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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 service designer Kine Brodal at E.on Energy Solutions for an interview, to find some valuable insights and best-practice-tips on how to succeed when implementing customer centric change.

  • 00:21 What is is the objective for the Customer Journey work at E.on?
  • 01:06 How do you work with TOBE ans ASIS maps?
  • 01:55 How do you organise around the customer Journey?
  • 02:27 Who do you bring into the core team when working with Customer Journey Mapping?
  • 03:30 How did you come across Custellence and how do you use the tool?
  • 05:45 Do you you see Custellence as a tool for stakeholder management or for engaging people?
  • 06:39 Will using a digital tool for journey maps change your role as a service designer?
  • 07:40 KInes 6 tips for succeeding with Customer centric change

What is is the objective for the Customer Journey work at E.on?

I work as an in-house service designer at the Swedish energy provider E.on Energy Solutions.I am helping the business with customer journeys and the transformation towards a more customer centric business. I have been working at E.on for 2 years now.

E.on is a large company with a history of a monopoly position in the electricity market. They now act on a deregulated market. Five years ago, E.on started their business transformation, as they realized they had to focus on the customers in order to survive. So, now we are working hard to become more customer centric, and using the customer journeys is our way of doing that.

How do you organize around the customer experience and the Customer Journey?

For the customer, E.on is one big journey, and it can go on for years. We have divided the customers’ journey into different parts,focusing on their needs and the actual product they are getting from us.

We have found that the customer journey map itself is a great way to show these things, and to visualize how the customer is affected by something we do. Or to be able to say and show “they feel like this” and then use that customer insight in the innovation process. The customer journey map help us create the logic to why we need to work customer centric. They make it easier for us to focus on and collaborate around the customer.

Who do you bring into the core team when working with Customer Journey Mapping?

For us, as in many organisations, the size of the team is a question of resources. But my dream core team consists of myself, a research expert helping us doing the right things when it comes to gathering insights, a customer experience manager, which is the one who anchors everything we do to the business, and finally a business designer (or developer?) who makes sure that we do the stuff that in the end will be profitable for E.on.

So, working with Customer journey has two sides to it: We need to make sure that we are benefitting from our work money wise, but our main focus is to have the customer in the middle of it. Never do anything that isn’t based on customer needs.

Do you work with ASIS - maps and TOBE - journey maps?

To be honest, I´m not a big fan of TOBE-journeys. The reason for this is that we found that TOBE- maps set way too high expectations within the organization. And you´ll never get there because the world is changing so fast, and you don´t know as you go along, what will happen in the journeys. So my experience is that those expectations make you feel that you never reach your goals.

Instead we focus on the ASIS-map, and use our visions and our design principles to make sure that we are going in the right direction. And also anchoring it to the overall E.on strategy. We kind of keep it as a checklist. I also use the ASIS-map to communicate a common ground and a starting point for innovation, solving problems, and to show progress in.

How did you come across Custellence?

Here at E.on we run tonnes of different workshops, and we produce many ideas and concepts. Before, we used to pick a few ideas to work with and then the rest got left behind. Then we’d run another workshop, maybe six months later, and come up with the same ideas again! That used to be really frustrated.

So was looking for a way to create a backlog, a tool or visual interface that would enable us to look at what have we had done, what had we started on and what we was doing next. Custellence seemed to be exactly what I was looking for.

How do you use Custellence?

We have just started using it, and our main goal is to make an ASIS-map that describes the customer stories on the top. And from there on build further. For instance: what insights do we have, what are we missing? Which parts are we going to focus on and figure out new solutions for?

We try to keep the map simple to begin with. I think it is easy to get lost - it’s such a great tool and you can build and make it as big as you like. But we need to keep in mind that that it’s just not the core team that will use this tool. We also use it to show other parts of the organisation what we are doing. And keeping it simple will make it accessible for them too. Less is more i think, to be honest!

Do you you see Custellence as a tool for stakeholder management or for engaging people?

Definitely! Up until now, I have been the one creating the maps, and being responsible for them. I love my design tools, like Indesign, but nobody else knows how to use them. So every time there is a little change, or you want to add something, it’s been my job to do that. But Custellence will enable everyone to contribute and take part - and that will make my job easier going forward.

Will using a digital tool for journey maps change your role as a service designer?

Everyone that works with this knows that it takes a lot of time to build, update and share the maps. Using Custellence, I will get time to focus more on other important things like the ideation, the concept work and the testing and iterations. It will also make it easier to share the knowledge as you go along, as the customer journey map is a map in constant change.

To summarize, what is your best advice on how to succeed with customer centric change?

  1. Involve everyone. And focus more on doing and showing than on talking. Give people the chance to experiment and gain experience using the customer journey maps. Also, collaborate on how to use the maps. What’s important to the other teams or stakeholders to see in the stuff we do?

  2. Share the responsibility of updating and keeping the maps alive. If it’s only you, it´s gonna die quickly. Involve the core team in keeping the map alive. For instance, it’s should be natural that your research expert is in charge of the customer insights. The customer journey manager should be on top of the day-to-day-business and the changes they do there. The UX-designer, testing a concept with the customers, should be updating the results from that.

  3. Get the leaders involved. Show the leaders what you are doing and the value of your work. Show them how they can use the journey maps to show progress. Replace the use of powerpoint-presentations with too much text, or big bulky maps that are difficult to bring to meetings. With Custellence you have a tool that enables easy access and that people can move around in. This makes it easier for leaders to talk about the progress.

  4. Make a plan for sharing and collaboration. As you would do with any customer centric project, remember to empathize with the people (i e stakeholders) you will present this map to. What are their needs, what jobs can you help them out with? How can this be a tool for them? I love details, but it is not interesting for everyone. Think about how to make the map usable for everyone.

  5. Be consistent with the categories. When building a map be careful not to mix up the different categories in the map. For example, don’t mix ASIS with TOBE, don’t mix internal processes with the actual user stories. And make sure to divide assumptions from the actual insights.

  6. And last but not least, remember that the value of a tool like Custellence comes from using it. You need to keep the customer journey maps alive and fresh. Make sure to update it and to use it in your day-to-day work. A good way to show how values is created, is to publish changes weekly, or monthly. Or everytime a change has been done.

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