As customers continue to move online to interact with their local distribution companies (LDCs), London Hydro has been creating a collection of self-service features that provide customers with 24/7 access to their data. Easily accessible information allows customers to make informed decisions about their energy usage at their convenience. In 2020, London Hydro invested in two significant self-service tools that were built with the needs and wants of their customers driving the focus, leading to successful customer engagement once launched.
With level AA AODA compliance mandated for 2021, London Hydro took the opportunity to increase the flexibility needed from their website to create and manage engaging digital content and communications for their customers and key audiences. With over 35,000 visitors each week and 45 per cent of visitors now using mobile devices and tablets to access the site, there was room to improve the findability of content and further drive customers to self-serve.
Early customer involvement was the key to success for the project. It was achieved by conducting surveys, focus groups and tree testing sessions for customers to provide feedback on London Hydro’s former site and the direction of the new site. Customer feedback influenced the site map, menu structure and menu verbiage, making self-service features and information easier to find.
London Hydro decided to use Drupal for its new website as its open-source model and content management system solved the company’s upgrading and updating obstacles. The flexibility and support offered through Drupal will keep London Hydro’s website well designed, properly maintained and accessible for many years. Content administrators can publish content and make design changes instantly using the new platform. Surveys and timely communications are easily managed and launched from the website’s landing page for improved customer engagement.
Traffic to the website increased by 50 per cent once going live in September of 2020, while bounce rates decreased by 18 per cent, and the use of self-service features grew by an average of 30 per cent. Customers surveyed on the new website throughout 2020 gave it an average rating of four out of five.
London Hydro was honoured to receive the Electricity Distributors Association’s Customer Service Excellence Award for their new site.
Automatic Price Plan Calculator
In April 2020, the Ontario Energy Board announced that, as of November 1, 2020, they
would require LDCs to provide their residential and small business customers with a choice between two regulated price plans, the long-established Time-of-Use (TOU) and the new Tiered option.
Through customer surveys, London Hydro knew that 32 per cent of their customers wanted more tools and calculators to help them manage their electricity usage, and 73 per cent wanted more information that would help them reduce their costs. After researching the potential customer journey to explore the rates and switch plans if needed, London Hydro decided an option that didn’t require manual input would best meet their customers’ wants and needs.
London Hydro developed a single click calculator to automatically present customers with a comparison between the price plans based on their personalized usage and provide end-to-end customer support through a self-service rate switch.
Once logged in, customers remain on the London Hydro website and get all the information they need to make an informed choice about their rate plan. The Price Plan Calculator provides customers with a comparison between their last bill and projected next bill based on their actual usage to help them understand the different plans’ impact on their electricity costs.
Since its launch, the Price Plan Calculator has been viewed over 45,000 times, and 78 per cent of customers who requested to switch plans did so using this self-service feature. According to a customer survey:
- 92 per cent of customers found the calculator easy to use
- 92 per cent of customers will use the calculator again
- 93 per cent of customers will recommend the calculator to friends and family
“Here at London Hydro, we are continuously striving to provide our customers with innovative solutions that put their feedback into action,” said Vinay Sharma, Chief Executive Officer. “Both of these projects were built with our customers in mind, which resulted in their success once publicly launched.”
About London Hydro Inc.
London Hydro delivers safe and reliable electricity to over 159,000 customers. We are committed to being a trusted energy source provider through innovation, customer focus and operational excellence.