When you buy a Weber Grill, chances are it’s going to be around for more than a few years. Like any product that is made to last, replacement parts are going to be crucial over the life of the product. This offered Weber a great opportunity to explore E-commerce options without upsetting an already robust network of dealers and existing retailers.
That opportunity also highlighted another problem: How do you keep your parts taxonomy organized for a portfolio of products that span 30+ years, some of which haven’t been sold since the mid 1980s? Secondly, how do you help the customer that owns your product, but has no idea what model they own or what year it was made?
Weber’s customer service reps were getting to the bottom of this the old fashioned way – over the phone. Callers would be put through a series of questions in order to determine exactly what model they had, and what parts were available for that model.
Implementing the process involved extensive prototyping to ensure that the decision matrix was complete. At each iteration, service reps would verify against the steps they followed with a customer via phone. Download a full PDF of the flowchart.
The result was an online decision tree that identified physical characteristics to determine type, model, and year based on key engineering decisions in the product history. This allows users to quickly find a list of available parts based on the product range they fall into – despite all the information they don’t have on hand.
Consistent photography made the user choices easy to highlight the desired characteristics for each step. Fortunately, Weber was able to supply older products that met the requirements for parts that were further back in the product history.