September 16, 2021
WaveDirect provides high speed internet and TV service to thousands of customers in the greater Ontario, Canada region. WaveDirect has been growing steadily for the past 17 years primarily through word of mouth from homeowners and businesses. This tight relationship with its customer base meant WaveDirect needed to provide frequent and convenient ways to communicate with its customer base, a challenge given the company’s legacy tech stack. So, they brought in Kevin Gervais and his team from Touchless to tackle the issue with data interface design.
To gain even more insight into their “data interface design” strategy, watch Kevin explain the team’s approach in this technical session.
The communication demands posed by WaveDirect’s customers highlighted an even bigger problem: they didn’t have clear insight into the full lifecycle of the customer or which marketing efforts were truly successful in engaging and retaining long-term customers. Ultimately, their lack of insight was a data problem.
Fractured data from legacy systems
Following a root cause analysis, it was determined that the core systems they relied on for customer data were limiting the organization because of its inflexibility. To compound matters, the system had severe restrictions on what data elements it could even store, which naturally led staff to create workarounds resulting in extraneous and duplicated fields for key information like phone numbers, emails and even customer names. These workarounds and schema rigidity resulted in over 50% of customer records being dirty or incorrect.
The legacy system and fractured data were also frustrating the Marketing and Customer Onboarding teams. Marketing lacked clear insight as to what campaigns were working to generate qualified leads, and those customers that did enter the onboarding flow typically had to endure lengthy onboarding cycles because of all of the various fields and tools needed to fully document the process.
If you build it, data will come…
Contrary to popular wisdom, the solution did not start with replacing the legacy system with the latest cloud-based option. It started with a detailed map of what data each department needed in order to be successful. While it was also tempting to just overhaul the user interface, the team at WaveDirecct focused on a “data interface design” approach with an emphasis on data compatibility and quality to ensure the solution that was ultimately produced would be able to provide the necessary information. After obtaining an understanding and alignment of what data must be stored and tracked, they started with designing the data flow, which directly informed the refinement of the marketing and sales workflow and what data points need to be collected. One significant output of this process was the creation of their Universal Data Model. The UDM defined a schema for data collection regardless of the source or destination or even the tooling for that matter and created a foundation for all data processing activity.
The data schema and workflow mapping did not stop with the legacy systems. The team extended this conversation all the way to the front-end of the marketing process and the very beginning of the customer journey: the home page of their website. The data interface decisions were critical to sort out prior to the redesign of the website and the overhaul of the user interface to expand conversations around form submissions and lead gen to user journey flows and identity resolution.
The focus on what data was needed and how it would be captured, stored and made available fundamentally changed their ability to measure not only funnel performance, but re-shaped the definition of funnel success.
RudderStack to the rescue
Having a plan is great, but being able to implement it given the time, resource and financial restraints of running any business are another matter altogether. That’s why the team at WaveDirect leveraged RudderStack to sit at the core of it’s stack. RudderStack provides future-proofing by allowing upstream and downstream tools to be easily interchanged while its user transformations feature ensures adherence to the UDM.
The results were immediately observable within Google:
Change in Page experience score in Google Search Console
Change in page rank position since making Rudderstack the core of the experience
The power of actionable data
WaveDirect was feeling the pain of their siloed systems and the general sentiment was that improving poor data would result in a better customer experience from the moment a user first hit the homepage all the way through the onboarding and customer success processes.
It turns out their hypothesis was correct. Within 30 days of rolling out the data-first plan, they saw a 60% increase in in-market website traffic which lead to a 400 percent increase in in-market lead volume and greatly reduced the time and effort required to onboard new customers.
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