We’ve covered many transformations for Sprint, starting with building its (and our) first website in 1995. But in 2016 we had our biggest challenge to date. The digital consumer experiences were not built to serve current customers or encourage online shopping and purchase.
Sprint wanted to acquire new customers, retain its base and reduce the cost to serve by dramatically simplifying and improving users’ digital experience with the company, and in doing so, save $1 billion.
Our goal: Design a simple, flexible and visually distinct experience that demonstrates clear difference and value.
VMLY&R designed and built a mobile-first fully adaptive website with a single-page purchase configurator and real-time bottom-line pricing. The new experience also included a new selfservice account management portal where customers could check their billing cycle, payments, phone and plan information. VMLY&R was responsible for architecting the new solution and implementing the new front-end experience and back-end services.
EXPECTED & REALIZED RESULTS
The company had $1 billion in annual savings according to CEO Marcelo Claure:
Within the first year:
More people arriving at the cart than ever before through a faster and easier path to checkout than any Sprint competitors:
- Digital sales up 200 percent
- Upgrade performance up 300 percent
- Customer care costs down 20 percent
In year two:
- Digital sales up 227 percent
- Digital upgrades up 339 percent
- Increased web share of postpaid device purchase by 255 percent
While we built a brand-new consumer experience, we also updated the existing experience and platforms in parallel. The parallel workstreams led to increased web sales and upgrades while larger savings were being built. We began to operate using the Spotify Agile Method, working in squads and tribes and revolving around product owners. Organizations that were historically siloed were required to work together to create the new digital experiences.
VMLY&R grew a team from 16 to 130 on-site staff over the course of the transformation effort. Following successful milestone completions, VMLY&R trained and onboarded new and existing Sprint employees while scaling back our own team. Key architects served as consultants to help build additional capability within Sprint in new ways.
Our engineering approach transformed how Sprint approached engineering. Flexibility in the system was key and post-project the digital team moved from eight to 10 releases a year to 10 production releases per day.
We introduced analytics testing for the first time. Adobe Audience Manger plus Adobe Experience Manager eliminated a massive amount of manual effort. The path to purchase was constantly monitored to determine where customer fallout was occurring. With this monitoring, we reduced clicks to purchase from 70 to under 20.
Our changes made it easy to experiment, especially with AB tests. Additionally, page weight was significantly reduced by helping Sprint re-architect its analytics tagging approach across the website and mobile applications.
Sprint sits on an enormous volume of data, and like many other telco’s struggled with how to use it successfully. A small part of the digital transformation was an initiative to create a data lake by aggregating customer data across the new site and app experiences, along with retail and other offline experiences.
Prior to transformation, Sprint did not have a strong or accurate data set, so it started over by cleaning up its existing data and restructuring the way data was captured and analyzed. Sprint utilized Adobe and other data science providers to build its capability in-house. Additionally, visibility to the data had to change. Real-time dashboards pulled in metrics and were shown as information radiators in the working areas at Sprint. Automating data aggregation eliminated manual effort and allowed Sprint to share the data across channels and business units more efficiently. We also replaced systems with Adobe Experience Manager and acted as an ongoing strategic consulting partner to evaluate platforms, make selections and implement solutions.
Results were recognized within the first year of deploying the new experiences. Year 2 results were the most significant digital results Sprint had ever seen.