ST. PAUL, MINN. U.S. – NOVEMBER 07, 2018 – Design Center recently completed a comprehensive, easy-to-use website for BASF that, among other benefits, significantly reduces customer service requests. After creating a highly successful mobile app, this second project was for BASF’s Automotive Refinish division.
The Automotive Refinish Division wanted an industry-exclusive website that was more up-to-date and user-friendly than their current site. Per BASF, “Every word, every image and every tool on the Refinish site needed to be created with the customer in mind.”
BASF worked closely with Design Center’s design and development team, which included Marketing Director Chris Cornejo. “They came to us for a website that would require a login so they could distribute a significant amount of material to body shops and dealers,” he said. “It was mostly an access, navigation and asset strategy issue with their existing site.”
The website was confusing and not built for a streamlined browsing experience. BASF also wanted to reduce customer service requests—people would get frustrated with the website and then call—creating a burden on the customer service department.
One of the complicating factors was that there are four different brands within the Automotive Refinish division. The site was hosting material for all four brands—and it was there, but no one could find it. The site also had to be region specific and translated into three languages.
“We really worked with them to be sure that we were integrating end user, admin and IT needs all into one solution,” Cornejo said. “We utilized our app production process; approaching it from a user-centric point of view. The idea was to create a working tool, not just a marketing tool.”
The Design Center team conducted interviews with some of the client’s website users in an effort to discern what they were looking for and what was less important.
Design Center built the site using WordPress, incorporating custom features as needed. An example is a dual site backend so that BASF could easily manage this site and a subsequent site through the same portal. The end result was a user-friendly website with structured categories for all four brands that makes it easy for users to find what they need quickly.
The new site is mobile-optimized with updated images and content and unique tools. One of these tools is an “asset” cart, which can be used in conjunction with the advanced product catalog or independently. Visitors can add assets to the cart from anyplace on the website, not just from product pages. Customers then have the option to download all cart contents or email them to anyone.
Users can filter the product catalog based on country, brand, paint system, product type, volatile organic compounds, and keywords, or they can simply scroll through BASF products. The site also includes technical manuals, technical data sheets, safety data sheets and is available in three languages.
“We’ve received tremendously positive feedback from both our internal team as well as our customers,” the client said. “Design Center has made it much easier for users to access critical information within our highly competitive industry, which has significantly increased customer satisfaction. Despite the complex nature of our requirements, Design Center has managed to create a clean, leading-edge and user-friendly website. They have been a godsend for our division.”
One of the outcomes was a reduction in call center activity, which has gone down significantly.
Design Center President Ken Haus said, “BASF is an excellent client. They recognize that we are good at what we do and they let us do our job. They put a lot of faith in us and are always very enthusiastic about what we are doing.”
Founded in 1969, leading software designer and developer Design Center turns strategic insights into reality through app development, virtual reality solutions, custom software and more. Rooted in design and energized by digital, Design Center creates engaging, long-term solutions that streamline business and spark conversation. The company’s user-experience-focused approach to design, development and implementation produces solutions that deliver value and profitability for clients. Among the company’s value adds is AppKits, a proprietary application management engine, that ensures the company’s solutions perform at the highest level. Design Center serves some of the world’s largest organizations from their headquarters in centrally located St. Paul, Minn.