Benchmarking User Experience: In Innovative Energy Products and Services
The Energy Revolution Integration Service has developed a framework to drive user-centric design in the new energy products and services that are required of the emerging Net Zero energy system.
In consumer-facing markets like telecommunications and retail, approaches to benchmarking user experience are well documented, with metrics having been developed and iterated over decades.
By comparison, the energy sector – and utilities more broadly – have been slow to consider user experience, leading to poor scores on the UK Customer Satisfaction Index. The problem is not the UK’s alone – across the world, energy suppliers’ customer experience is considered “mediocre at best”. Given that, historically, energy services were neither diverse in proposition, nor optional, this is unsurprising.
Now, the energy sector is seeing a rapid diversification of services, driven by the Decentralisation, Digitalisation, Democratisation and Decarbonisation of the energy system. The growth of new energy service offerings creates an opportunity to rethink traditional user relationships and reprioritise their experience.
Improvement in energy services necessitates an understanding of how people experience a service throughout their whole user journey. By actively monitoring user experience at each phase or contact point, an evidence base can be developed to enable and encourage user-centric improvements.
By understanding the user landscape and engaging with feedback, the chance of success for innovative products and services in the energy sector will be markedly increased, whilst the barriers for users with specific needs will be reduced.
Energy Systems Catapult has consolidated the leading thinking on user experience inside and outside the energy sector into an open framework for benchmarking user experience that can be used across the industry.
It is structured as a six-step journey through: Awareness, Appeal, Access, Usability, Resolution and Satisfaction, each underpinned by proposed metrics that are flexible and standardised.
The framework will enable product and service providers to generate deep and actionable insights that enable user-centric service design and a culture of continuous improvement.