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How to use Customer Journeys to drive change in the energy sector

How does a company in the energy sector create a customer-centric organization and design great customer experiences using the Customer Journey? We met with Kine Brodal, Service Designer at E.on Energy Solutions, to learn valuable insights into how she is helping reshape their customer experience. And her 6 best tips on how to succeed when implementing customer-centric change.

 

  • 00:21 What is the objective of the customer journey work at E.on?
  • 01:06 How do you work with AS-IS and TO-BE Customer Journey?
  • 01:55 How do you organize around the Customer Journeys?
  • 02:27 Who do you bring into the team when doing the Customer Journey work?
  • 03:30 How did you come across Custellence and how do you use the tool?
  • 05:45 Do you find Custellence useful to get people engaged?
  • 06:39 Will Custellence change your role internally?
  • 07:40 Kines 6 tips for succeeding with Customer-centric change

Meet Kine Brodal

I work as a service designer at E.on energy solutions in Sweden situated in Malmö. I’ve been working here as an in-house designer for a little over 2 years.

What is the objective of the customer journey work at E.on?

Well, before my time, a big transformation started where we realized that we need to become customer-centric to survive. It’s basic! We went from a huge company that had a monopoly on electricity into the real market.

The goal at E.on is getting the customer in the center and doing everything we do around the customer. Our customer journeys are a way of doing that and making it easier for us to collaborate and work around the customer.

How do you work with AS-IS and TO-BE Customer Journey?

I’m actually not a huge fan of TO-BE journeys cause they can set expectations WAY too high. You’ll never get there cause the world is changing, and you don’t know, as you go along, what will happen in the journeys.

My experience is that those expectations make you feel like you never reach your goal. Instead, we have to focus on the AS-IS map and then use our vision and our design principles to validate that we are going in the right direction. And also, of course, anchoring it to E.on strategies. We keep that as a checklist.

How do you organize around the Customer Journeys?

What we have done is because, for the customer, E.on is one big journey. But it’s quite a big journey that can go on for years and years. We have customers who have been with us for 30 years. So we’ve divided the customer journey into different parts, focusing on their needs and the actual product that they are getting from us.

Who do you bring into the team when doing the Customer Journey work?

This is always a question about resources. My dream core team is me, of course. But I would have a research expert to help me with doing the writing when it comes to gathering insights. A customer experience manager who anchors everything we do to the business. A business designer who can see the worth and calculate that we are doing stuff that will be profitable for E.on. 

Together, we have these two-sided parts needed to verify that we do stuff that will benefit E.on. But our main focus is to have our customers in the middle of it. Never do anything that isn’t based on customers’ needs, pains, or gains.

How did you find Custellence?

We do tons of different workshops because we produce a lot of ideas and concepts and then pick maybe 1 or 2 that we go forward with. And the frustrating thing is what happens with all the other stuff we’ve done. Then it goes maybe six months, and we do a new workshop and come up with the same ideas again. 

I was looking for a way to create a backlog, more than just folders that people will never access. I wanted a visual interface that enables us to look at what we have done. And where we can pick something new we started on and keep on working on it when we finish what we’re doing. And I got an email with Custellence in it, and I said: “AHH! This is precisely what I was looking for!”

How do you use Custellence?

Our main goal is to make an AS-IS map, then describe the customers’ story on top, and then build from there. Okay, what insights do we have? what insights are we missing? Which part are we focusing on and trying to figure out new solutions? And build from there and keep it simple, to begin with.

I think it’s easy to get lost because it’s such a great tool, you can build however many cards, and you can make them as big as you want. But try to keep it simple and keep in mind that it’s not only the core team that will use this tool. We also need to use it to tell others in E.on what we’re doing. So, we need to make it accessible in some ways. Less is more, I think.

Do you find Custellence useful to get people engaged?

Definitely! The trouble is, up until now, I’ve been doing the maps. I love my design tools, such as InDesign, but nobody else knows how to use them. It has been me every time there has been a little change, or you want to do something different, or you want to add something. I’ve been the person who needs to do the job.

It’s either me doing it in InDesign or doing some crappy illustrations, static illustrations in PowerPoint. This will enable everybody to contribute and make my job easier. It’s a lot of work now because I need to fill the maps with the work we’ve already done. But in the future, I see it as a way of keeping updated, and it’s not all on me.

Will Custellence change your role internally?

I think I will get more time working, you know it takes lots of time, everybody who does this knows it takes a lot of time building maps. Updating and sharing them will give me more time to focus on other things. The actual ideation and concept work and testing and iteration and that stuff. And this makes it easier to share the knowledge we learn as we go along the way. Because it’s a map that is in constant change. So I hope that this will give me more time to do other interesting stuff than just illustrating.

Kine’s 6 tips to succeed with customer-centric change 

  1. Involve everyone! Focus on more doing and less talking. You need to get people the chance to experience and experiment and actually use the customer journey maps. And also collaborate when it comes to how you want to use it. What’s important to them to see in the stuff we do?
  2. Share the responsibility of updating and keeping the map alive. If it’s only you, it’s going to die quickly. It’s very natural that your research expert is in charge of customer insights. The customer journey manager should be on top of day-to-day business and the changes they do there. A UX designer testing a concept with customers should be the one updating the results on that. That is the most important thing, involve the core team in actually keeping the map alive. And it will get different perspectives as well, which will make it interesting to all people looking at the maps in the end.
  3. Get the leaders involved. You need to show them what you’re doing, and you need to show them the value and how they can use it. Show the progress that you’re doing in the journeys in an easily accessible way. Because today we have PowerPoints, with too much text. We have big maps that are difficult to bring to meetings. If you have this tool that you can access, and people can move around it in, it’s easier for them to talk about the journey as well.
  4. Make a plan for sharing and collaboration. As you would do with any customer-centric project. Who are you talking to? Who is the end user? Who are the stakeholders that you’re going to present this map to? What are their needs? And which jobs can you help out with? Can this be a tool for them? Going back to complicating things, I love details! I would love to have EVERY available detail on the maps. But that is not interesting for our customer services, for instance then. How do you make the map something that everybody can use?
  5. Be consistent with the categories. By that I mean, don’t mix the AS-IS with the TO-BE view of the whole journey. Don’t mix the internal processes with the actual users’ stories. Make sure that you divide the assumptions from the actual insights.
  6. The value of Custellence comes from using it. You need to keep it alive and fresh. For instance, you could publish it every week or every month, every time you have a change done to it. People want to go in and have a look. What are they doing now in this part of the journey?


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