Increased NPS to +53 within 8 months 5005 increase in funds under management in 5 years 24.6% increase in FUM in 2020

Passionate ethical investors who wanted a voice

Our first step was to go out and talk with customers in a way that would reveal the most important issues. We spent time with Australian Ethical investors to truly understand not only what they wanted from their fund performance, plus what they expected from their ethical investments. By getting up close with everyday ethical investors, we were able to quickly bring back the voice of the customer.

True co-design where all stakeholders have their say

Our next step was to involve Australian Ethical staff. We ran a half day session with more than 50 head office staff to share what we'd found, and co-design solutions. The aim was to accelerate innovation and idea development. We created five idea pods with unique themes and helped everyone generate ideas using Post-it notes and giant innovation boards. The result was an increase in staff engagement and lots more ideas than we ever could have imagined if we didn't involve the whole team.

A co-design workshop being conducted

Customer insights that drive
empathy and ideas

We also reached out to customers who were invested with Australian Ethical. Of everyone we spoke to, it became crystal clear that customers didn't know about the ethical successes that Australian Ethical were creating with the funds. We realised that if Australian Ethical could do a better job of sharing their successes, not only would customers be happier, it would act as a promotional tool for potential customers.

Employees working through a workshop activity with one of our team members A proto team member analysing the insights from our research

Prioritising to solve real problems

It's one thing to develop a whole range of ideas that might solve a problem. It's altogether another thing to prioritise those ideas for real life success. We used a Customer Experience Pyramid to sort through what ideas were the 'must haves' for Australian Ethical's members, and which needed to come later.

Prioritsiation pyramid in portfolio

Current and ideal customer
journey mapping

Our customer journey maps build organisation-wide knowledge of customer actions, thoughts and feelings. We created a current journey map based on customers' existing reality, and then with employees we co-created an ideal journey map that showed what an ideal experience would look and feel like for their members. This ideal map aligned employees and provided guidance on exactly how to prioritise, action and execute distinctive experiences that would help Australian Ethical employees empathise with and delight their customers.

Australian Ethical current journey map

Results with lasting impact

The results were overwhelmingly positive. We were able to deliver against Australian Ethical's 3 year roadmap and create 'wow' customer experiences for over 35,000 Australians that now invest and trust their super with Australian Ethical. By combining detailed customer research, co-design workshops and prioritising 100 initiatives, Australian Ethical employees are aware, aligned and prepared to consistently deliver experiences their customer value and solve any new problems.

Australian Ethical ideas in a portfolio book

Proto was able to deliver:

  • A customer service delivery model for all phases of our superannuation member journey
  • Clear design and direction for what the customer experience would look and feel like
  • A robust and compelling future state map that provides Australian Ethical with a clear and actionable activities to deliver improvements within each phase of the journey

We continue to work with Proto and call them on for advice and guidance to help us improve our overall customer experience. Many companies make big promises, but Proto have shown us that brand is the promise you make, customer experience is the promise you keep.

Allyson Lowbridge, Chief Customer Officer

Understand your Customers and Grow your business.

Let us help you identify the most important thing about your customers that will unlock your company’s growth.


Delivering phenomenal outcomes

“Working with Proto was a leap of faith, but they have become a major strategic partner in our CX evolution. The work they've developed and the way we've been able to embed it in the organisation has been absolutely phenomenal, and we're getting the outcomes we want.”

Felicity Clark
Felicity Clark Customer Experience Manager

Creating empathy to deliver outstanding results

“Proto were a pleasure to work with. They were adaptive and responsive, and developed a deep empathy for both the client and their customers. The quality of their products and services was outstanding.”

Michael Storey
Michael Storey Manager of Customer Research and Strategy at Sydney Water

Halving your customer churn

“Without the customer experience insights from the research program, we would not have been able to identify the acquisition issues that we had. Changes to the customer interactions that led up to financial protection have reduced the outflow rates by 50%.”

Felicity Rowcliff Dean
Felicity Rowcliff Dean Customer Centred Design Manager

Take your NPS score to the next level

“From an NPS perspective, I have gone Spinal Tap on you guys and gone to 11. I still think the work you did with us, the way you went about it and the deliverables amounted to one of the best pieces of consulting advice I've ever commissioned.”

Matthew Liebmann
Matthew Liebmann Former Chief Operating Officer

Enabling customer-centric design

“Over the last 18 months, we've constantly referred to the work Proto did for us when designing and developing all the improvements to the app we're making. We've found their work to be highly valuable and has resulted in significant improvements to the MyOptus App that, without their insight wouldn't have been possible.”

Lucy Turner
Lucy Turner CX Design Launch Manager

Exceptional prototyping

“The outcome of the prototyping has been exceptional and we continue to use the knowledge and expertise that Proto shared with us during their engagement. The icing on the cake for me was that Proto captured all of the insights from the customer workshops into an organisational asset that we now use as an integral part of our toolkit for training and briefing new team members.”

Sharon Nanetti
Sharon Nanetti Optimal Care Program Director

Prioritising what matters

“Proto's in-depth customer research helped us to uncover underlying customer needs that wouldn't have been possible without an 'outside-in' approach. The team identified the core customer problems and provided actionable insights that enabled us to remove key areas of customer friction and frustration and redesign a credit card experience like no other.”

Christian Johansson
Christian Johansson Head of Marketing, Customer Finance

Achieving a 20 point increase in NPS

“I have worked with Damian and the team at Proto for several years. In this time, they have worked collaboratively with us to build a roadmap of strategic 'outside-in' initiatives that ultimately resulted in a 20 point increase in NPS. They imparted a great deal of CX knowledge, approaches and tools that have been invaluable to the team and the business.”

Amanda O'Donnell
Amanda O'Donnell Head of Customer Experience

Insight driven, customer centric ideas

“Proto revealed and captured a ton of insights, putting Gumtree in a position where we can take our experience from good to great!”

Coen Horrevoets
Coen Horrevoets Head of Product

Award-winning customer experiences

“We won the AFR Smart Investor SMILES award for Best Online Broker. This award is based on customer voting and I believe this was as a result of a clearer focus on our existing clients which you helped us to understand.”

Arni Selvarajah
Arnie Selvarajah Chief Executive Officer

Design that reduces cost to serve

“The Proto team demonstrated flexibility in their approach which made such a refreshing change. They took the time to coach and mentor each of us in a highly creative and energetic environment. Furthernore, they helped us exceed our customer satisfaction targets, all whilst stripping out in excess of 20% of our service costs in under 12 months. Proto helped us to stay focussed on the customer which enabled us to win in the market.”

Matthew Anderson
Matthew Anderson Chief Operating Officer

Service innovation at scale

“We worked with Proto on an exciting & unprecedented challenge at Optus, to design the customer experience of the future. Damian & the team had high energy & together we operated as 'one team'. Proto worked hand in hand with us to bring the internal team up to speed, & also brought in global experts to work with us to take our deliverables to another level of quality & innovation.”

Dan Sunderland
Dan Sunderland Director of Customer Experience Strategy and Planning

Actionable Customer Strategies

“Proto developed a membership strategy that addressed points of friction along our members journey, identified opportunities to improve and clarified the types of engagement that our members needed at the different stages in their career. We were impressed with the depth of insight that Proto were able to bring to the project - as well as the energy and ideas that they helped to generate.”

Sarah Thompson
Sarah Prescott-Thompson General Manager Shared Services

A partnership for CX

“Working with Proto was very much a partnership. We worked hand-in-hand to put CX on the map within the organisation. The team are flexible, trustworthy and do what it takes to achieve the best outcome. If you’re looking for a quality agency, providing quality data and insights – Proto are your guys. We received over 90 initiatives from the project of which 79% have now been implemented and we are seeing the benefits flow through!”

Customer Experience Specialist

Unique Product Innovation

“Proto integrated into multiple simultaneous projects to ensure we achieved the best outcome. They brought real clarity around customer needs, the fundamental elements of our value proposition and provided a clear roadmap of where we're trying to get to. This allowed us to differentiate beyond the traditional proposition. As a result, one customer-informed initiative we developed was loanScore™. This unique innovation helps customers see how good their home loan is and evaluate their options for a better deal.”

Anthony Justice
Anthony Jusitce CEO