After making 128 logos for RV owners, we discovered that the key is outsourcing to a high-velocity virtual assistant team and creating customer delight.
Outsourced Digital Marketing Program
The program is one of several we perform for our Australian client with discrete remote virtual teams based in the Philippines.
The work we do covers receiving task requests for logos, business cards, and flyers from a customer success team that supports RV owners in Australia and New Zealand. Owners who justify incentives, including better insurance rates and paid marketing, have the option to get identity and collateral work.
This is an ideal program for outsourced graphic design since it is long-term design work and requires extensive support to manage daily tasks and RV owner communication.
The program has had two chapters. The original assignment, where the client managed a graphic designer directly. The current incarnation, where we manage the program closely, and our client assigns tasks as required.
The program shifted when, as luck would have it, the designer assigned to the program resigned, and we had the opportunity to discuss the program with the client to rework our approach.
Lesson #1: The Project Scope Needs Periodic Review
Quarterly program reviews should always include an assessment of the scope of work. All too often metrics and management practices drift out of alignment with the work, which has negative consequences.
For the marketing services provider, you might be under or over-billing the work due to staffing issues, or the skills required for the program are under or overmatched. The scope of work may evolve to make your existing KPIs obsolete for the client.
We learned from reevaluating the program that we had underestimated the communication facet of the program with the graphic designer attempting to process the design task and maintain reasonable, regular client communication throughout the process. Since the program's raison d'etre lies in building customer delight, communication is almost as important as prompt, pleasing design execution.
Until we were engaged in the project with some hours under our belt, we didn't appreciate the full importance of persistent client communication. We added a project coordinator to manage all communication with the client and their clients — this resource functions as a concierge for all concerned to chase approvals, help the designers locate missing information, and ensure that no design review goes unanswered.
Lesson #2: Light Communication Touch Raises Response Rates
The communication challenge is three-fold: keep owners apprised of their designs' progress, elicit feedback from the owners through the revision cycle, and explain the next steps and file formats and how they can be used.
Email templates and automation helped us maintain constant communication efficiently when we combined our email templates with follow-up and progress notifications rules. To elicit feedback, we used emojis and GIFs to keep the content light and inject some humor to make the follow-ups less onerous and to help owners provide difficult feedback for executions they don't like. Quick, constructive criticism makes the process move more efficiently.
We beefed up the communication volume (see the communication table below) with clear next-step explanations and used them for the final files. We also made it clear that we can send files in the future and help with any last-minute changes.
Notify the client that work has begun
Send initial designs
Send changes for review
Acknowledge amendments requested
Over 7 days without feedback
1st follow-up + 7 without feedback
2nd follow-up + 7 without feedback
Complete design with file formats
Delayed in Production
Work delay update
Request clarification or information
Lesson #3: Dig Into Delight
Good Graphic Design
The first condition for customer delight in graphic design work is the creative.
We endeavor to craft well-designed logos and business cards and offer flyers that communicate important information and present attractive images of the vehicles. We get plenty of opportunities with this kind of high volume, fast graphic design work to apply the 10,000-hour rule to rapid logo design: 128 logos with three versions yield = 384 initial logotype treatments with at least two revisions to a selected execution giving us another 256 designs.
Good design that satisfies our audience begins with three distinct logo executions to give the RV owners plenty of choices. Recently, we decided to start offering avatar versions of logos for clients so that they aren't left to adapt a logotype for their social media avatars.
Our goal is to leave the customer sated with their designs — tasty visual work and delivering extra helpings do the trick.
Since the program’s goal is customer delight, stinginess with revisions for design assignments is like reducing talk time on a customer support program. It might make for good statistics but at the expense of the customer experience.
The program initially limited RV owners to two revisions, but we decided to accept any changes, no matter how late in the game. RV owners who have difficulty communicating their expectations tend to be outliers, so this change doesn’t consume much additional time.
By taking the position that we are committed to getting the design right, no matter how much time it takes, we infuse the program with CX mindfulness from the inside out.
Know Thy Audience
We noticed these RV/Caravan Owners are quite mindful of their vehicle type, so we spent some time on our documentation to define vehicle types along with the standard explanations for geography and client background.
The documentation is a critical aspect of the project since, as a Philippines outsourcing company, our staff isn't overly familiar with RVs (caravans in Australia) and how they operate. This learning helps the designers make better decisions about the vehicle imagery, which is usually part of the logo execution.
Lesson #3: ClickUp is an Excellent Platform for Outsourced Programs
We started the program while we evaluated ClickUp and so this program for Australian caravan sharing owners led our ClickUp initiative. What impressed us was the program's elegant hierarchy framework and how the interface provides powerful functionality while eliminating the cruft of other project management tools.
You may be wondering "What is ClickUp?" It's a business tool that consolidates project management, internal task management and tracking, and handles task communication. For us, the app replaced all of ZohoOne except for Zoho People.
Once we understood the work and our program duties clearly, ClickUp allowed us to build a delivery system with task submission, task management, automated communication, and a performance dashboard that made the program sing. Over the past six months, we’ve refined our process three times to enhance each step of the design delivery process — you can download our free ClickUp Logo List Template here. For this project, the clean interface was essential to communicate amongst ourselves and with the client’s customer success team.
Wrapping it Up to Go: Progam Care & Feeding
The biggest takeaway from this program is that for any outsourced program — or any business process, come to think of it — you have to keep working to make the process better and stay attuned to your client's needs.
In this case, we have to look at our client's customers to think about how we can keep the program moving in a better direction by eliminating work through automation or more innovative tactics for service delivery by listening to the client on a task-by-task level but in a broader way to keep offering greater value, and by continuous learning among the program team. Hence, each player on the team has the opportunity to apply their insights to the whole activity.
In the end, it's all about having a great client. Great clients mean better teamwork, a willingness to experiment to get the program recipe just right, and a commitment to customer delight.