Publicis Sapient helps British Gas develop market leading app

02 October 2019 3 min. read
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Digital transformation company Publicis Sapient has helped British Gas deliver an application which has simplified and improved customer experience, while enabling a choice of new products and services. The Stand Out app has been downloaded by more than 1 million customers since its launch, and has facilitated an estimated £20 million in card payments.

The UK utilities sector is currently in a state of rapid change, with the convergence of new technologies, regulatory intervention and new entrants making it easier for consumers to swap providers to find the best deal. In this increasingly competitive environment, the provision of digital services to improve customer service has become a key way for companies to hang on to their existing consumers. Recently, this saw British Gas, the largest energy supplier in the UK, choose Publicis Sapient to accelerate transformation in its mobile customer experience.

Publicis Sapient is a professional services firm which specialises in digital business transformation. Formed by a £2.3 billion merger between Sapient and French advertising giant Publicis in 2015, the Boston-headquartered firm has over 20,000 staff around the world, and 53 offices. It works with clients to unlock value through strategy, consulting and customer experience services.

Publicis Sapient helps British Gas develop market leading app

The work saw Publicis Sapient and Centrica – the global company behind British Gas – form integrated teams with key experts from the SAP, billing, home service, smart data, connected home and marketing aspects of British Gas’ home business. The teams worked to develop a minimum viable product for the new customer app over just 82 days, focusing key service design sprints on the customer, challenging existing processes and addressing more than 200 pain points, exploring not only the way users engaged but also how they engaged via the platform.

Since the initial launch of the app, the companies have rolled out new updates, including a two-click tariff change and real-time 10-second smart meter data visualisation – and becoming the first app in the UK energy market to use Apple and Google Pay. The British Gas teams, coached by Publicis Sapient to develop an agile delivery mind-set, continue to build on the app’s success by applying the agile learnings to their broader digital transformation.

The app has subsequently had a rapid uptake among consumers keen to streamline their interactions with their energy providers, being downloaded over 1 million times. In the process, it has already had a major impact on British Gas’ business, facilitating roughly £20 million in card payments, 110,000 pay-as-you-go top-ups for meter-users, and more than 20,000 tariff changes, enabling customers to get the best deal for their needs.

British Gas’ UK Home Head of Digital Transformation, Jon White, said,  “I’m really pleased that we partnered with Publicis Sapient to build out a step change in the mobile app experience for our customers. This work has driven real momentum on our broader digital transformation programme.”