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Creating a frictionless customer journey for 8 million customers in the North East, Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire, who rely on Northern Powergrid for their electricity supply every day and night

As one of the biggest Distribution Network Operators in the UK, Northern Powergrid are trusted by their customers to deliver safe and reliable power to their homes and businesses. However, power cuts do happen, and in a regulated industry the customer experience at these times of inconvenience, and potentially crisis, are heavily scrutinised.

The Challenge

Northern Powergrid already delivers a good experience to customers during a power cut but with Ofgem, and the ever-improving competition from other DNOs, the customer experience needs to truly reflect the needs of all their customers. This also includes vulnerable and hard to reach customers who may be dependent on electricity for their medical needs. 

The Programme

Northern Powergrid asked Impact Innovation to help them identify opportunities to improve the customer experience.


To do this we:

  • Developed a clear picture of the today experience – part 1: a comprehensive Experience Arc TM representing the journey across all channels through the eyes of a customer, and, part 2: a linear map of the underlying customer experience for planned and unplanned power cuts (both commercial and domestic)

  • Overlaid key volumetrics, insights, together with customer and staff feedback, to size and narrate the experience

  • Identified the key friction points as well as many hidden touch points that customers value and respond to, or, which impact the experience

  • Built a vision for the experience that the brand aspires to deliver and customers want to receive

  • Developed 41 specific solutions through collaborative sessions, focused into impact-now, Medium and Longer term improvements, with indications of the impact each will have on NPS and performance

From this starting place we:

  • Developed a whole new ‘Tone of Voice’ approach and guiding document for all customer facing communication – from text messages, emails and social media to leaflets and letters etc

  • Scoped the development of a new Digital Experience for customers to include flexibility for different users, e.g. rural communities

  • Created new positioning, strategies and approaches for engaging with, and supporting vulnerable customers and the wider Stakeholder community

  • Supported in the writing and design of the Stakeholder Engagement and Consumer Vulnerability incentive submission to Ofgem

Moved from 5th to 2nd in DNO customer experience league table

Moved from 5th to 3rd in the Stakeholder Engagement and Consumer Vulnerability incentive

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