Turbotax

Tangible UX has had a 10 year relationship with TurboTax. Being a part of the growth that has turned a small online tax business into the fuel that makes Intuit the company it is today with over $3 billion in annual revenue

When Support Needs Help

When TurboTax support agents were swamped by contacts — at the peak of tax season — the results included long wait times and a poor overall customer experience.

Tangible UX found that the TurboTax self-service help system was inconsistent and disjointed in terms of overall usability. More specifically, the visual and navigation design led to confusion, frustration, and erosion of users’ confidence.

With limited answers presented up front, users had to leave the product to get help, but had no clear path to get back. What’s more, the use of TurboTax on smartphones and tablets was increasing, yet the product and support sites were not keeping up in terms of being “mobile-friendly.”

Tangible UX helped ensure all this valuable information was easily accessible to TurboTax
customers on the go, by designing the content to be responsive to smartphones and tablets.
Tangible UX helped ensure all this valuable information was easily accessible to TurboTax
customers on the go, by designing the content to be responsive to smartphones and tablets.

Tangible UX conducted an audit of the self-service help system, identifying various inconsistencies and usability issues. Our findings were shared at all levels of the company, and galvanized various TurboTax teams to collaborate on a universal help system.

Tangible UX worked alongside the internal team to deliver this innovative help solution. We began by creating a style guide, with consistent user experience design conventions for the Help and Contact sections of the support website.

Next, we participated in frequent user testing sessions and usability studies, serving as the “champion” for the user — ensuring that decisions kept users’ best interest at the forefront. And we used responsive web design to create layouts that looked and worked great on tablets and smartphones.

To help shape the design of the TurboTax help system, we partnered with internal teams to conduct customer research, as well as “design for delight” sessions. From these efforts came “concept storyboards,” which we created to identify issues and refine solutions in sessions with TurboTax customers. Along the way, a few distinct issues began to bubble to the top.

Tangible UX addressed these customer concerns by developing an entirely new service design concept for TurboTax support.
Tangible UX addressed these customer concerns by developing an entirely new service design concept for TurboTax support.

Service Blueprints Maps created to diagram the new service innovations of TurboTax Support
Service Blueprints Maps created to diagram the new service innovations of TurboTax Support

We determined that the long FAQ documents that were in use addressed customers’ tax questions, but in an overly broad, inconvenient manner. Customers had to scroll through pages and pages of information to find the one answer they needed.

Our proposed alternative: a “smart” system that would provide highly contextual, accurate, and concise answers to customers’ specific questions.

The result: TurboTax Instant Answers. By providing an entirely new type of content created by tax experts, we were able to help TurboTax users get immediate answers to four out of five of their tax questions. (And though the content was new, we delivered it by repurposing existing Intuit technology, not by adding an expensive new back-end.)

What’s more, the solution created a network effect — concise, actionable help content for customers’ unique tax situations began to be populated by tax experts inside AND outside of Intuit.

And, Tangible UX helped ensure all this valuable information was easily accessible to TurboTax customers on the go, by designing the content to be responsive to smartphones and tablets.

By providing an entirely new type of content created by tax
experts, we were able to help TurboTax users get immediate answers to four out of five of their tax
questions.
By providing an entirely new type of content created by tax
experts, we were able to help TurboTax users get immediate answers to four out of five of their tax
questions.

Boosting Direct Response Rates

The TurboTax direct response team engages Tangible for ALL of its direct response efforts, including creative and A/B testing ideas.

For example, through testing, we’ve learned that adding personalization to the sign-in process increases conversion and customer satisfaction. (We’ve also identified scenarios in which personalization doesn’t boost response — which we’ll freely admit, as we believe all A/B test learnings are valuable!)


Here’s the key reason why TurboTax continues to partner with Tangible UX for direct response: We continually test and apply our learnings. As a result, the email campaigns we’re producing this year are significantly outperforming last year’s campaigns.

Plus, we’re seeing a significant lift in mobile engagement. We believe this is a direct result of our efforts to provide personalized, dynamic content to TurboTax users via their smartphones.

Testing Our Way to Wins on the Web

Tangible UX partnered with the TurboTax Web creative team to build their expertise in A/B testing (before A/B testing hit the “mainstream” of website optimization). The model for testing we established with TurboTax has been adopted by all of Intuit’s business units … and is now common throughout the industry.


Tangible UX hypothesized that using a narrative, focused on a benefit to the returning customer, would outperform the baseline (a features checklist).

We knew that TurboTax was able to access and display the previous year’s tax refund amount to returning customers. So we developed a test recipe that built a narrative around this information … and the resulting A/B test proved our hypothesis.

Next, we wanted to apply the lessons learned from the in-product test — to a different channel and a different audience.


Research found that new customers – online visitors who were shopping the TurboTax.com site — wanted to feel more confident that TurboTax “had their back.”

So we developed a narrative around the tax advisers who create and support the TurboTax software. Our hypothesis this time was that showing the actual people behind TurboTax would provide the new customer with more confidence in the product … and would increase conversion as a result.

Our homepage test recipe was a huge success. It indexed a 125 — and brought in many millions of dollars in incremental revenue. The story we told (through copy and visuals) clearly resonated with new TurboTax customers, building their confidence by showing them that TurboTax experts would be with them every step of the way.