Look After My Bills

Using behavioural science to prompt utility switching

In just 7 weeks, Somo delivered a new validated proposition and user journey that addressed deep-rooted customer worries around switching. Here’s how.

The Vision

Look After My Bills operates in a low interest, price-driven market that offers little differentiation between suppliers and the experience they provide. Whilst many consumers are confirmed "switchers", there are also a significant number of households who switch irregularly, or not at all.

We were tasked with creating a new auto-switching experience for multiple utility providers that generated an engaging long-term relationship with customers. To achieve this, we had to examine both the psychology behind switching and the emotional and rational reasons why customers were not doing this with their utilities.

Industry Landscape

Price comparison websites are often used irregularly, and particularly for more commoditised utilities such as insurance. They’re still seen as a chore in having to fill in data as part of a customer’s research and they don’t simplify the process, the actual comparison, or the switch. For some, there is an issue of mistrust - they’re not considered neutral and are “salesy”, both of which are off-putting.

For consumers, switching itself is boring, tedious, time-consuming and an energy suck from things they would prefer to be doing. So the premise of auto-switching is widely welcomed, especially the time saved in research and hassle saved in annual renewals. But many consumers don’t take up the offer of switching and the potential cost savings they could get through an auto-switching service - and it’s not clear what is holding them back.

Challenge

As a new client and with COVID-19 restrictions in full force, delivering a user-centric project remotely was deemed to be the biggest challenge combined with having to solve the problem in a very short time frame. Adopting a behavioural science-led strategy for a concept sprint was unfamiliar territory too for some key stakeholders, which added to the pressure.

Approach

Partnering with behavioural experts from Imperial College London and the Dyson School of Design Engineering, we dug deeper to better understand the key behavioural motivators and interventions that would address the emotional worries of customers beyond just functional features.

We defined a ‘test’ audience of owner-owned households and began work to understand their triggers and gather considered insight. We identified and validated two key behavioural motives ‘Hoarding’ and ‘Comfort’, and built interventions on the customer journey that encouraged habits and positive reinforcement around switching the whole household's bills through the service. This took place over 3 weeks including qual research with current and non-customers, a series of stakeholder interviews, and 2 behavioural motivator workshops, followed by customer journey design and developing a clickable prototype of the ideal multi-product switching experience.

Business Outcomes

In just 7 weeks, we delivered a new validated proposition and customer journey. Our unique approach, insights, and fully clickable prototype tested by 50 consumers, ultimately helped us to reframe LAMB’s strategic direction and product development roadmap. We translated this new proposition into a set of end-user benefits, giving LAMB a blueprint for an optimum multi-product journey – and a real competitive edge in the marketplace.