Challenges and opportunities
As a leading entertainment and communications provider in the UK, Virgin Media have led technological innovation in media services and high-speed broadband since the forming of the company in 2006. They wanted to continue this trend and innovate beyond their products to deliver great customer experiences.
In 2009, Virgin asked Engine to explore the experiences of their new customers, to ensure that the promises they were making were being kept and that customers were consistently satisfied with the service, increasing value for customers and for the business, raising Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and building brand affinity and differentiation.
We worked in collaboration with Virgin’s in-house Customer Experience Design Team to design a service that would improve the early stages of the relationship, or ‘join journey’, setting the basis for long-term relationships with customers and helping the company to consider what really makes a great customer experience. Engine delivered an ideal join journey, with the associated features and principles of the new customer experience, and began a strong working relationship with Virgin Media, which continues to the present day.
What we did
Engine explored the existing process by shadowing and interviewing customers, employees and stakeholders to look for insights and improvements through a rich understanding of customer needs, motivations and behaviours. We also looked at the people, products and processes involved in delivery to highlight a range of opportunity areas, which we visualised in a customer journey map of the current experience. We worked closely with the Virgin Media Customer Experience team to support new ways of thinking and working, and to engage people across the company in becoming truly customer-centric.
The insights and opportunity areas were detailed throughout the customer experience and used as inspiration in a series of co-creation workshops with staff and customers to stimulate thoughts for an improved and reactive service experience. The teams developed design principles to guide the experience, based on the concept of ‘simply brilliant’, and used idea generation and service mapping to detail service features and how each would enhance the experience as a whole.
The design principles and service experience were represented in the central theme of the new join journey: the ‘Red Thread’. This tied together each interaction with the customer to understand their needs and preferences, to help Virgin provide personalised solutions and communications and to continuously improve the service throughout relationships with customers.
Before the final project delivery we ran a session with Virgin Media that allowed feedback on the concepts for viability and alignment to current initiatives.
Engine produced the final ideal join journey, detailing the features of each phase and the principles they represent. We also delivered accompanying booklets of all the features and principles, a recommended three-year implementation plan, illustrated scenarios with three different personas, and a ‘quick start’ version of the journey for technically savvy customers.
We produced the tools to enable a ‘simply brilliant’ experience for customers throughout the ideal join journey, with new touchpoints, technologies and behaviours that aligned the back of house process to focus on delivery and constant improvement. We helped to move the focus from just gaining customers to beginning a relationship and increasing satisfaction, retention and NPS, with value to both Virgin Media and their customers.
The Virgin Media Customer Experience team took forward the new journey to implement and embed the approach to inform future design projects and spread the ‘simply brilliant’ principles throughout the company. Engine have also worked several more times with Virgin Media, on projects from strategy to delivery and branded service behaviours.