Skip to Main Content

Generative AI: Using artificial intelligence to make human impact.Learn how

How British Gas Accelerated Its Digital Transformation
Play video

Centrica is on a journey—to reposition itself around the customer and become a leading international energy services and solutions provider, with a major emphasis on helping its customers transition to a lower carbon future. As a first step, British Gas, the United Kingdom business of Centrica and the largest energy supplier in the U.K., chose Publicis Sapient to accelerate transformation in its mobile customer experience.


The Imperative for Change

British Gas has a 200-year heritage as a trusted brand providing in-home repair and maintenance services, insurance and smart connected home solutions alongside gas and electricity. But the U.K.’s residential energy market is radically changing. Digitally native entrants are challenging large, traditional energy players, while the U.K. government’s default tariff cap impacts margins. The imperative is clear—transform the customer experience, simplify journeys and enable digital technologies to drive efficiency, choice and new products and services.


The Transformative Solution

Publicis Sapient and Centrica formed dedicated, integrated teams with key experts from across the UK Home business—SAP, billing, home service, smart data, connected home and marketing. The teams worked to optimize the existing agile capability by focusing key service design sprints on the customer, challenging existing processes and addressing more than 200 pain points. They explored not only the way users engaged but also how they engaged.

In just 82 days the cross-discipline teams delivered a minimum viable product (MVP) of the new customer app. On a monthly basis, the teams rolled out new updates, including a two-click tariff change, Apple and Google Pay (a first for an app in the U.K. energy market), real-time 10-second smart meter data visualization and home-boiler service appointment booking and management. 

“I’m delighted that we partnered with Publicis Sapient to build out a step change in the mobile app experience for our customers. This work has driven real momentum on our broader digital transformation program.”

Jon White , Head of Digital Transformation, UK Home, British Gas

The Business Impact

The app has significantly impacted digital customer journeys across the enterprise with more than 55 percent of all customer interactions now made through digital channels, and call volumes dropping by 4.3m, or 15%. As of March 2020 the app has more than 2m downloads. What’s more, the Energy Saving Trust Group heralded the app as a “standout” and “arguably the best of the energy supplier apps.”

The British Gas teams, coached by Publicis Sapient to develop an agile delivery mind-set, continue to build on the app’s success by applying the agile learnings to their broader digital transformation.

value of card payments
pay as you go top-ups
bill payments
homecare purchased
rewards claimed
repairs booked
tariff changes
meter readings

“What made the difference? Deploying the minimum viable product in 82 days and 17 consecutive monthly releases. This generates an amazing can-do confidence across the business. A big thanks to Publicis Sapient for driving this through.”

Paul Nickson , Director of Digital Transformation, UK Home British Gas

Award-winning work

  • British Gas & Publicis Sapient: Best Mobile
  • British Gas & Publicis Sapient: Excellence in Customer Experience
  • British Gas & Publicis Sapient: Best Use of Digital by Sector - Energy and Utilities
Simon Harvey
Simon Harvey
Group Vice President, Utilities