Overhauling Sea Tow’s Digital Experience
When Sea Tow ran into limitations due to older technologies and inefficient user flows, they partnered with our team at LaunchPad Lab to transform their digital experience with seamless Salesforce website integration.
Sea Tow Services International Inc., better known as Sea Tow®, has been the premier leader of on-water assistance since 1983. Servicing the US, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Sea Tow is a franchise organization with over 100 locations within its footprint. From towing to fuel delivery, battery jumps, and ungroundings, Sea Tow is Your Road Service at Sea®.
Offering several membership-based services, LaunchPad Lab supported Sea Tow in relying on the power of Salesforce, consolidating older technologies, and redesigning the user flow to ensure an enhanced user experience and increase conversion rates.
Sea Tow came to LaunchPad Lab with an interest in our Salesforce expertise and our experience building on Heroku. For years, the brand had wanted to rely on Salesforce as a single source of truth for all customer relationships. Moving towards this goal Sea Tow developed a Heroku-based API, however, as a large company with a long history, their prior website did not integrate seamlessly with the API and Salesforce. To modernize the website and embrace an interconnected CRM experience utilizing their Heroku-based API, Sea Tow’s website needed a digital transformation—and that’s when the LaunchPad Lab team stepped in to reimagine the business’s current website technologies.
Developing New Design Flows
Sea Tow’s previous member portal and digital experience fell short, mostly due to its age and the limitations of the technology used. In addition to consolidating Sea Tow’s current processes, LaunchPad Lab also reimagined how Sea Tow’s digital presence would support its members.
As a membership-based service, Sea Tow had several user flows already built—but none were functioning to the highest degree possible. The application didn’t support the ability to enact mid-year membership upgrades—and its ability to change experiences for new versus renewing customers was extremely limited.
To help, we reimagined what each flow could look like: One for new memberships one for a renewal membership flow, one for mid-year upgrades, and one for the purchase of a gift membership. We also reimagined the member dashboard experience.
Building a Streamlined Portal for Partners
Sea Tow Savings Club™ is a membership benefit that allows members to receive one-of-a-kind deals and discounts from Savings Club participants.
Without automated flows, companies had to reach out manually to the Sea Tow team to be added to the website—resulting in time-consuming processes. We were tasked with building and designing an enhanced portal for program participants, one that was easy to update, add or revise offers, and target members geographically like never before.
The Solution and Approach
With Sea Tow, the complexities of the development tasks required our team to understand the business from a comprehensive point of view. Instead of tackling all the workflows and digital transformations simultaneously, we knew we had to prioritize each section of the project independently.
Sea Tow’s previous website was outdated, hard to navigate, and left their marketing team with limited ability to optimize both the front end and landing pages on their site. Our team at LaunchPad Lab sat down with their stakeholders to understand their vision for the new website, uncovering the frustrations and sticking points along the way.
Our team transformed their website from a pain point into a well-thought-out tool and branding asset that in turn reduced CPC costs, increased overall visitation to the site, and boosted conversion rates with a more customized purchasing flow. We used a combination of WordPress and Salesforce to power the website through the Sea Tow API, which was set up to update the data each night. We used Auth0 for the login & registration features, and Auth0 SDK PHP for handling authentication and sending users into their respective portals—the member and or partner experience.
We also included a Locator Map so potential customers could view their closest locations by using a WordPress plugin called Maps Pro. For this database, we wrote another custom script that updates nightly syncing data from Salesforce via API and in turn, displays the patrol and dock locations for all Sea Tow franchises on the Locator Map.
The member portal is a critical part of retention for Sea Tow. This is where members can log in to manage their account details, membership options, and browse Sea Tow Savings Club offers.
This new portal was a React application and acted as the front-end user interface to pass data coming from Salesforce through the Sea Tow API, supporting their team’s goal of using Salesforce as their single source of truth. Some notable features of the member portal include:
- Savings Club browse and search features
- The ability to enroll and manage automatic renewal
- The ability to manage their account and membership settings
- View and edit billing methods
- Add, edit, or remove boats and contacts from the membership
New/Existing Member User Flow
Prior to rebuilding the member portal and dashboard with LaunchPad Lab, Sea Tow’s previous portal lacked the ability for members to self-upgrade their membership throughout the year, causing a sticking point in their member experience. In addition to this, the membership options for new members were not always clear, potentially causing members to purchase the wrong membership for how they use their boat.
To help create a better experience, we designed a new user flow for each of these problems. For new members, we created an initial product questionnaire to determine the best membership type and a “Home Port” wizard utilizing Google Maps + Places APIs to ensure accurate and complete data, which helped the user precisely identify their home port.
Selecting the proper home port was critical to Sea Tow as they assign each membership to a local franchise. We used a similar framework and flow to create a feature enabling existing members to upgrade their membership throughout the year directly in the portal.
Savings Club + Partner Portal
Sea Tow offered a suite of exclusive savings to their members, and to support this, they needed a way to manage their program participants and their offers. Previously, Savings Club participants would work directly with the Sea Tow team and have them manually set up the offers, or savings opportunities, that they wanted to offer. This was extremely time-consuming for the Sea Tow team.
With the new Savings Club + Partner Portal that our team built, companies could apply to become a Sea Tow Savings Club participant directly on their website.
From there, approved participants could log in to the Partner Portal and create and manage their own offerings for Sea Tow customers directly with their self-service tools, eliminating a lot of extra work for the Sea Tow team, while enhancing the experience for Savings Club participants. The portal was built on React, utilized Auth0 for authentication, and sent all of the participant offers back into Salesforce through Sea Tow’s API.
After 10+ months of digital transformation, the new Sea Tow website launched. The team immediately experienced a reduction in time spent on manual processes as their previous operations were replaced with streamlined user flows, Salesforce was further integrated into the heart of their business, and SEO and tracking increased significantly.
With their new digital presence, Sea Tow expects higher conversions and an enhanced member experience—and with a more streamlined web presence, the brand is well positioned for long-term success.
Is your business facing similar challenges or curious about what your digital transformation could look like? Schedule a free discovery call with our team at LaunchPad Lab today!
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