CONTACT ENERGY - HELPING CUSTOMERS MANAGE ENERGY PROACTIVELY

The New Zealand electricity industry has undergone significant transformation in the past decade. The number of electricity retailers has dramatically increased, in what is largely defined as an open market, and new innovative ways to pay for power have emerged such as wholesale “spot” pricing allowing customers to effectively purchase directly off the grid at market cost.

Amongst this, trusted provider Contact Energy saw an opportunity to help customers navigate this increasingly confusing landscape through delivery of a strong digital vision and personalised toolset. An existing Sitecore customer, Contact Energy recognised that continued investment in the Sitecore Experience Platform through a website rebuild would ensure the vision could be achieved.

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THE CHALLENGE:
Contact Energy wanted to help customers accurately determine what type of energy user they are and provide accurate pricing based on personalised customer information. They wanted to get the basics right, which other companies often fail on, then consider how they can appropriately offer customers value add services such as Broadband as a bundled “one bill” service offering.

OUR APPROACH:
Contact Energy engaged Cucumber on this digital project and the process kicked off with user research led by Contact Energy to define customer needs. Following this we ran stakeholder workshops including team co-design sessions, prototype development and user testing and design and build sprint planning/ sizing sessions. The design and development sprint cycles followed Agile methodology with two-weekly releases.

THE SOLUTION:
The sessions with Contact Energy led us to the following recommendations for their digital experience:

  • Implementation of accurate Address Finder functionality and integrate this API into Sitecore Experience Platform;
  • Providing customers with estimated pricing based on key questions taking into consideration not only their address but also usage questions. 
  • Making a recommendation for the best products based on the customer’s needs at a one to one level. 
  • Showcasing extra value-adds to the customer throughout the buy journey based on their selections

This greater level of customer knowledge allowed Contact Energy to suggest complementary products such as Energy and Broadband as a bundle, and value-add offers and rewards based on a customer’s preference.

Contact Energy also challenged themselves to ask the customer as little as possible in the online form to streamline the experience. The previous join form was long and often deterred customers from
completing online sign ups.

 

THE RESULTS:
When the new website launched in June 2017 results of the experience optimisation were seen immediately with an 8% uplift in conversion, meaning more people were completing the online join journey. 

Customer feedback received from NPS questionnaire also highlighted a positive perception of the digital experience. NPS has also been implemented showing increased month on month as the enhancement programme is rolled out. 

The key engagement measures for the Contact Energy digital experience included number of new joins, retained customers following a move, additional properties added and changes in customer details (indicating active customers).

Following the website rebuild all of these measures improved. On average the number of weekly new joins increased by 24%. The new join conversion rate shifted from 14% to 22% and the NPS score, a new measure post website rebuild, averaged 44 which is considered a good score universally.

Following the launch of the website rebuild a continous improvement programme was rolled out and new changes based on data and insight are released to market every two weeks.

“I am very proud of what Contact have achieved, especially around our relentless focus on providing an outstanding customer experience…. the success factor is our a new digital experience, the hard work of our team who assist customers and by using the feedback to guide our improvement efforts”.

Vena Crawley
Contact Energy, Chief Customer Officer

Vena Crawley

Contact Energy, Chief Customer Officer

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