Creating a vibrant and powerful mobile app for Trustpower Customers

Trustpower / Mobile app

Product Strategy, CX and App design

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As one of New Zealand’s largest energy and telecommunication companies, Trustpower supplies electricity to over 280,000 customers nationwide.

With a strong mandate to improve the lives of the people in the communities they serve, Trustpower set out to explore this changing world and find out what their customers were really looking for in a utility company. The resulting service innovation has changed the game forever in utility experience in New Zealand.

The Challenge

Following on from their core customer experience and digital platform transformation in recent years, Trustpower wanted to further embrace a customer mindset as they redesigned their app to improve product and digital experience for customers. 

The challenge was simple - design our app to be the most useful, forward-thinking digital service in the sector. This has resulted in an engaging and visually appealing app that intuitively directs customers through their bundled services and helps them to complete key tasks quickly and efficiently.

The Solution

Most people don’t spend much time thinking about their utilities. Whether it’s getting connected, managing their account, or paying a bill, they expect the experience to be effortless, like opening a door or switching on a light.

At the same time, customers have much greater expectations from their suppliers, particularly when it comes to acquiring and managing services and being able to self-serve through digital channels.

A critical outcome of our research, was the confirmation that customers would prefer to use a mobile app to manage their services, rather than the website. 

Customers will often tell you one thing, but will be thinking and feeling something else entirely. To dig beneath the surface and understand their core motivations and mindsets, we conducted in depth interviews with a number of Trustpower customers to find out which digital features would resonate with their expectations. Some key patterns around their understanding and use of digital technology emerged.

> People need options for managing their utilities: From those who prefer the tangibility of a paper bill and the security of a contract, to those who pay their bills on the go and don’t want to be locked into an ongoing commitment, one thing was clear: people have different needs, and to provide a great experience, we needed to offer a variety of solutions.

> Customer experience is fragile: Companies need to earn customer trust - but they also need to retain it. By offering deals to new customers, existing customers might feel slighted. Loyalty should be recognised. 

> Real time usage data is essential: With smart meters’ now a common feature in most homes, customers expect real time information about their usage, so they can better control their costs, spot problems early on, and adjust their lifestyle if needed.

We designed a feature-rich app that would meet the needs and expectations of Trustpower’s many customer groups through;

> Seamless bill payment: The app provides a seamless bill paying experience and encourages customers to make use of early payment rewards through helpful notifications and by providing multiple payment options.

> A flexible experience to cater for different services: Not all customers have the same combination of services, so we designed a framework that ensured all customers would have a consistent experience, as well as allowing for the platform to scale and add more services in future.

> Delightful user experience: The new user experience focused on value for the customer. The design centres around displaying the customer’s usage information for each of their bundled services. Customers can easily swipe through services, and down to access bill details, payments, discounts and offers.

We worked closely with Trustpower’s product team and development partner to provide insight, design expertise and support throughout the build and delivery process. 

As part of a virtual, cross-functional team, we participated in sprint planning, provided production assets for development, collaborated with the development squad to generate new assets, and reviewed and tested features.

The Result

A streamlined digital experience that has resulted in a 50% increase in engagement, and a large-scale reduction in calls to the contact centre. Key impacts include;

> 10% Customer uptake within first 6 months App downloads (per month as proportion of customers)

> Alleviated an estimated 5000 calls to the contact centre per month 

> 50% Increase Active users and engagement (compared to customers on website

> 30% Increase Bills paid (compared proportionally to customers completing on website

> 40% Increase in new payment types set up.

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