WES is a non-profit organization founded in 1974 that helps international students, skilled immigrants, and refugees to find educational opportunities and employment in the US and Canada.
WES helps international students and professionals find education and job opportunities in the US and Canada. The organization provides credential evaluations for over 500,000 applicants annually. WES wanted to improve the customer journey on its digital platform to improve customer satisfaction and help ensure successful new product introductions to achieve growth goals.
Their Required Documents digital tool, which informs candidates on what documents they need to complete an application, had become overly complicated to navigate and use, due to each country having different requirements, different languages, and different stakeholders managing aspects of the tool. Development resources were scarce and WES needed to minimize wasted effort.
How could WES eliminate customer pain points across their digital journey without wasting development hours on redesign work?
WES purchased UserTesting and within hours was able to conduct research with applicants from China and India to better understand how they were engaging with WES during their digital journey. As each customer experience was explored, the UX team at WES gained deep customer empathy that enabled them to uncover rich insights they could immediately act on.
Since all the insights were available on video, the team created highlight reels and shared the video clips with key stakeholder groups within WES to demonstrate where to focus and why. This brought a sense of human empathy into their recommendations that resonated with everyone. The team then used that fast feedback to make design changes that simplified customer experiences and made them more personally relevant while also addressing constraints such as language barriers and varying national requirements.
Together, these changes eliminated pain points and created more effective, easier, and more enjoyable experiences that drove up satisfaction without using unnecessary development cycles.
The WES UX team also had an effect on their company culture by starting what they call “Empathy Theater” where they regularly bring together stakeholders from throughout the organization to watch customers interact with their website and the tools being tested.
“When stakeholders see users struggling with a tool, that’s when they realize changes are needed,” said Meera Ravi, lead manager for WES’s UX team. “That’s a huge culture shift for us.”
As a result of being able to gain deeper customer empathy every day, WES has significantly reduced their decision making time and development cycles while increasing customer satisfaction at the same time. And now, they can do that again and again.
“UserTesting makes it easy for us to connect with our audience in a short amount of time. And that makes it easy for us to launch a test, gather fast feedback, and evaluate opportunities we can focus on throughout the organization.”