How to solve a client problem with no clear-cut solution: invent one
Recently, Oliver Ellis of Propeller Group spoke to founders of design agency Arrive and CRM platform Found, Dan Morris and Scott Sinfield, about how taking time to understand your clients’ challenges can be the inspiration for the products and services you deliver.
Arrive's client solution built for the care sector is driven by CX / Image courtesy of Propeller Group
Leading independent design and innovation agency Arrive takes pride in using a human-centric approach to seamlessly deliver future-proof experiences. When it saw several of its clients struggling with the same issue, inquiry management, it took matters into its own hands to develop its own product. And so, Found was born. The product was such a success that it has since been scaled and sold as a business in a deal valued at €1.7m ($1.65m).
Propeller: What inspired you to create Found?
Arrive: At the time, we were working with a lot of care-oriented clients - from start-ups and non-profits to long-established, large care providers. A big issue for almost all these clients was inquiry management – being able to quickly respond to and follow up with those in need of their care services. They would also find it incredibly difficult to track their marketing spending and ROI.
This led us to wonder whether this challenge was exclusive to our client base - or if it applied more broadly. We were also aware that an existing client was searching for a dedicated piece of software and there wasn’t a solution - that really gave us a kick in the right direction.
Siloed legacy systems were a major hurdle. Even if the care providers were using inquiry management software, it was typically bolted-on to existing tech and it wasn’t very sophisticated. This would result in poor user adoption, poor customer service and, most importantly, bad customer experience (CX).
This situation was damning from two angles. Commercially, leaving two-thirds of your inquiries unresolved is always going to damage your revenue. But on a human level, and the biggest catalyst for us in creating Found, was the impact it was having on those in need.
Trying to arrange care for a loved one can be an incredibly emotional and stressful moment for families. If your mum has high-level dementia and you’re trying to research care facilities and nobody is getting back to you, it’s frustrating. We were determined to connect care seekers with providers quicker and easier.
What is your approach to design and innovation? What made Found so different from other CRM systems on the market?
We’re staunch advocates of design-thinking methodology. Looking back, it’s clear that Found is a great example of these design principles - empathy, insight, ideate, test.
Our research started by mystery shopping 100 care operators, both across digital channels – such as online directories – and over the phone. Ultimately what we found was that the care sector was extremely antiquated tech-wise, with paper-based solutions being the go-to method. The damning stat was that 67% of businesses never respond to incoming inquiries.
The entire Found journey was based around a constant feedback loop. It started during the research phase when we were identifying the care sector’s main challenges. We then ideated a solution around this challenge; launching, getting feedback, introducing new features – everything was determined by the CX.
There were already several heavy hitters within the broader CRM space, Salesforce and HubSpot being a couple of examples. None of these, however, were personalized to cater to the care journey.
Found is solution-driven. We removed the complexity of the pricing model and made the onboarding experience incredibly seamless. The findings from the initial research were built into the service and experience from day one.
Found was designed to be operated by anyone - whether that’s a sales manager or receptionist.
What was Found’s initial impact on the care sector?
It’s relatively simple. Care clients will capture more inquiries and, as a result, will convert more too. Since Found’s launch, partners have already converted between 50-70% more of their inquiries and follow-ups are now standard practice, whereas, pre-Found, 90% of inquiries were never followed up on after the initial conversation.
Found partners are able to be there for those in need, quicker. A mantra we adopted from the start was that ‘good care should start with Found’.
We wanted to hammer home that the care experience doesn’t start when someone’s relative has started to physically receive care - it should start from the moment they reach out.
What have you learned?
Projects should always ladder back to the human challenge - you need to be solving a problem. We wanted to nail the first stage of the journey in inquiry management as this was completely neglected. Doing this in the right way would help nurture a loyal customer base that would love the platform (and subsequently recommend it to others).
We introduced features throughout the project, occupancy management being a prime example. While these were well received, adding new features made it a slightly more complex sell. Found was initially conceived to be a CRM platform for the care sector. Sometimes, to scale, you need to keep it simple.
We did everything in-house: strategy, design, development, and marketing. Found was a project that spiraled into a business, and we needed to balance it against running the agency. The whole journey was a lesson in time management - it taught us not to get sucked in.
Suggested newsletters for you
What does Found tell us about Arrive?
Found is the perfect example to demonstrate the breadth of Arrive’s capabilities. Not many agencies have experience across the entire journey. There are agencies that can design and some that can take a product or service to market - but we delivered everything in-house.
The entrepreneurial spirit that we brought to the table with Found is something that will be carried across all of our clients and projects. Now the sale of Found has been finalized, it’s time to look to the future and search for new, exciting challenges.
Content by The Drum Network member:
Propeller delivers a joined-up approach to PR, Content and Business Development.
Our clients all have stories to tell.
Our role is to shape and put those stories in front of the right people, and we do.
The work we do builds credibility and awareness for our clients and enhances their positioning for action and growth.