10/11/2010 by Socitm Insight Team
A case study presentation I attended yesterday went off the rails and surprisingly became a virtual visit to Tottenham Hotspur FC with a reminder of important lessons for those who manage public sector websites.
It was billed as a case study about channel shift from Eurostar. Shorter than most sessions, it sounded interesting and worth half an hour of my time. I arrived a couple of minutes late and found that it had alreday gone off track and the Eurostar story turned out to be one about Tottenham Hotspur FC.
With a professional interest in website good practice and a personal interest in soccer, I was immediately curious as my team operates away from the Premiership limelight where websites are universally awful. How could this be relevant, though, to the public sector?
Well, Spurs - who would have been my team had I been a Londoner - have a strong vision of being the most IT-enabled club in the land. They presented some impressive statistics. 92% of ticket sales made face-to-face just five years ago had turned into 90% sales online today. They have ambitions to develop a single customer record for all their 20m fans worldwide. The most interesting slides focused on sales of replica shirts. They showed, for example, how clear design and proper user testing added £5k sales in just one month from small percentage increase in converting a few more customer visits into sales.
All council web managers need to apply the same focus to improving their organisation's websites!(some do already of course). Since we presented the detailed case for managing top tasks in Better connected 2010, we know that many are working towards incorporating these principles, but progress is slow and sometimes misguided (eg adding a panel for top tasks in addition to existing navigation structures rather than replacing them). We might, of course, speculate why this might be the case, but that's for another time and another blog perhaps.
Just as a reminder the critical work lies in
- identifying top tasks systematically from a variety of sources of customer access and also involving those customers
- re-designing home pages and landing pages using evidence from such an exercise
- measuring the success of top tasks, and their speed of completion, through panels of typical users
This will not result in sales of replica shirts, or probably sales of anything. However this methodology will make significant savings in the cost to serve by reducing the cost of avoidable contact as visit failure drives dissatisfied web visitors to using the phone. Our data suggests that large councils can save up to £1m per year just from this. Moreover, if councils can then streamline the back-office operation for the same top tasks, then there will be more savings still.
This really is the only business case, but a powerful one, for investing in your website at the current time. This is the way to win your spurs!