Ben is a low-cost phone provider on the T-Mobile network. Their telecom provider called “Ben Mobiel”. Ben will become besides a telecom provider also an energy supplier with the name “Ben Energie”. During my minor Design for User Experience at the Hague University, I got the opportunity to do a project for Ben Energie with my project group. The main goal of this project was: “Optimising the customer journey of the switching process for Ben Energie”. Read further if you’d like to know more about my approach.

The assignment: Optimization customer journey for Ben Energie

The customer journey of the pilot version of the website Ben Energie isn’t that user friendly. The goal of our assignment is to optimise the customer journey within the website and especially the switching process part. For this project we had approximately eight weeks to do research, to create concepts, to do tests and eventually to design something great. At the end of this project we had to give a presentation at the office of Ben.

Research

We started to ask ourselves a few questions. One of the first questions were: “what do we need to know about the company and her values?”, “what kind of target group are we looking at?” and “how does the target group interact with the website and the switching process?” We also had to try out the pilot phase version of the website to see what kind of problems occur to us. Therefore, we used an expert review method, the heuristic evaluation: the 10 heuristics of Jakob Nielsen. This helped us to get an idea of the current situation.

Our user research is based on interviews and user tests with the target group. In this way we gather insights into different motivations, constraints and restraints that users experience during the customer journey. In addition to the user research we did some desk research as well. All the information has been analysed and put together in a “Customer Experience Journey Map”. This map is a combination of the customer journey map variant and the experience map. We categorised four types of motivation. The switchers, thinkers, negotiators and the sleepers. In the image below are the building blocks of the map explained. By clicking on the image below, you can check out the whole customer experience journey map.

Ideation

In this phase we did brainstorm sessions to explore ideas for concepts that will enhance the customer experience. We made a mind map to collect ideas and complement each other to come up with new ideas. We then have chosen a number of concepts that will support the entire journey. I also sketched out a storyboard to visualise the process of the new flow for the customer journey. After the concept meeting with the client, we gather input to go further with the concept that has the biggest priority. To improve the customer journey, we created concepts that specifically would fit the four types of motivation. An example is creating an attractive loyalty program for the switchers to make them stay.

Design and Testing

We discovered that there are three flows in the navigation design. The first one is called the “new customer”. This type doesn’t have a ‘Ik Ben’ account via Ben Mobile. The second one is the “Ben Mobile customer”, the system already has data from this particular type of customers. The last type is the “Ben Mobile customer via Direct Mail”. The company Ben wants to approach its regular customers (of Ben Mobiel) and offer them a deal. Via an e-mail they could view their benefit and choose to switch from energy company. For the visualisation of the flows we used Sketch. Below, you’ll see one of the flows in detail. The other two are slightly similar but with different routes and starting points.

The homepage is a crucial starting point for the entire customer journey. Having a strong first impression is very important. The homepage must be convincing enough to have the visitor stay on the website. In addition to the impression, the homepage must also provide the visitor the information that he or she needs to continue the process. To ensure that they get their information in the right order, we did a few card sorting sessions with the target group. We asked the participants what kind of information they would be expecting on the homepage. Then we let them build their ideal homepage of the Ben Energie website. Afterwards we asked them why they have chosen certain ways of displaying the content in that specific order. The image below shows the cards we used for the card sorting. I really enjoy working with methods where you involve the users. 

The research on the customer journey has shown that most stumbling blocks arise during the consideration and the purchase phase. This is one of the main reasons why we devised concepts for the switching process and elaborated on sketches and storyboards. These were then used, together with the navigation design, to make prototypes for a more accessible switching process. For designing the prototype, we worked with the tool: Adobe Experience Design.

Deliverables

During this project we realised many different products. These include a hi-fi prototype, a re-design of the homepage, some marketing examples and more. To visualise all the results in a clear way, we made a booklet containing all important findings and advice. You can also take a look at the advisory report here.

The elaboration of the high-fidelity prototype is very detailed and comprehensive. We tried to work out almost every possible scenario for calculating the monthly energy costs. You can try out our final version of the prototype by clicking on the image below.