Stamford was a high-growth growing company in Singapore that brought me on to lead their creative design projects across the brand. The brand momentum was significant, the resources were endless, and the demand for more transparency was ever present. There was an uprising of existing customers (high-expectation, international, involved/active customers) that was the empotece for this specific product development effort. We were losing customers because there was a lack of communication and transparency around metrics, scheduling, performance tracking, and ongoing community building.
I was reporting directly to the Director of Marketing & Creative and was brought on to spearhead this customer-facing project and also to oversee all other creative efforts across the brand (including brand and marketing design, video and advertising execution, website development, event execution, and application design and development). I managed a cross-functional team of 10, including design, engineering, marketing, and communications, to launch this application within 8 months.
Address the problem of retention and customer satisfaction through build an application to facilitate performance monitoring, schedule syncing, and communication for existing customers.
We had already been engaging with customers through different means, primarily forums and group interviews to address initial concerns and to be a sounding board for resolution. While this first took the form of a “sounding board” or town hall that would give customers that opportunity to voice their complaints, I jumped in to leverage this feedback as the basis for our development efforts and a starting point for discovery and research. Over the course of 2 months, I facilitated countless sessions and leverage the existing reputation of my Director to dispel the unpleasant feedback with some more immediate solutions.
In the background, I began to compile this feedback and take it to my team as we started to ideate on what was needed in the application and to prioritize features to deliver.
When I came on board, the marketing and communications team had already started some of the research and I was able to lean on those finding and incorporate them as well.
Working closely with design and development, I needed to keep the project on target and on budget. While I was responsible for a $1M departmental budget, we had to move quickly and allocate resources accordingly. I was primarily responsible for getting our ongoing design efforts in front of customers and bringing that back to the team in order to iterate on the solutions.
Getting these solutions in front of customers meant design by committee, also something that would have been more easily controlled without this approach. I learned through this process that while it is good to get designs in front of users, it is easily distracted and scope creep is a serious issue and risk for the project.
I presented findings to the board of directors once we were to a point that we had incorporated feedback and iterated on the design to the point where we were ready to start development. I got buy in from the CEO and the Managing Director and were were able to get the development efforts underway.
After 8 months of research, ideation, design, and development, we launched this new application live to our customers. While the customer expectations were high (due to their ongoing involvement), we had overarching success that resulted in increasing customer retention by 60% within the first year. Our customers took to social media with their approval and word-of-mouth had significant and positive implications on our satisfaction ratings. myStamford became a platform that was used in the sales process that contributed to our business growth of 200% year-over-year. While a resounding success, I learned a lot about management and design project execution and creating a unified brand through developing technology to support the overall goal of the company.