Better Place Forests

It's not every day that you get to design a product focused around death, and for an average customer that's over 60 years old. BPF's goal is to provide a natural alternative to cemeteries -- spreading your ashes beneath a personal memorial tree in one of their permanently protected forests.

The primary challenge for Better Place was developing a system that allowed the business to scale, and at the same time minimizing the need to scale a sales force. We focused on researching and building an online tool that would allow a small team to sell to our unique customer base with as little hands-on as possible. Since launch, the application has processed tens of thousands of dollars in revenue, mostly from consumers who have little to no experience with online payments or online contracts.

I initially worked with BPF's lead engineer to design and build internal applications that expedite the sales process, and customer-facing tools that help a unique customer base (60+ yrs old) sign online contracts and use online payments.

I started the project by understanding the complete sales flow and touch points for both customers and the sales team. We evaluated each step for inefficiencies to see where we could automate portions of the process and eliminate wasted time and human error. This went through several revisions as I communicated with the sales teamto arrive at a processes that worked for them, and BPF customers.

In our initial work, we had made an assumption that because of the weighty nature of the product (death), our process needed to carry that same weight, and most potential customers would want to visit a forest and pick out their specific, personal, tree. That ended up being true for some, but we also found a different segment of customers.

For many people reaching the end of their life, dealing with the minutiae of death-related plans is a pain, and not an emotional experience. It's a transactional one.

This finding caused us to reassess some of our initial assumptions, and also revisit the idea of a more 'e-commerce' style experience around choosing a tree.

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