.

Subtext proposed an initial discovery and website strategy engagement to ensure all consumer and organizational goals were achieved and the most appropriate plan and budget for the website design and build.

Over a few months, Subtext and The Utility collaborated throughout multiple workshops to understand the website’s purpose, goals, objectives, benchmarks, functions, brand, audience, and key messaging. Subtext also met individually with different internal department teams to understand the landscape of competing internal and external website needs. Together, we clarified user personas, user flows and key conversion points, this guided the refinement of information architecture and content strategy. From there, we developed a roadmap for the full website redesign that was within The Utility’s budget.

"We continue to be so very impressed with the work Subtext does, both from a design and development standpoint as well as management of the project and client relations. The utility is a big organization and our projects are beastly, I appreciate the willingness to dive into the pit with us and help create something that's not only improved, but very impressive."

Erica Erland, Corporate Communications Manager at Clark Public Utilities

Wireframes for stakeholder alignment

As will most redesigns, Subtext developed wireframes to inform content strategy and page layout as part of the process. This project in particular relied heavily on high-fidelity wireframes prior to moving into design, as a vehicle for ensuring alignment and approval across multiple internal departments and stakeholders.

WordPress for content management

WordPress was selected as the content management system for The Utility, based on its ease of use in creating and editing pages without the support of a developer. The Page Builder solution allowed stakeholders to update the website based on 20+ different content blocks, providing the freedom to make each page unique and tailored to the content that was required now and in the future.

Quality control via OasisWorkflow

The lack of a content management and approval process was a major contributor to the old website’s inconsistent customer-friendly voice and disparate content. Working with The Utility’s web team, we implemented the OasisWorkflow WordPress plug-in to create process for review and approval of new content.

User-friendly, secure web forms

A key component of this project was transitioning a large amount of customer request forms that currently resided in a PDF format to secure, online forms. Many of these PDFs had multiple steps, requested private information such as social security numbers (SSN), and some needed to be integrated into the utility’s internal systems. Subtext worked collaboratively with their internal teams to work through conditional logic on the forms, set up extra security measures (SSL) to collect sensitive, personal information  such as SSNs, and built custom code to allow data to pass into their internal servers.

clark-iphones

Report and view outages via an online outage map

The outage map is one of the most critical and used functions of The Utility’s website. During outages, having a well-designed user experience can have a significant impact on mitigating the number of calls to the internal customer service team. Subtext redesigned the desktop and mobile experience for the customer so it became easier to find information about outages in their area, and report any outages that they experience. Subtext also worked closely with The Utility’s internal information systems team to provide customers with the  most relevant and useful outage data points.