23% increase in buyer's satisfaction 45 Service improvements recommendations delivered within 12 months 13% decrease in abandoned cart

Building a deeper understanding of the customer journey

To deliver on Gumtree's aspirations, we knew that we would need to fully understand their customer's journey, from the first inquiry to final transaction. To build a complete and detailed understanding of their end-to-end user experience, we combined customer interviews and home observation with internal stakeholder holder meetings and the incorporation of existing research.

To drill down on the customer experience, we also facilitate two "jobs to be done" workshops. These workshops allowed us to gather live data on how customers reacted to Gumtree's services and highlighted crucial areas for improvement.

Understanding the phases of
customer interaction

Drawing on the insights generated by our research, Proto was able to provide Gumtree with a deeper understanding of the six phases of customer interaction, awareness and research, orientation, listing and searching, contact with buyers or sellers, closing the deal and issues and troubleshooting.

By detailing the phases we were able to draw up the typical end to end journey of Gumtree users. We gained a rich understanding of what buyers and sellers valued, highlighting pain points and opportunity statements to aid in wowing Gumtree users at every touch point.

Gumtree staff in a customer workshop with Proto Founder Damian and CX team

Seeing things from the
customers perspective

By mapping the phases of user experience in detail, we were able to understand the customer's primary needs and motivations. This fundamental information could then be distilled into actionable insights and opportunities. In total, 55 customer touch-points were mapped and analysed, with each touch-point generating customer insights, service themes, levels of friction and avenues of potential improvement.

Gumtree and Proto going through large customer journey maps on the floor Gumtree customer journey map

Adopting a customer-centric approach

To ensure that stakeholder and staff at Gumtree understood how they could contribute to the creation of the ideal customer journey, we created a number of guiding themes for improving and developing the user experience.

We aligned Gumtree staff using these themes, based on identified pain points and critical opportunities within the current buyer and seller journey. We also gave them the framework to build a customer-centric culture into the heart of their business. This framework enabled them to use the customer's needs as the driving force behind future service improvements.

Gumtree imagine a world graphic

Delivering the ideal customer journey

To provide the tools required to make Gumtree's customer experience aspiration a reality, we created an extensive package of customer-centric tools and reference materials designed to inspire and guide Gumtree in delivering the ideal customer journey. The initiatives produced were grounded in customer feedback and created a customer strategy that responded to their revealed needs.

Out of our 45 service recommendations, Gumtree implemented 50% within nine months, with the rest made part of an 18-month rollout of co-designed services and features.

Gumtree portfolio by Proto

"From the get go we knew the Proto team were super stars. Their enthusiasm and energy coupled with their world class methods, cut through the noise and brought clarity to our customers voice. Understanding the value drivers enhanced the empathy we have towards our customers, which further helped us prioritise a winning formula. This enabled us to continue to build an iconic Australian brand."

Baris Ozturk, Head of CX and Insights at Gumtree

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