CRN IMPACT Awards: GHO Sydney cuts Urbanest's processing time by 50%

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CRN IMPACT Awards: GHO Sydney cuts Urbanest's processing time by 50%

The student accommodation market is busy and competitive, so Australian accommodation provider Urbanest decided that to stand out from the crowd it needed to overhaul its website.

Urbanest brought in long-time partner GHO Sydney, who was tasked with redesigning Urbanest’s website to showcase the company’s value proposition to customers, as well as drive business efficiencies.

Urbanest also decided it was time for a rebrand, so visual articulation of the brand was entrusted to GHO, which set about on a strategy to digitally showcase the customer experience to the market through Urbanest’s website. The Sydney-based digital marketing agency was also tasked with improving the user experience for international agents, which account for a quarter of Urbanest’s bookings, with a dedicated microsite and gated portal to build advocacy through an agent loyalty program.

Urbanest felt its B2B channels, including international agents, were under-represented on the website and required an experience that catered for their diverse requirements. They also needed to include a method of direct communication, as previous updates with international agents was carried out via a monthly direct emails.

GHO carried out research into Urbanest’s customer base to gauge their needs including how they use the website, what they consider during the enquiry process and how the brand would be repositioned.

Through that research, GHO implemented new features like the ‘Find my Urbanest’ property selector, which allows users to search for properties based on their customised requirements. GHO also built a new gated portal to support international agents and their loyalty programs.

To implement the new website, GHO developed a modular approach to the backend CMS, allowing Urbanest to quickly manage content without going back to the dev phase. As a result, more than 4,500 content sections were updated over 40 unique modules.

Thanks to the new website, Urbanest was able to digitise more than 20 previously manual forms, cutting down processing time by approximately 50 percent. And thanks to the agents portal, more than 300 international agents can now connect to Urbanest, saving on in-market visits and offering real-time training materials, microsites for each property and updates for agents embedded within the portal.

Urbanest marketing and design manager Monica Westwood thanked GHO for providing a platform for retention and growth with a website that tailors the experience for each customer.

“GHO were quick to establish a vision for how to best incorporate the new brand positioning into a seamless digital experience. They brought it to life visually early in the process so all stakeholders were engaged and could contribute meaningfully to the process,” said Westwood.

“Without a doubt, by driving the process through insights and the collaborative approach with GHO, we’ve elevated the online experience of our brand, giving us a competitive advantage in an increasingly busy market. We couldn’t be happier with the result of the website, and the flexibility it has given for us as a business to adapt as we grow.”


GHO Sydney is a finalist in the 'Customer Experience' category in the 2019 CRN Impact Awards. For a list of all finalists and further details on the awards, please head to the CRN Impact Awards hub. The awards take place during the CRN Pipeline conference. You can get more information and purchase tickets here.

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