Case Studies

Elevating Customer Satisfaction to Delight: Utilizing UX Research to Deepen Understanding of Customer Wants and Needs

5 min read

Published on April 17, 2024

Industrial Products
Elevating Customer Satisfaction to Delight: Utilizing UX Research to Deepen Understanding of Customer Wants and Needs
CertainTeed logo

CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products and a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the worldwide leader in light and sustainable construction who designs, manufactures and distributes materials and services for construction and industrial markets. CertainTeed and its affiliates have over 6,300 employees and 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. 

CertainTeed aimed to create a more customer-centric and user-friendly digital ecosystem, beginning with their corporate website. CertainTeed wanted to exceed customers’ needs by making it easy to find product information and feel confident in their decision to purchase CertainTeed’s products for their projects. Poor website UX was diminishing customers' experience and ultimately impacted CertainTeed’s reputation and sales when they couldn’t easily find the product or information they needed.  A user research project conducted provided crucial insights into customer needs and behaviors, revealing that despite the diversity in user roles, their needs when using the website were quite similar. These findings informed the design and development process for the new CertainTeed website, undertaken in collaboration with JAKALA, significantly improving the user experience and aligning it with what customers truly desired, thus setting a solid foundation for digital transformation. 


At a glance

975

Responses to web intercept survey 

5%

Survey response rate (1% is typical rate)

43

Internal stakeholder interviews conducted

Context & Challenges

Information overload = overwhelmed and frustrated customers. 

CertainTeed customers found it extremely difficult to find product information on the website, driving them to competitors or requiring them to meet with sales and support teams in a time-consuming fashion. This difficulty was not due to a lack of available information, but rather the reverse; the presence of massive amounts of detailed content on the site created information overload, and the added friction caused inefficiencies for users and the business alike.  

Our user research revealed primary pain points and the severity of their impact on the customer experience.  CertainTeed.com’s System Usability Scale Result Score was a D, with some of the main complaints being “wasted time and frustration about not finding needs quickly”, “frustration and confusion around the amount of distractions”, and “disappointment” related to there being no clear path for users. 

We narrowed CertainTeed.com users into five primary archetypes. Though their roles are very different, we found they all had similar digital pain points and needs.  

The primary customer challenges revealed through our user research were: 

Wasted time. Difficulty finding what they need quickly. 

Users were overwhelmed with the amount of information on one page. It was a distraction to have additional overview pages on the way to product pages and often left them confused and lacking confidence about next steps.  

Frustration and confusion by the amount of distractions. 

Users were disappointed when looking for something and it wasn’t what they expected. Designers looking for Revit files had several obstacles even after selecting the product. The inspiration gallery had small, hard to view photos but also contained blog articles and case studies that seemed unnecessary when users were searching for images. Search results were inaccurate and frustrating, often making the user start over. Filters didn’t apply relevance even after they had made the selection in the previous screen. 

Disappointment 

There was no clear path for the user. Homeowners thought the site was for Contractors; Contractors and Architects felt it was for Homeowners. Builders and Distributors didn’t find much value beyond a comparison tool. There needed to be a more distinct path for the users since they are often confused by commercial vs residential information. One of the biggest takeaways was that the Builders and Distributors either use their own site with CertainTeed’s product data on it or they use CertainTeed’s other secure websites.  

Internal challenges to navigate 

As with many large companies, the sheer number of stakeholders with varying priorities required a thoughtful approach to communications and recommendations. The JAKALA team worked closely with the core project team to develop extensive documentation that demonstrated how all stakeholders’ needs were being addressed. The final phase of the user research included multiple stakeholder presentations to build confidence and alignment with the proposed approach.  

Our approach and solution

Navigating B2B complexity in a B2C environment. 

Our research brought to light and affirmed critical insights about CertainTeed’s customers, helping CertainTeed develop a comprehensive understanding of the pain points their users were experiencing. This provided clarity on best practices to revamp their site with customers top-of-mind for upcoming redesign and development projects – projects they ultimately entrusted us with.  

Some of the key takeaways from this project were: 

  • CertainTeed users have different roles, but their digital needs and behaviors are similar. 
  • Product pages are  the foundation of almost all user needs, tasks, and priorities. 
  • Reducing complexity and making it easier to find the right content will improve the experience for all users. 

 

Unifying internal teams for a single, user-centric site.

The user research findings supported CertainTeed’s understanding that the site wasn’t working for their customers – but it also gave them a new lens through which to understand why that was the case. Moving from a highly customized, concierge-style to a more consistent and standardized (but more convenient) UX approach is a big and difficult step for companies to take when accustomed to meeting individual customer needs in unique ways. Our work and findings have made it possible for the Digital Marketing team to coalesce the BUs around the idea of a single, user-centric site. 

A key goal we achieved was to educate the project’s stakeholders about data-driven decision making when it comes to UX and site design, and help them understand that users had broadly shared needs rather than highly individualized or customized requirements.   

 

What’s next: Redesign and Development backed by insights. 

Following the success of our user research work together, CertainTeed chose our team to lead the redesign, CMS replatforming and code development of their new site. Keep an eye out for future stories on the progression of their site, utilizing insights and best practices gleaned from our UX research. 

"FFW’s UX research was our go-to data guide for how we prioritized and developed minimal viable product (MVP).” 

 

Linda Bachofer, Digital Experience & Project Manager, CertainTeed 

Linda Bachofer
TECHNORETAIL_HERO_INSIGHT_2200x1222_OWNED-copy

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