Cluey Learning Summer Initiative

Employer: Cluey Learning
Role: Head of Product Design
Process: Strategy, Research, User Experience, Visual Design
Tools: Pen & Paper, Miro, Sketch

Cluey Learning empowers school going children—and their parents—to make informed decisions about education by providing personalised learning programs which align with their academic needs. An experienced education team creates, curates and sequences content aligned with local state syllabuses Australia-wide while recruiting and developing tutors who pair with students to guide them toward their learning goals.

The long summer holidays between school years is an important time for Cluey Learning because demand for the service ebbs and flows with the start and end of school terms throughout the year. Creating the right experience for customers during this time is vital to the company's growth and sustainability.

The Summer retention initiative for 2021/22 had the following objectives:

  • Maximise revenue through December 2021 and January 2022
  • Increase % of customer retention from previous year
  • Decrease customer care support cost
  • Gain insight into household life during the Summer holidays

The Summer initiative required consideration and service design for both:

End of year off-boarding

The problem

Unaware of their options, customers find it difficult to signal how they’d like their enrolment setup toward the end of the school year and therefore:

  • Default to “cancellation” as a way of stopping.
  • Miss out on opportunities to utilise the service in a way more suited to holidays.
  • Don’t plan a break with a new year resumption.

For Cluey, this results in pressure on customer care and success teams to chase up customers and process changes.

The solution

To decrease end-of-year cancellation and maximise summer learning activity (paid tutoring sessions), a pro-active campaign was designed to:

Learning from the previous year's initiative suggested that customers who engaged during the holidays were more likely to remain well into the following year. It was also found that those who wished to take a break would be more open to resumption of service if they have been guided to "pause" rather than "cancel" in the previous year.

Therefore the customer experience had to;

  • Prompt planning and consideration.
  • Provide relevant options.
  • Incentivise Summer learning or early restart.
  • Capture and confirm Summer schedule.

Learning from the previous year's initiative suggested that customers who engaged during the holidays were more likely to remain well into the following year. It was also found that those who wished to take a break would be more open to resumption of service if they have been guided to "pause" rather than "cancel" in the previous year.

Service design

Given the sheer number of customers required to process in a short time, directing customers to use their Cluey Hub to make their selections was vital to ensure all customers could be successfully notified and their preferences collected. The experience needed to allow customers to make all the required decisions efficiently using these principles to make it effective:

  • Guide through relevant options.
  • Capture clear intent.
  • Reward continuing, (rather than incentivising against stopping).
  • Opt-in vs opt-out.
  • Obvious feedback and confirmation.

Aside from the online experience, all service channels were considered in the design process, including off-line support processes to ensure that from the start of November, until the commencement of the Summer Period (Dec 18), customers would have a consistent and aligned interaction regardless of channel, with the same signals, message and incentives.

Cluey Learning off-boarding service map The service map indicates all the rules associated with customer cohorts, flows, messaging and associated options across the entire off-boarding period.

Off-boarding wizard experience

Starting in november to allow ample time to consider their household holiday plans, customers were reminded to manage their Cluey enrolments for the upcoming summer holidays via a targetted email campaign, as well as through banners added to standard notifications and key platform experiences. All calls to action pointed to an off-boarding wizard which guided customers through the various, relevant options applicable to their learning program so that they could prepare for the upcoming school holidays accordingly.

Cluey Learning end-of-year off-boarding wizard step 1 The first step reminds customers that the long holiday break is a good time to consolidate learning and avoid "the summer slide" as well as offer a variety of monetary incentives to selected cohorts. Cluey Learning end-of-year off-boarding wizard step 2 The options list invites consideration for increasing or decreasing learning support during the Summer period, with scaling incentives. Cluey Learning end-of-year off-boarding wizard step 3 The customer can customise the learning period during Summer to include a 2 week break in December as well as select to maintain or change their current session time. Cluey Learning end-of-year off-boarding wizard step 4 The customer may amend their current tutoring session schedule to coincide with changes in the household schedule over summer. Cluey Learning end-of-year off-boarding wizard step 5 Once Summer learning is confirmed, a customer can also opt-in for additional practice exercises. Cluey Learning end-of-year off-boarding wizard pause step Customers who decide to take a break for the entire Summer are prompted to provide a new year resumption with an incentive to restart before the new school year officially commences. They are also offered free practice exercises to retain some engagement with Cluey over the break. Cluey Learning end-of-year off-boarding wizard pause confirmation step Enrolment pause confirmation screen.

Start of year reboarding

For customers who decided to pause their enrolment during the summer holiday, a reboarding experience would remind and prompt them that their Cluey tutoring sessions would resume as they requested, give them details about the new year's learning program and prompt them to review their schedule to make any necessary adjustments.

Designing the conversation

Given the amount of variability involved in what a customer had opted to do (or not do) during the Summer, the conversation was designed to ensure adequate prompts and options for each pathway were considered, and plans could be made for any feature or service changes required across all platforms and channels.

Cluey Learning new year reboarding conversation flow design map Cluey Learning new year reboarding conversation flow design map

Customer Hub user experience flow

To smoothly transition continuing customers from Summer mode, the Customer Hub:

  • Prompt customers with adequate time to consider their immediate needs for restarting, or continuing.
  • Enable configuration of enrolments to meet their new school year needs.
Cluey Learning design exploration sketches Low-fidelity end-to-end customer experience for end-of-year 2021 off-boarding

Results and reflections

The summer initiative successfully achieved the following:

  • Increased number of students learning during the Summer.
  • Increased retention of students compared to previous period.
  • Decreased support cost through significant increase in self-service, including a reduction of support times through expensive phone-based channels compared to previous years.

Insight

A research program was undertaken in parallel to the initiative while customers experienced it, including; qualitative customer interviews and ethnography study, quantitative end of flow questionnaires and surveys as well as monitoring the campaign performance. The key insights were:

  • Discounting only marginally increased % of continuing customers.
  • Offering ONLY formal "curriculum-based" was a barrier for customers who believe the Summer holidays are an opportunity to learn in a non-academic context.
  • Children have more agency over their time therefore increases likelihood of child-refusal.
  • Many customer who decided to cancel enrolments still believed Cluey had been valuable for that year.
  • Communication campaign timing halted cancellations but also prompted some premature pausing.

Takeaways

Subsequent strategies would need to consider;

  • The creation of alternative learning products or services for the holidays will be required to significantly increase revenue across the Summer because many customers are seeking something outside of school-based learning.
  • Retaining customers will require re-assurance that the service can support their needs changing context. For example, for customers whose situation will differ greatly in the subsequent year, such as the transition to high-school from primary-school.

Lorenzo Princi
Software designer—Product strategy and experience