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British Gas

How British Gas Accelerated Its Digital Transformation

A collaborative and agile approach to a mobile customer experience.

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.


Centrica/British Gas

Strategy & Consulting
Customer Experience & Design
Technology & Engineering
Innovation & Digital Product Management
Energy & Commodities
Mobile app screens

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.

A person looking at the mobile app

“I’m really pleased 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 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.  


“What made the difference? Deploying the MVP to beta 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

Business impact

The app has significantly impacted digital customer journeys across the enterprise with more than 50 percent of all customer interactions now made through digital channels. As of August 2019, the app has more than one million downloads, with over 450,000 customers enjoying the new experience and services on a monthly basis. 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
“Publicis Sapient haven’t just brought engineering excellence to this work but have additionally brought a bold, outcome-driven attitude which enabled us to focus on customer and business value”
Daljit Rehal, SVP Digital and Data, Centrica