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QAD

Dedication to Customer Support

QAD maintains a committed vision to assist every manufacturing company to perform at their best, and to become an ‘Effective Enterprise’. Their definition of an Effective Enterprise is one where every business process is working at peak efficiency and perfectly aligned to the company’s strategic goals.

For QAD, this means developing great software for great manufacturing companies. QAD maintains a high level of customer satisfaction by providing excellence in customer service for their existing customer base. In support of this on-going goal, QAD launched a customer support forum to serve as a platform for their existing customers can engage in open conversations about QAD software.

There was a problem however. Customers weren’t using the forums. QAD management determined the forums required renovation. They renovation effort started with the selection of a more robust and flexible technology platform upon which the forums would reside, Liferay. Just as important as the technology; however, was the usability of the forums. This is where our team enters the project.

QAD engaged with us to design a user centered focused forums to increase adoption and improve overall customer service for their client base. Our goal was to design a forum that supported all way communication and encouraged engagement and collaboration among customers and QAD product specialists.

We dedicated the majority of our efforts understanding QAD’s current customer base; their needs, goals and objectives and why they desired to interact with QAD’s forum. We even asked the most difficult question of all…was forums even necessary for their customer group in the first place? The answer was a resounding yes. Therefore, our first task started with a complete and thorough analysis of the current forums site to determine its best features and functionality as well as its areas of improvement. We looked to answer questions like, What’s missing? Is there too much information or options available? Is it intuitive? We make assumptions based on our years of experience and expertise in the Customer Service space as to the optimal design of the new system.

The result was an intuitive, user friendly, engaging forums where customers took control of their own self service needs to find the answers to their questions and gain support from other fellow customers and product specialists. This is a tremendous time saver for customers who no longer want to be dependent on a traditional ticketing system for assistance. This means quicker support for an experienced user base.

Project Details

Client QAD
Date NOV 2014
Skills User Experience, Design, Focus Groups

QAD has worked with the team on numerous engagements over the years. Their methodology and approach is highly effective and yields quality results for our business applications. Horst Fahr

Sr. Manager Global IT Client Operations, QAD

Challenge

QAD develops enterprise software solutions for manufacturing companies and is renowned for providing excellent customer support. As part of this on-going goal, QAD launched an online customer support forum so existing customers can engage in open conversations about QAD software. Their challenge was lack of usage. QAD determined they needed to renovate their forums platform, confident that the execution, not the idea was the problem to overcome.
We commenced the project by interviewing existing QAD customers to determine their business needs and goals. We then developed wireframes to serve as a prototype in which to test our presentation layer.

Solution

QAD engaged our team to assess and redesign their forums, with a keen eye on the user experience. Our first step was to validate the need for a forum. After extensive interviews with QAD customers to identify their needs and goals when interacting with QAD, the need for forums was validated. We then identified what features of the existing forum worked and which didn’t and proceeded to transform the forums into an intuitive, user friendly, engaging experience for QAD customers. The new forums use open source Liferay technology, which our team is well versed.

Result

QAD forums usage increased significantly in the month after launch and the time it takes for a client to have their questions answered had decreased dramatically. Given the forums is built upon the Liferay platform, managing and maintaining the platform is flexible and seamless.