Milestone AV Technologies

A leading designer and manufacturer of branded audiovisual products brought Azul Seven in to help align disparate marketing, customer experience designs and service practices as they rapidly grew the company through acquisition.

Milestone AV Technologies is the parent company of several leading audio visual brands including Chief, Da-Lite, Vaddio and Sanus. While each sub-brand carries a strong, satisfied following of customers, Milestone felt that opportunities for improvement could be identified by applying a human-centered design lens. With that in mind, the Milestone team asked Azul Seven to help lead the group through a customer experience assessment and the redesign of the customer experience.

Because of the separate operational nature of the Milestone brands, it was important to create a project team of combined perspectives from each brand. Several of Milestone’s staff underwent design thinking training prior to our engagement, which set the stage for effective, productive collaborative working sessions. We brought together a diverse team, from finance to fulfillment and through team journey-mapping we were able to construct a complete view of the current Milestone service experience. We were able to identify gaps in perceptions from various sides of the team.

While internal perceptions of the customer journey help set a baseline understanding for our team, a deeper ethnography exercise was required to create a truly unbiased perspective. So we spent several weeks out in the field observing interactions and processes as they happened. Assessing the customer service experience meant exploring every touchpoint that customers have with Milestone directly, plus all the indirect interactions that may influence their experiences. Our team visited a Milestone warehouse to understand the assembly and order fulfillment process. We considered the implications of the smallest details like packaging SKU display up to larger processes like product assembly and storage. We talked with staff to better understand how returns are processed. Our team also attended and observed sales meetings to gain a deeper understanding of the start of the sales cycle. We listened to customer service calls to fully understand the spectrum of inquiries and think about solutions to common customer questions that could ease call volume. We shadowed staff as they completed order entries and the finance department walked us through invoicing processes. But most importantly we spoke to dealers to better understand their painpoints when interacting with the brands of Milestone.

All of our observations, interviews and research helped us complete a service blueprint that outlined touchpoints, drop-offs and feedback loops within the customer experience. We used the baseline to ideate a new and improved blueprint for the organization going forward.

We prioritized tasks within the blueprint and determined that the most important next step in improving the customer experience was addressing the Milestone digital presence and purchasing experience. At the start of the project, Milestone and its commercial brands: Chief and Da-Lite all operated separate websites, including a separate portal for online order purchasing. Azul Seven recommended a combined, cohesive website to help simplify the customer experience, narrowing their potential online touchpoints from four separate websites to just one. The new consolidated website experience was designed to meet a variety of needs, providing both a browsing experience for consumers and an ecommerce solution for Milestone’s B2B audience.

To continue the new customer experience initiative, other insights from our research are helping to inform additional improvements. Other touchpoints identified in the new service blueprint were assigned to internal teams within Milestone for implementation. From working to combine offline customer service touchpoints to packaging improvements, Milestone is exploring long-term changes to improve the customer journey from a holistic viewpoint. In addition, Milestone now uses the journey map as a metric. Each 18 months, the same research is done to determine what’s improved and what still needs fixing. This guide helps the Customer Experience team at Milestone focus on those items that are most important to their customers.

  • Research
  • Digital Business Strategy
  • Service Strategy
  • Brand Strategy
  • User Experience Design
  • User Interface Design
  • Service Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Content Strategy
  • Graphic Design
  • Front-End Development
  • 
Training

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