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Gunnison County Electric Association (GCEA) is a non-profit, member-owned rural electric cooperative established in 1938 with a mission to serve its members by providing safe, reliable energy while maintaining a strong cooperative tradition and a vision for the future. In line with its commitment to serving its members, GCEA sought to improve its online presence to better accommodate its members and to leverage their website to increase engagement, use of online tools, and deliver an intuitive visitor experience. GCEA partnered with Powerful to achieve these goals.
For GCEA, enhancing their website was a crucial step towards maintaining strong relationships with members, enabling them to access services conveniently, and encouraging engagement. Powerful began the redesign project with a thorough analysis of GCEA’s existing website, assessing the interface of online tools, the structure and navigability of the website, and the current levels of member engagement. This assessment formed the basis for the redesign strategy, with each solution tailored to address a specific challenge.
Navigating through a website can either be a breeze or a maze, depending on the structure, layout, and design of the website. The original GCEA website had challenges related to navigability, making it difficult for members to locate essential services and information. Critical links such as ‘One-Time Payment’, ‘Outage Center’, and ‘Contact Us’ were prominently placed on the homepage, ensuring that members could access these services quickly and easily. This eliminated the need for members to navigate through several pages to perform these common tasks.
As a result, GCEA was able to provide a more satisfactory online experience to its members, embodying their mission of delivering safe, reliable energy with a strong cooperative tradition.
ChallengesGCEA's online tools, which included member services like account management and bill pay, were previously embedded deep within the site, with complex and non-intuitive interfaces. This deterred members from using these tools, resulting in a high volume of phone inquiries that could have been handled online.
SolutionsTo encourage active member participation, Powerful's team took the time to understand the visitor journey for each online tool. Powerful reworked the overall experience, starting from their basic architecture to visitor interface. For example, they introduced a hierarchical structure to the website’s content, ensuring that members could find what they needed within 3 clicks.
ResultsThe simplification and improved navigation enhanced member convenience while also reducing the load on GCEA's phone lines. With the help of a clear website structure and easy access to information, members could find the information they needed more efficiently, improving their overall experience with the website.