Dave Calleja, Head of Design in Australia, describes Merkle as a “customer experience company.”
To create great customer experiences, though, they know that something else has to come first: the employee experience.
Dave explains, “In order for customer experience to be exceptional, the employee experience, systems, and services have to be exceptional too. You’re not going to be able to deliver an exceptional experience to someone flying on an airplane if it’s a bad experience for the airline staff.”
For Dave, bad employee experiences are often wrapped up in poor tooling. The new partnership with zeroheight is a great way to ensure design teams have access to the right tools to improve collaboration and improve workflows.
Ultimately, improving the experience for designers and developers will lead to massive improvements for users too.
Merkle isn’t just concerned with employee experiences as a means of creating value for customers. They also look to improve customer experience directly.
Deciding how to improve customer experiences starts with looking at business goals combined with clear insight. Once the business goal is established, Merkle translates that into the necessary improvements for customers.
For example, when Merkle worked with Jetstar Airlines on increasing e-commerce revenue, they knew creating localised experiences would be the key since it would allow the company to target each consumer base in a meaningful way. So, they got to work creating digital experiences that spanned “multiple cultures and languages.”
After the 12-year engagement concluded, Merkle had worked on “everything from booking the right flight to the check-in process to getting on and off the airplane,” Dave recalls.
Along the way, they created a design system documenting virtually every digital and physical touchpoint customers had with Jetstar to ensure a consistent, enjoyable experience.
Since creating a design system is about solving a bigger business problem, we know that Merkle’s partnership will be valuable to many zeroheight users.
zeroheight is focused on creating a documentation platform that allows teams to quickly and easily create a design system.
But often, teams need more than a documentation tool to ensure the launch of their design system is successful.
For many teams, they’ll also need to think about “what tools they should be using and how to set them up, contribution and adoption frameworks,” Dave details.
Merkle is the perfect partner to help with all of those concerns. We start every project by auditing existing resources to understand what’s valuable. Then, the team salvages key bits in a central place before creating a plan for adding in new documentation.
Dave makes an apt analogy, “You can’t just give someone an F1 car. You need a track, you need a trained driver, a pit crew, and you need a maintenance team.”
While the zeroheight team certainly has an F1 car in the form of a great documentation platform, the Merkle team can provide additional resources for teams who don’t yet have them in-house.
For Dave, this partnership was a no-brainer. He explained, “zeroheight is a really easy, usable platform that integrates with all of the best in class tools, whether that be Figma, Storybook, or GitHub.”
Since the tool is so easy to use, there are more opportunities for the whole product team to get involved.
He continues, “It’s insanely democratised. Developers, designers, and content authors can all have an equal share in updating and sharing the documentation. It works as a distribution mechanism and a documentation platform.”
For the team at Merkle, this means they can recommend zeroheight, knowing that teams who use the tool have the time to focus on actually documenting a design system vs. figuring out how to document a design system.
And for zeroheight, working with an agency focused on helping the whole product team collaborate was right up their alley.
We’re looking forward to combining our expertise with the folks at zeroheight.
Together, we’re pretty confident we can help companies create big organisational change that results in better customer experiences.