Cultivating a User-Centered Culture

Outsell’s Design & Integration Lead, Craig Vore, Campaign Operations Batch Manager, Katherine Lyman, and Campaign Operations Supervisor, Samantha McIntosh, attended a Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) sponsored event in January called “Cultivating a User-Centered Culture.” The event featured Nancy Lyons and Meghan Wilker of Geek Girls Guide and Clockwork Active Media Systems, aimed at both improving interactions with clients and employees.

Lyons and Wilker come from a company that has been named a “Psychologically Healthy Workplace.” Much of that comes from the practices they shared in their presentation, how everyone is a ‘user’ in some way of some aspect of every company, and that needs to be taken into consideration at all times.

Employees, for example, are a user. The company culture is the product. It is important to recognize that correlation just as much as a company sees a customer/client as a user of their actual products.

The type of culture that keeps employees happy and therefore productive offers three important things: Autonomy to control how they work, Mastery so they have the opportunity to learn and improve their work, and a sense of Purpose so they see how their work contributes to the company as a whole.

Defining Values was also an important part of Lyons’ and Wilker’s presentation. Company values need to extend not only to hiring, but also to choosing clients, and the products and services offered.

They also emphasized that as important as is it is to design a beautiful product, “it’s what we do when something goes wrong that demonstrates how important our customers really are to us.”

The slideshow from the “Cultivating a User-Centered Culture” presentation can be viewed here.

Outsell is proud to have a clear set of values already in place, followed closely when hiring, working with clients, and in the products we create. Outsell representatives, Vore, Lyman, and McIntosh, saw in the MIMA sponsored presentation some of the good practices Outsell already employs, but were also able to take away a measurable and dynamic strategy for interacting with our customers.

“The most important takeaway for me,” said Lyman, “belongs to the ‘user experience’. Nancy and Meghan stressed that just because you have a clear vision of your product roadmap, that doesn’t mean that your external user understands what that roadmap is. With this in mind, I decided to see how effective it could be to change the way we communicate with dealers to amplify engagement.”

Lyman, along with others, redesigned Outsell’s dealer communications to implement a series of “steps” for campaign completion, and then clearly explained to the dealer where each “step” fits into their product.

1. Step One: Customization – letting the dealer know what they can do to make their eNewsletter resonate with their customers AND conveying the deadlines for them to do so.

2. Step Two: Review – giving the dealer the chance to look over their eNewsletter draft AND explaining what exactly it is that they need to be looking for.

3. Step Three: Send – the successful deployment of the product.

4. And finally, Step Four: Check Reports – providing them with the access they need to review their reports AND driving home the value of the program.

Learn more about Outsell Dealer eNewsletters here.

“The results have been pretty impressive,” said Lyman. “The revamped communications have outperformed their predecessors in every way. Unique opens are up, but more importantly, the unique click activity on each communication has jumped. This shows us that not only are more dealers opening what we’re sending, but they’re engaging on a new level with what each communication has to say.”

And better engagement from the dealer with how our product can most effectively be used means more success for the campaigns and eNewsletters sent to the dealer’s customers.

Clearly, “Cultivating a User-Centered Culture” was an engaging and relevant presentation that reinforced what Outsell is already doing right as a company, and helped us refine our product by reconsidering the ways we interface with clients.