British Gas wanted to develop a digital solution that would help motivate their workforce through long and solitary working hours. Rufus Leonard discuss how they helped
Being a central heating engineer can be an isolating job. There are long hours on the road and not much contact with colleagues or the organisation itself. For one of the largest mobile workforces in the UK—numbering 12,000 people—the dangers are obvious. People can suffer from a lack of motivation and customer service can decline. A change was needed, but the sheer scale of the project and its complexity made this seem like the impossible task. Thankfully, it wasn’t.
The challenge was to help this large workforce maintain motivation and feel part of the whole organisation. The knock-on effect would be better communication, higher productivity and happy customers. But there was also another possibility: before this project began, the gas engineer had to carry round a pile of books and manuals full of sales and boiler information; what if all that information could be available on a touch screen?
We had to help British Gas see that this impossible task was in fact within reach. It was possible to deliver services through iPads and iPhones. We put together a presentation that helped the internal team get the resources that were needed. Then we worked with star engineers, understanding the day-to-day job, and found that the final app was just what they needed. We also worked with the sales team to make sure it all linked up with the existing systems at British Gas.
The Launch Pad
This is an ingenious application that puts together the job schedule, job details and other useful information like road conditions. It also helps engineers communicate with each other—building a sense of community and shared effort.
The engineers could ditch the manuals as everything was now on-screen and easy to use. As well as this, the information gathered could now be shared with sales teams—helping to improve business performance.
At Rufus Leonard, we know that any great solution has to be owned by the people using it. So at the Launch we brought all the engineers together. We offered all the engineers to chance to buy their iPad for one pound after a few years, which encouraged them to use them and look after them. And we offered them gift vouchers for apps—again helping them to use what they were given as part of their daily lives.
The initiative drove a one per cent uplift in sales conversion, equaling three million pounds of income. It also sparked a 44 pound increase in average order-per-job, and a whopping 15 per cent increase in customer satisfaction.