Trying to develop a new customer-facing software that also integrates with your internal team and existing operations?
B2B Customer Portal Helping to Provide Resources to Those in Need
Streamlining Purchasing, Loyalty and Resources for 14,000 Dealer Locations
What we accomplished
Increase in Customer Engagement
Increase in Online Orders
New Customer Features Developed
Subaru Power was the small engine division of Subaru, with a network of over 14,000 dealers across the United States. Headquartered in Lake Zurich, Illinois, the division helped to provide sales and support functions to engine and generator dealers that purchased and resold Subaru’s engine products.
Subaru had an amazing network of dealers throughout the country that was actively purchasing, servicing, and selling small engines and generators. As demand started to swell, Subaru needed to provide a next-generation digital platform to improve communication and interactions with its customers. They started with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and launched a relatively manual process that involved sales representatives traveling to each location and working directly with the owners.
In need of a smoother, more scalable solution, the marketing division was tasked with finding a partner that could not only provide consistent UX / UI with the quality that the Subaru brand had come to expect but also the development capabilities necessary to build a completely revamped, feature-rich platform for dealers.
Lake Zurich, IL
Strategy, Experience, Development
Workshop, User Experience, User Interface, Web Design, Software
While the marketing team went through the standard, due diligence procedures to check the boxes for competency and capabilities, what impressed them most with LLT was the opportunity to collaborate with a partner that truly operated with transparency and humility.
“I personally picked [LLT] over a year ago because I felt [they] were very talented and down to earth,”
LLT took the time to understand the personality and dynamic that Subaru needed and dug deeper into the opportunity to better understand the ask and uncover what outputs they truly needed to provide. This platform needed to remove the burden of sales representatives having to educate these dealers on resources, warranty processes, and order tracking and translate this information to a digital medium.
LLT would provide the first cohesive, digital customer hub that Subaru Power and its dealers had ever seen and become the primary tool to continually educate, certify, and push dealers to become better advocates and evangelists of Subaru and its family of products.
Integrating with the team
The first issue LLT needed to solve was helping Subaru figure out how to not only integrate the new software platform into their existing technology nest but also provide new features and styles that revamped and improved upon the brand on the digital front. This required a primary focus on developing out the features in tandem with the existing IT and Development teams at Subaru.
The main project objective before starting any UX or UI was understanding the structure and technology of the existing codebase and planning the best way to integrate the two. This required multiple discovery sessions and hands-on workshops where LLT’s development and project teams got acquainted with Subaru’s internal processes, skills, and flow of the architecture and programmatic changes scheduled to take place.
Building upon the Subaru Legacy
User experience and user interface piggybacked the functional prototypes that followed post-development workshops and were predicated on a Feature-driven approach. Since LLT was working with a well-known, established brand, the creative team needed to take into account the Subaru brand guidelines and help push the envelope for a digital design front that would make them ecstatic.
“Overall, the design is great! Everyone is really impressed!”
The platform provided a central hub of never-before-seen features for the network of Subaru dealers, including:
- Product Ordering & Checkout
- Purchase Orders
- Tech Manuals & How-To Videos
- Service Bulletins
- Certification Testing
- Product Registration
- Warranty System Tracking
- Loyalty Reward Program Integration
With so many new features being rolled into the organization, LLT needed to put precedence on not only thinking about how to launch new functionality to Subaru’s existing client base of dealers but, more importantly, how these features were going to integrate into the internal operations of the marketing, sales, and customer service teams.
LLT delivered a platform that met the consumer demand and thirst for digital products and the results exceeded Subaru’s most ambitious expectations. Their dealers were given a wealth of digital content that served as a vehicle to provide them the necessary utility. The previously lackluster customer engagement nearly tripled in terms of visits, time on site, and retention (for users visiting at least 2x per month).
To better support the service side, LLT successfully integrated a robust, CMS component that, after training, was easily utilized by the Subaru team and served to keep manuals, products, warranty information, and how-to videos, and tests up to date.
The new software feature of online ordering quadrupled “online” purchase orders (where “online” was considered to be just phone orders prior to the new phone + website method) and once it was tied to getting loyalty rewards for Subaru swag it became immensely popular among dealers.
“I also wanted to thank you for all the great work you and your team has put in. Our dealers will still be using this site for the next 7 years for warranty and tech manuals. […] You guys were a great company to work with and I will definitely refer you to future clients and employers.”
Each new feature launched was a measurable success by way of user interaction and most importantly helped establish a foundation and habit of resource usage for dealers that would give 7+ years of utility from the warranty and product manual side alone.