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Discovery Can Improve Your Website and Entire Company

Chris Osterhout SVP of Strategy
#Design Advice, #Discovery
Published on October 31, 2014

Learn why Discovery is essential not just for planning a website redesign, but for improving communication and collaboration throughout your company.


When you’re planning a website redesign project, the Discovery phase might seem like an obligatory but tiresome task to complete. It’s definitely necessary to gather information about the current site and how it needs to be updated to meet your company’s business goals, but a bunch of tedious meetings in which you define what you currently have and what you want to do seems like a bunch of busywork to grind through before getting to the actual work of redesigning the website.

At first glance, Discovery might seem this way, but we’ve found that this perception couldn’t be further from the truth. When done right, Discovery will not only provide essential insights about your company’s website (both as it currently exists and how it should be improved), but also about your entire company, ranging from the way different departments communicate, how systems integrate with each other, and even your company culture. Let’s look at three ways Discovery can improve not only your website, but your company as a whole:

1. Meeting your KPIs leads to happiness for both customers and employees

During a site redesign, a company needs to define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), measurable goals that the redesigned site should help the company meet. Discovery provides an essential opportunity to examine how to meet these KPIs, and in doing so, it can greatly improve the way your employees interact with your customers.

For example, one of the most common goals that companies set is to increase sales and reduce costs. One thing that we often see companies struggle with is call volume. If customers have questions about your products or services, they call a support line, and employees spend a lot of time answering these queries. Reducing this support effort is a great way to reduce costs.

During the Discovery process, we can learn about the most common types of support queries that are submitted and then take steps to help customers answer these questions without having to call a support line. If customers are often calling looking for pricing information, we can make this information more available and accessible on the website. If they are commonly looking for information about how to use your products, we can find ways to intuitively point them to this information and answer their questions without having to call your support line.

Determining the most common issues and working to address them in the redesigned site will not only makes customers happier, it will make employees’ lives easier, allowing them to focus on other daily tasks rather than constantly answering the same questions. Providing the information that customers need can also remove the roadblocks that must often be overcome to make a sale, which can help meet the other common KPI of increased revenue.

2. Eliminate gaps between integrated systems

As we’ve discussed before, gaps often exist between the different systems and services that a company uses for various aspects of their business. The customer data that is recorded in your CRM may not match up with the data about leads and prospects that your marketing department uses. Lists of email subscribers or social media followers may exist in their own separate platforms, unrelated to the CRM or marketing data. And while you are tracking your website traffic, you don’t have any way of knowing how it relates to the way visitors are actually engaging with your site’s content or which visitors have converted to leads or customers.

Discovery can examine each of these systems and determine the best way to make them fit together, often by implementing a Marketing Automation Platform (MAP). The great thing about eliminating these gaps is that it will not only lead to a better website experience for your customers, but it will also improve communication across your company and integrate different departments together, helping them share data and collaborate more closely.

If the sales and support departments can see what people are looking for on your website, they will be better able to meet your customers’ needs and answer their questions. If marketing can learn about what questions and pain points current customers have, they can use this information to create campaigns and content to engage new prospects, attract visitors, and convert them to customers. Discovery can help you learn how to share information between departments and encourage collaboration, leading to a more streamlined strategy for your company that improves the lives of both customers and employees.

3. Get employees talking to each other

During Discovery, we often find that different employees within a company don’t realize that they may have issues or experiences in common with other employees or how what they do affects everyone else in the company. Simply having people sit down together and talk about their experience of using the company’s website will often expose the connections that they don’t realize are there, helping them understand more about how they fit into the company as a whole.

Opening up these lines of communication is a great benefit, not just in understanding the needs of your website and online strategy, but also for helping your employees work together more efficiently. These connections can help employees understand that their actions have a direct or indirect effect on others across the company, and it lets them know what pain points, issues, or benefits they might share with other employees. Everyone gets a better understanding of how everything fits together, and this can improve the way they interact with each other and work together to meet your company’s goals.

Intangible Benefits

While the nominal purpose of Discovery is to learn about the current website, how people use it, and how it can be improved to meet your company’s goals, it has many benefits beyond the charts and wireframes that it generates. Discovery has an emotional value that people don’t often realize, letting them discuss not only the company’s website, but how what they do fits into the company’s efforts and affects everyone else. Discovery exposes things that aren’t always obvious, which is why it is essential, not just for revealing information about the current website and how it needs to be improved, but also for increasing people’s understanding of how the company works and giving them a personal stake in its future.

Do you want to know more about how WSOL’s Discovery services can help you not only prepare for a website redesign, but improve the way your company operates? Please contact us to speak with a Solutions Engineer, or feel free to share any questions you might have in the comments below.