Turning Digital Strategy into Digital Reality - Acquia, Microserve and YHA

 

A well-established UK charity, YHA (England & Wales) had been helping young people, schools, families and friends explore every part of England and Wales for more than 80 years, and yet recognised that its digital structure was causing them problems. The business was split over several websites, which created the potential for customer confusion and inconsistency of experience and branding. The YHA groups and school trips website, in particular, was slow, difficult to update and outdated. The solution was to bring together all the different sites under one roof, with the help of Acquia, Drupal 8 and Microserve.

Video transcript:

Jon Smith: YHA is an incredible organization. We've got a rich 85-year history at creating unique opportunities for young people to grow, develop, and learn, and develop life-changing skills.

One of the specific problems with our old setup was that we had multiple websites representing each part of the organization. So, we had our group bookings on one website, and school trips on another website, families and individuals on another website. It didn't really represent a brand anymore and the new face of YHA. Our customers were finding it difficult to find the YHA group’s website, and new customers, um, weren't able to see us on search engines.

Ben Griffiths: The website was mobile optimized, so it wasn't up to current web standards. This also limited our team’s ability to develop new features or functionality.

Jon Smith: So, we realized we needed to both change the front facing side of the site, um, and upgrade the platform as well. We've been working with Acquia for a number of years and using their Acquia platform and are really happy with the service we've had. So, we trusted them to provide us with a shortlist of Drupal specialists.

We were delighted to select Microserve to develop our group’s website moving forward. We had a really short window of opportunity to launch this website before the new group’s, and school trips. Microserve were prepared to take on this challenge and deliver the website with us as part of a virtual team. And I'm really pleased to say we launched the website on schedule.

Ben Griffiths: The new group’s website has been extremely positive, both in terms of the analytic data that we've recorded and the customer feedback we’ve received.

Jon Smith: It’s quicker, it’s easier to navigate, and it’s easier to find from search engines. This has given us a 200 percent increase in traffic. It’s also generated more leads than ever before into our contact center.

Ben Griffiths: The website is mobile optimized with more clear information and up-to-date content. And, more importantly, it provided us with a strong foundation to future-proof.

Jon Smith: The great news is this is just the start of our digital transformation journey. I'm really looking forward to working with Acquia and Microserve to build on the great work we've done so far but also to migrate our remaining websites onto Drupal 8.

Ben Griffiths: We're looking to have in-hostel digital experiences, gamification, social media integration. This is across the entire customer journey.

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Sunday, August 6, 2017
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