HIA (Housing Industry Association) is the largest residential building organisation in Australia with over 23,000 members. The company services a national industry for all professionals representing the whole spectrum of the industry. HIA is in the process of expanding its traditionally face-to-face membership model by expanding the digital experience and services it offers online. As digital natives become the norm, companies are looking at new digital service offerings to match expectations and create seamless digital experiences.
HIA partnered with Switch to support their digital transformation journey and to challenge their thinking about digital strategy, customer engagement and website design. Centered around key objectives of delivering hyper-personalised experiences, data at the heart of decisioning, eCommerce and marketing automation whilst being cloud first.
Ben Brooker, General Manager of Digital discusses how HIA is developing customer focused digital services to transform it's membership model, drive innovation and restructure the way they do business now and into the future.
HIA’s Information Architecture had evolved organically and disparity over years resulting in a confused digital UX and a lack of personalised and targeted customer experience. Additionally, the association also comprises 15+ internal business units all with digital requirements that support members on the website.
HIA's member base is increasingly digitally mature; the next generation of customers place importance on online tools and services. Whereas, existing loyal members rely on picking up the phone and calling their local HIA representative. The obstacle faced was to transform HIA, guide individuals through this journey, whilst not alienating the existing or new.
Helping HIA understand how digital could support the evolution of their membership model through the improvement of the overall digital experience - we immersed ourselves within the business, facilitated several workshops with HIA; built a deeper understanding of their vision, goals and digital landscape. We then evaluated customers' perceptions and their understanding of HIA using qualitative surveys.
Armed with insights and knowledge, we formulated a digital strategy centered around four key transformation goals - Raise and capitalise on awareness, Increase sense of belonging, grow revenue and build an efficient digital operating model.
The Sitecore XP solution (including Commerce (XC) and personalisation) implemented enabled scalable content management, rich data insights, automation and personalised digital experiences enabling HIA to realise digital future.
HIA’s digital transformation journey also included an evolution of their onboarding and membership model, an overhaul of their e-commerce platform and CPD structure and the creation of an engaging and informative digital resource library.
The overall impact of the project was an improved customer experience, providing not just excellent digital service but a great customer experience in its entirety. The development of new workflows, systems and useful online tools enabling self-driven problem solving (i.e. intuitive self-help desk/FAQs), created avenues for customers to interact with HIA outside of business hours. This resulted in reduced call centre traffic and reliance on human resources, an increase in loyalty, the opportunity to focus on growing the customer base, lower overheads and manual processes by automating certain tasks, and increased business efficiencies.
Soon to be launched, conversational AI chat and voice, HIA is achieving its digital acceleration towards a new hyper-personalised digital future for members. The solution evolution and a customer centric business proposition is propelling them and their members into a new digital era.
“When digital transformation is involved from an organisation, as long standing and traditional as ours, it wasn't an easy decision. We went through a rigorous tender process. We ended up selecting Switch because they were absolutely the stand-out.
Switch were able to articulate the strategy and articulate delivery, and able to articulate how they've taken other businesses through this journey.
It wasn't just about the technical know-how in the background, but they had the account management structures up front to be able to give us that reassurance that we’re making the right decision.”
HIA was looking for innovative ways to engage with their existing customers and further grow new market share. The digital strategy was a key driver to deepen the connection with HIA and their member base through relevant and targeted digitisation, services, benefits and communication.
HIA’s objectives were broken down into three customer goals:
The overarching theme was to create the foundations and guidelines to enable HIA to realise their digital future. The solution to achieve HIA’s goals consisted of:
The Digital Strategy aims to make HIA more aligned and proactive in its digital approach by establishing foundations and enabling HIA’s digital team to self-sustain and craft usable, personable digital experiences for their customers.
Built into the strategy, HIA are able to better leverage customer data and insights in order to keep an eye on trends. Continually optimising the approach and experience, with the opportunity to pivot if the need arises.
The customer data also supports the creation of a cohesive digital brand and experience; creating personalised, targeted content for their users as the industry evolves resulting in greater customer loyalty and future-proofing the business.
To commence our partnership and digital transformation with HIA, we had to gain a better understanding of their customers. To achieve this, we undertook a series of workshops, research and customer interviews, resulting in a greater understanding of how HIA facilitate and serve their customers in the residential building industry.
To create a Digital Resource Library (DRL) to sort the wealth of information available on the site. The users must be able to easily navigate through the library to find resources that engage them on popular topics and encourage them to join as full HIA members.
With an improved DRL comes the need to improve the integrated commerce platform to support customers purchasing these resources as a result of these digital assets being readily and easily accessible.
The digital resource library was designed with content filters and categories in order to create a more seamless and intuitive user experience. The DRL consists of a combination of free and paid content and links to previously siloed content. If a site user is viewing a training course inside the DRL for example, they are also shown related content, such as articles and events.
Working across these digital assets is the integrated commerce platform. Supporting the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell content from increased site traffic as a result of the improved DRL. The new commerce solution enables digital access to a number of resources that were previously only available through a customer service phone query.
The new Digital Resource Library positions HIA as a solutions provider and an industry leader by showcasing a depth of knowledge that spans across a multitude of specialities and fields of expertise.
The commerce solution complements the Digital Resource library by providing a platform that supports cross and upsell opportunities within the HIA experience.
The DRL and commerce solution work alongside each other in converting HIA to embrace digital-first thinking and reinforces that HIA is a knowledgeable asset across the residential building industry.
To realise the digital transformation, our UX & Design team explored multiple ways of applying and refreshing HIA’s brand for digital. Our UX & Design team produced a series of moodboards and concepts before landing on one approach, where we then generated a Digital Style Guide to govern and maintain the brand for the future roadmap.
Building a commerce solution was an integral part of the core HIA experience, where customers purchase products within the context of consuming information around their goals. HIA commerce products include templates, safety products and purchasing physical contracts.
The challenge was to build a new integrated custom commerce solution to create a more seamless transaction process to grow revenue and facilitate return customers. The commerce platform needed to be completely rebuilt and needed to integrate with HIA’s backend application to bring products into the commerce solution and push transaction details back for a consistent order fulfilment process.
Another feature that presented a unique challenge was HIA’s Tradepass platform which was an existing ‘Contractor Management’ Solution that assists builders and contractors to manage administrative tasks. The feature required a full reimplementation of its core functionalities, and additional business rules were added to ensure a better user experience and a seamless integration with the HIA's CRM, leveraged by their custom in-house built middleware.
HIA’s new Sitecore XP solution (including Commerce (XC) and personalisation) is a single platform across B2B, B2E and B2C that connects all data and delivers scalable content management, rich data insights, automation and personalised digital experiences.
Sitecore’s commerce solution supports omnichannel experience and creates these customer experiences with headless architecture and unique fulfilment strategies across all interfaces.
The personalisation capabilities enabled tailored experiences as required by new business rules which set up variables across membership status, pricing and content.
A simple and integrated platform that works across HIA’s digital assets and supports the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell content online, enabling access to a number of resources that were previously only delivered in-store or through a customer service phone query.
HIA utilise multiple platforms to manage their wide varitey of services, such as regular Events, annual Awards, registering Training Courses and more. Our Technical team worked closely with HIA’s IT department to collaborate on creating at platform which integrated seamlessly with Sitecore. Allowing for automated imports which streamlined content population and workflows for HIA.
HIA’s program of work was split up into three phases in order to design a successful digital transformation roadmap and to understand how we could add value through our capabilities and Sitecore technologies.
The three phases included:
In addition to this HIA were also in the process of their own internal project overhauling their CRM system. Switch and HIA worked together to retest and refactor all the integration points between the new website and the interfaces with their new CRM system, ensuring that the features previously delivered would continue to work whilst working on the implementation of their digital transformation roadmap.
In order to deliver on the multi-faceted HIA project, it was imperative to be proactive in our approach whilst prioritising what was important in a collaborative and engaging way.
Our multidisciplinary team worked together using an action priority matrix where “quick wins” were often combined with larger pieces of work in order to continuously deliver enhancements across various areas of the solution.
To establish clear communication and transparency across the teams and all stakeholders a number of ceremonies were executed:
Continuous engagement with all stakeholders guaranteed maximum flexibility, the ability to address changes in an agile fashion and ensured open and informed discussions.
The new HIA website and successful digital transformation is a result of collaborative and proactive digital teams who regularly engage in open dialogue and use advanced program management methodologies to deliver an award-winning customer experience.
To create and maintain project governance for a large member-oriented organisation such as HIA, Switch maintained regular stream of communication through various ceremonies at multiple levels. Including regular project reporting, steering committee and executive summaries and multiple WIP meetings. This enabled our project team to easily report in to senior, executive stakeholders.