Key Findings from the 2011 E Source Website Study

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Stephanie Spalding, Research Manager at E Source, goes through the key findings from the 2011 E Source Website Study conducted on over 100 gas and electric utility companies in the United States and Canada.

For more information: www.esource.com/ces

More about Stephanie: http://www.esource.com/staff_bio/stephanie_spalding

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Key Findings from the 2011 E Source Website Study

  1. 1. Key Findings from the 2011 E Source Website Study Stephanie Spalding Research Manager, E Source EUCI Web Self-Service Conferencewww.esource.com January 2012
  2. 2. The Good! “a real pleasure”2 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  3. 3. “ clever and fun”3 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  4. 4. “detailed and easily accessible user-friendly experience.”4 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  5. 5. “awesome! great resources I would feel prepared and informed”5 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  6. 6. The Bad … “Overall it was a frustrating experience.”6 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  7. 7. “This was just too many steps and kind of annoying.”7 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  8. 8. “The site is poorly organized and a few years behind the times.”8 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  9. 9. … and the Ugly lost, confused, “ and frustrated. Should be revamped.”9 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  10. 10. “What ahorrible online account page.”10 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  11. 11. awful “This was a pretty experience.”11 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  12. 12. Updated in 2011: Mobile Web12 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  13. 13. New in 2011: Social Media Source: Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Source: Baltimore Gas & Electric13 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  14. 14. Which Features Were Reviewed? General Information Secure Mobile  Home Page  Registration and Login  Home Page  Contact Us  My Account  Contact Us  Payment and Billing  Account Balance  Outage/Emergency Options  Account History Reporting*  Moving  Online Bill Viewing  Outage/Gas Leak  Energy-Saving Tips  Online Payment Status  Programs and  My Energy Use  Registration and Login Services  Outage/Gas Leak  My Account  Search Status  Account Balance  Online Account  Online Payment Management  My Energy Use  Work Order Status  Account Alerts*  Payment  Payment Arrangements Arrangements * = Only reviewed on mobile devices14 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  15. 15. Which Companies Were Included?  The largest electric and gas companies in the U.S. and Canada plus a representative set of small and midsize utilities  100 companies met our criteria, including 94 that were also reviewed in 2009  72 companies provided us with account information to review secure options15 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  16. 16. How Were Reviews Conducted?  Between December 2010 and April 2011  By task in four phases  Tasks by company were randomly assigned  Questions reviewers asked:  Was the feature available on the website?  Was it easy to use?  Reviewers commented on their experiences, provided ratings, and took screenshots of each feature16 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  17. 17. Who Were the Reviewers?  Six people recruited from our local Boulder, Colorado, community  Three men, three women  Internet and mobile-device savvy  Two reviewer segments:  “Transactional” reviewers view and pay their bills online.  “Informational” reviewers use the web but do not view or pay their bills online.17 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  18. 18. How Was Quality Controlled?  We provided extensive training  Supervisors scrutinized reviews for consistency between the comments and the rating given, and to ensure our processes were followed accurately  Half of the reviews were conducted a second time by a different reviewer18 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  19. 19. Methodology Changes Tasks were not named  Reviewers were given an unnamed scenario describing the task they should attempt (“Task A,” not “Payment and Billing Options”)  This change was intended to remove any bias toward looking for an exact feature name. Task A Scenario: You’ve been receiving and paying your bill through the same methods for years and are curious what your other options are. You go to the website to investigate.19 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  20. 20. Methodology Changes (cont.) Limited review without account access  If we didn’t have account access, we did not attempt to review several features that we determined would only be available behind a login:  My Account  My Account (Mobile)  Account Balance  Account Balance (Mobile)  Account History  Online Account Management  Online Bill Viewing20 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  21. 21. What Is “Usability”? A measure of the reviewer’s experience using the web to accomplish their task. Usability rating Interpretation 5 (very good) Excellent experience; easy to find and/or use; there are no suggestions for improvement 4 (good) Good experience; reasonably easy to find and/or use; has few areas that need improvement 3 (average) Average experience; neither easy nor difficult to find and/or use; has obvious areas that need improvement 2 (poor) Poor experience; difficult to find and/or use; requires significant improvements 1 (very poor) Very poor experience; the option is present on the website, but is extremely difficult to find and/or use; requires significant improvements to be usable © E Source21 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  22. 22. What Is “Functionality”? The percentage of the 29 features that were found on an electric or gas utility’s website. Example: If we found 20 of the 29 features we looked for, the functionality score would be 69 percent.22 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  23. 23. Overall Performance of Utility Websites Account Access No Account Access 5 Average functionality = 75% Average rating for each website 4 Usability Average usability = 3.1 3 2 1 0 20 40 60 80 100 Functionality Average percentage of features found © E Source23 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  24. 24. Slight Preference for Apple Devices Overall mobile average usability = 3.0 Total features tested on mobile devices = 781 5 Average usability 4 3 2 1 BlackBerry Curve (88) iPad (145) iPod Touch (445) Sanyo Zio [Android] (103) Mobile device (number of features reviewed on device) Note: Usability was rated on a scale from 1 to © E Source 5, where 1 = very poor and 5 = very good.24 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  25. 25. Usability Ratings Lowest for Online Payment and My Energy Use Average usability Feature rating My Energy Use 2.91 Online Payment 2.87 Online Payment (Mobile) 2.83 My Energy Use (Mobile) 2.78 © E Source25 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  26. 26. Not Much Difference Between Mobile and Desktop Usability Mobile Desktop Outage/Gas Leak Status Home Page Account Balance Payment Arrangements Feature Contact Us Registration and Login My Account Online Payment My Energy Use 1 2 3 4 5 Usability rating © E Source26 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  27. 27. Most Common Mobile-Optimized Features Outage/Emergency Reporting 13 Mobile-Optimized Feature Home Page 10 Outage/Gas Leak Status 8 Account Balance 6 My Account 5 Contact Us 5 Online Payment 4 Registration and Login 4 Account Alerts 1 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Number of Sites Supporting © E Source27 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  28. 28. Mobile-Optimized is Best 3.1 vs. 3.728 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  29. 29. Top Recommendations from 201129 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  30. 30. Utility Website Design Center © E Source30 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  31. 31. 31 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  32. 32. What’s Next?  E Source Customer Experience Conference  May 7-9, 2012  Green Valley Ranch, Henderson, Nevada (close to Las Vegas)  Highlights:  Utility Chief Customer Officer Keynote  Outside industry experts (Zappos, FedEx, etc.)  Zappos Insights Tour  Great facility, networking, and dining!  www.esource.com/ucec201232 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  33. 33. For More Information Stephanie Spalding Research Manager, E Source 303-345-9121 stephanie_spalding@esource.com @EsourceSteph Have a question? Ask our experts: www.esource.com/question33 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source
  34. 34. Questions?34 www.esource.com || © 2011 E Source

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