For a cleaner world
2016 was a major year for the advancement and importance of Solar within Fortum. Fortum had not only crystalized its vision for becoming a forerunner in clean energy, it has begun takes crucial steps to make this a reality.
At the same time technological process in the production of efficiency of solar panels has improved and today it’s a trustworthy source of energy for homes in Nordic countries. Fortum has sold solar panels for several years already, but it was now time to take a bold leap forward and add a deeper customer centric approach to the entire solar energy production and consumption experiences for consumers.
Fortum has sold solar panels for several years already, but it was now time to take a bold leap forward and add a deeper customer centric approach to the entire solar energy production and consumption experiences for consumers.
The project started in 2016, in which a multi-vendor Solar energy focused design stream was set up at Fortum headquarters in Espoo. The stream is part of Design lab, Fortum’s new design department including designers and developers for example from Fjord, Nordkapp, Ixonos, Solita and Futurice who work as a one team together with Fortum staff in the Fortum premises in Finland and Sweden.
In the beginning there were two goals:
1 – To map and design the solar energy customer journey
2 – To design intuitive and meaningful digital services and experiences, which enable and support Fortum’s vision in becoming a forerunner in clean energy
The beginning of the journey
In order for us to better understand the needs of potential solar customers, we designed a detailed customer journey map based on feedback from actual customer and various Fortum team members. This detailed customer journey maps highlighted the realized and unrealized needs, and concerns consumers have about solar offerings. We worked together to reinterpret these findings and use them as a blueprint for what we should design to ensure that our services and solutions addressed all the raised concerns.
We also wanted to make solar energy intuitive and meaningful for our customers throughout the entire service cycle. During the awareness phase of solar services, we highlighted the clear benefits in using Fortum solar packages via the solar benefits calculator within the Solar marketing website. During the order and delivery phase, we designed an intuitive online service which keep consumers, Fortum customer service staff, and third party installers informed of current state of the order and what action they could each take in order to get the solar panels delivered and installed as quickly as possible.
In order to be as informative as possible with consumers about the benefits of solar energy, the Fortum solar energy website had to be redesigned. During the re-design of the web site, we realized that there was a lot of specific terminology was not clear enough for customers. The customers did not understand the meaning of such things, like inverter, kilowatts per hour, and other solar energy related terminology. To simplify this, we designed experience, the tone of voice, terminology, to be as simple and understandable. We also designed playful and meaningful visualisations which helped customers better understand their solar energy production and consumption.
We want to ensure that electricity doesn’t have to be difficult – it can also be fun!
Solar benefit calculator – Fortum Aurinkolaskuri
One of the strongest doubts for people seems to be that is that in the nordic countries there’s not enough sun to produce solar energy. To tackle that belief we created Fortum Aurinkolaskuri, the solar benefit calculator which calculates your house’s solar potential in just few seconds.
The calculator uses the building properties and measured solar radiation data to give a detailed estimate on the electricity consumption and production capability. Those estimates are then converted to a recommendation for an optimised panel system setup – customer can get a trustworthy, turnkey solution quote just by entering his address.
At the tests and interviews there rose few elements that people were interested to know when considering the purchase of solar panels; the annual production capacity, savings in electricity bill and the payback time of the purchase. In addition to those were the environmental values and being electricity independent.
The user experience for the solar calculator was kept simple. With just one click you can see the solar energy potential of your roof and can request and offer for the solar panel system. During the first month Aurinkolaskuri was used 22000 times.
Streamlining the order and delivery of solar panels
The opportunity arose for us to design a intuitive online order and delivery system to streamline and fasten the process of solar system installation. For that we created Fortum SODA, a comprehensive online service which adapts to the needs of three unique user groups, consumers interested in purchasing Fortum solar, Fortum customer support personnel and the installer partners who will visit the customers’ home and install the Fortum solar packages.
Fortum SODA is designed to serve all three user groups by informing, guiding and showcasing the overall process of the solar order. It has been designed together with partners and validated with user tests.
The feedback towards the service has been very positive; consumers were happy how it kept them informed throughout the entire order and installation process. For most it was crucial to know what installation steps would happen next and why. Fortum customer support personnel enjoyed having a single service which showcased all the current state of their order, and informed them of what steps they need to take to move orders along through the installation process.
Also the installers enjoy aspects of the services which allowed them to highlight what unique installation issues they come across at each customer home and how they can resolve them.
As our solar journey is just in the beginning we are aiming to constantly develop the solar energy services to serve our customers better. Together with our customers we want to create a holistic solar energy experience that makes it easy for anyone to start creating their own renewable energy.
Fortum, Fjord, Nordkapp, Ixonos, Futurice, SkenarioLabs, Qubilea, Cognizant