Virgin Mobile UK is the telecoms arm of Virgin Media, providing a range of tariffs for their customers’ mobile phones. They wanted to prevent mobile customers going over their allowance and to develop ways to improve and support their billing, so that customers could monitor and manage what they spent.
Virgin Media asked Engine to explore their customers’ experience of mobile billing, to help increase customer satisfaction and loyalty and to reduce the traffic going to call centres for queries and confusion over unexpected billing. We defined and detailed the new content for mobile bills and communications, delivering new formats for hard copies and online bills and a range of supporting features, which were rolled out by Virgin Media Mobile in 2011.
To explore the current experience of Virgin Media Mobile customers, Engine used immersion sessions to analyse Virgin’s existing research and to map out the existing journey. We also explored the common problems and complaints encountered by Virgin care agents in their call centres.
We identified that when customers received their bills the main reactions were surprise, confusion and frustration where totals of the bills were frequently unexpected, or much higher than thought, and information breakdown and analysis was not clear.
Engine focused on designing ways that the communications with the bill could better empower the customer, by providing information that they could use to spot patterns and change their behaviour to prevent over-spend. We worked with Virgin Media’s Customer Experience and Mobile Billing teams to explore the Virgin Media Mobile experience as a whole, and to think beyond just the bill itself, using the idea of transparency and customer care across all physical and digital touchpoints.
We looked at transparency through key points of the whole customer journey, identifying points where more information could be provided to increase users’ knowledge and awareness of their package and usage. We produced wireframe concepts of new bill formats, presenting information in self-explanatory and usefully analysed ways, such as with filtering options, personalisation of frequently-called numbers, and itemised cost.
Engine delivered the new bill formats for both hard copies and online billing, and other features and concepts to support the billing experience as a whole, focusing on transparency across all customer interactions.
Virgin Media Mobile rolled out the eBill for online billing in 2011, and are already seeing the results in feedback from their customer care agents about customers’ responses:
“Have found the new billing system really great, it is really easy to see what the extra usage is and it’s cutting down on call length... Overall a fantastic new system.” (Customer Care agent)
“Easy to understand, unlike the old bill, it states if there is extra usage outside of package, and gives good definition of what extra use means.” (Customer Care agent)
“I love the option where you can change the number to a name so you can recognise who you have been calling.” (Quality Specialist)
“The project was really collaborative and very enjoyable...[Engine] grasped concepts that are really not very straightforward and were focused on driving a great solution.”
- Customer Experience Team member, Virgin Media