You don’t really think about your utilities company until you receive a bill. How can the moments of billing and payments be better managed so as to improve a customer’s overall experience?
By collecting insights about the customers’ behavior during the moments of billing and payment, we helped E.ON, one of Italy’s leading energy operators, identify new service opportunities. Our goal was to validate different touchpoints and use them to speed up late payments, improve customer awareness and price perception, take down the number of complaints and misunderstandings – ultimately, to create a better overall customer experience.
Collaborating closely with E.On’s customer experience and credit teams, working with a very tight schedule to deliver results fast, we used our touchpoint check-up framework to identify gaps and opportunities for improving the interaction between E.ON and its customers.
By working with real data from the customers gathered through qualitative research, we brought on a deep understanding of human behavior to leverage and therefore guide the design of new solutions, which were finally tested with 1000+ customers.
A human-centered design approach allowed us to provide not only accurate guidelines for the touchpoints analyzed but also to describe customers’ needs as behavioral patterns and opportunities in order to improve the entire customer journey.
We started our work by testing the payment reminder SMS and video messages E.ON wanted to send to its customers. We validated the most appropriate channels for the targets, as well as the timing and the content to drive the virtuous behaviors E.ON wanted to support for its tardy customers, and provided E.ON with tangible tone and voice guidelines to improve the interaction with the different types of customers the company has.
Based on our information analysis and desk research, we provided recommendations on how to improve the information architecture of E.ON’s bills and notification emails for clearer communication and improved customer experience.
Sustainability, for example, is important for E.ON. We discovered that for the customers, it is relevant to receive information not only about the various initiatives but also their impact, so we recommended short updates to continuously inform customers about the progress the company is making.
While working on the single touchpoints, we also zoomed out to consider them as parts of the overall customer journey, aiming at an overall positive customer experience. By applying a systemic view, we deepen our understanding of the reasons for the customer behaviors, as well as the consequences of our proposed solutions.
Touchpoints are the main interfaces through which a brand communicates its value to customers over time, and it is the correct orchestration of these that creates a distinctive brand experience. It is crucial to adopt a multidisciplinary approach in order to understand the role they play, the needs they serve, and their strategic impact on the entire experience journey.
The customer research phase of the project took place during the COVID-19 lockdown of spring 2020. We created a workflow to conduct both the interviews and the tests from remote, using various easy-to-use digital tools to collaborate with the participants.