B2B site redesign, Recycle Aerosol
Hacking the good ol' boys club
Recycle Aerosol is a B2B environmental waste processing center. They offer an innovative product that allows customers six-figure annual savings -- but one most of their customers couldn't imagine, due to legal regulations around reporting waste.
My work began as a resarcher, doing a competitive usability study to help them understand why a newly-launched website had resulted in zero qualified leads over a year. In short, the website was B2C. As a ux team of one, I supplemented user interviews with expert interviews and created a new information architecture, landing page wireframes, and content strategy for the entire site - down to the mission statement.
Within a few weeks of the site relaunch, they received a phone call from a VP at Stericycle, the company with the most waste aerosol cans in North America.
Environmental Services - B2B
Insight: The relationship arc in waste services
Culture is key in B2B work. The waste services industry is small and has a distinct culture and ways of building trust. Liability is not just financial - poorly disposed of waste can result in deaths of employees. For this reason, dealmaking happens slowly - it may take a year of back and forth site visits, reviewing inspection records, etc. to build up enough trust to sign a contract. Once the contract is signed, however, relationships typically continue for decades.
Understanding how dealmaking works in this particular culture allowed me to persuade the CEO to shift the goal of the website from "landing" a sale, to beginning that long-term relationship. I removed all references to "low cost" and "saving money" as they signalled "shady" to users and added links to the type of formal documentation companies typically request from each other at the beginning of a relationship.
Because my client didn't have personal relationships to leverage, I put that initial step on the website, so that potential customers would see that my client "spoke their language" and understood the norms of the culture, even if they didn't have the usual personal introduction.