The Client

The_Chief_Customer_OfficerBloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) is a division of Bloomberg, the global leader in financial software, data analysis, news and video media. BNEF provides unique analysis, tools and data for decision-makers who drive change within the energy industry. Using its comprehensive web-based platform, BNEF enables clients to stay on top of new developments across the entire energy spectrum.

Regular client surveys have always revealed a consistently high level of satisfaction with the platform. However, despite this global seal of approval, BNEF’s senior management recently embarked on a radical strategy to improve the total customer experience. They wanted to move from a ‘one shoe fits all design approach’ to a website that could be tailored to meet the distinctive needs of six very different types of user. They also decided that, as well as creating six different overlays of the platform, they should develop additional functionality for all users. An ambitious strategy that threw up one overarching question: how do you determine the right mix of content for so many different stakeholders?

The Need

On the face of it, this is a fairly familiar challenge. Anyone with a website or software product has to answer this question on a pretty frequent basis. The standard procedure is to ask current users what they would most value in the next iteration. You then look at what the competitors are doing so that you stay one step ahead of rivals. And you also harvest the thoughts and feelings of your own staff.

The snag is, this research invariably produces an information overload… a long list of change requests many of which are too costly, in terms of time or resources, to incorporate in the next release. So a process of prioritising becomes the order of the day. In truth, though, very few companies approach this task in a scientific way. Very often, the priorities go to the people who shout the loudest!

Aware of this problem and determined to introduce some scientific rigour to the process, BNEF turned to Clustre for help. We had no hesitation in connecting them to our innovation agency…

The Solution

This agency sat down with the management team at BNEF and asked them a single, important question: what business outcome do you most want to see as a result of applying changes to the system? This direct question provoked an equally direct answer: “the ultimate aim is to increase renewal rates for the subscription-based system by at least 10%.” That simple – but extremely challenging – brief shaped the entire strategy for prioritising change…

Having established a goal, the conventional approach would be to focus on the hundreds of change requests to determine which would drive up the renewal rate. However, this innovation team is far from conventional – so they went further…

Not content with analysing the requested changes, they also went in search of the unidentified needs for the two most critical user types: Strategists and Financiers. They wanted to pinpoint the unmet and often unimagined changes that can dramatically improve performance. This is the innovation agency’s ‘secret sauce’ – the desire to push boundaries, add value and exceed expectations. Their search has revealed key unmet needs and solutions. It has enabled BNEF to decide exactly where to focus their product development efforts. And it has maximised value by optimising the $3m annual investment in product development.

The Result

The end-result has been a forensic review of different key roles and a deeply revealing set of previously unidentified insights. These are now helping to drive the changes that will deliver that 10% renewal rate increase.

As Jon Moore the head of BNEF puts it:

“This innovation team brought a totally new perspective – a fresh and very different approach to understanding our client’s needs. The results will keep the development team busy for quite a while. Enhancements based on these insights are certainly having a profound and very measurable impact on our business”.

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