Utility Warehouse

Utility Warehouse: Reinventing the Welcome Experience

Utility Warehouse, a UK multi-utility company, was aware that customer satisfaction dropped drastically in the first weeks of customers switching their utilities to them, with a 30% loss in new members. We were asked to conduct a thorough Discovery phase to create an evidenced-based experience vision to improve the 3-6 week switch-over process - to retain new customers, increase the NPS and dramatically reduce operational inefficiencies and costs.

Using insights to creating a future service vision

Based on an extensive requirements capture, we recognised that the poor experience was in part driven by a siloed organisation set-up. Our approach was to concept a unified future service experience, that multiple stakeholders could rally around to collaboratively to organise their actions to deliver a great customer experience.

Understanding a service from multiple perspectives

To understand the process from the customers perspective we conducted in-depth interviews as well as a six-week diary study to capture the raw, in the moment experience of dealing with multiple companies and departments to switch utility services. To help quantify the issues that arose in the research we conducted a customer survey and used data from the call centre to help analyse the biggest issues.

To get a full picture of the service we interviewed support staff and other back-stage stakeholders to understand the underlying causes of customers frustrations.

Building a shared understanding of the bigger picture

To visualise the end-to-end service experience and help staff see how their department of daily tasks fit into the wider customer journey we mapped the current service. This included mapping the customer journey; it’s pain-points and gaps as well as the organisation’s operational process to help spot silos, bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement.

This was a powerful tool to help collaboratively develop a future service vision with key stakeholders.

Helping the business choose what to focus on

Key to our way of working is to partner with clients and embed ourselves in the company. We wanted the stakeholders to absorb as much of the research insights as possible and pull out key information to define their future roadmap.

We ran a two-day workshop to identify opportunities with support staff, product owners, and other key stakeholders.

Once digested opportunities were prioritised and used to define the next steps for the design team.

Creating guiding Service Principles

To help ensure the research findings and opportunities could be easily shared throughout the organisation as well as used to guide future design decisions, we developed service principles together with the product and marketing teams. These principles distil research findings and make clear the company's ambition.

Speculative design to help illustrate principles

To help make a future vision more tangible we worked closely with the Utility Warehouse product team to develop a new customer-facing app concept that spelt-out guiding concepts, such as clearer explanations of the service timings, greater self-serve capabilities and a single source of truth for customer information.


We enabled a historically traditional / waterfall approach company to have a shared and clear understanding of the organisational impact on the unsatisfactory customer experience and operational inefficiencies, for the first time. The cross-departmental collaboration generated a shared vision, goals, customer empathy and passion for business transformational change. The outcomes are a validated and sustainable (MVP) roadmap to kick start change immediately, to measure improvements and iterate continuously.