The Sandbox had encouraging results that point to potential savings for the UK of £563m over five years – driven primarily by its impact on people’s lives as well as compelling benefits to society and business. At a time of soaring energy and household costs, such savings could make a genuine difference to people’s lives, and if the approach tested in the Sandbox were to be launched widely, could help up to 1.4 million UK households.
Indeed, the Sandbox explored a use case around the Poverty Premium – the fact that those in poverty often pay more for essential products and services. Datum Future tested out people’s willingness to access new services to address their needs in a way that gave them meaningful value, control, convenience and transparency while asking only for data that was relevant and proportionate. This was done by incorporating five key design principles into the customer journey.
Rooted in its primary consumer insights, the Sandbox delivered a prototype that shows how treating people ethically and with empathy can help them to build their confidence in sharing their data so that they can benefit from it. 73% of those surveyed were interested in taking part in the offer.
And the findings from the prototype have business applications far beyond the specific use case tested in the Sandbox. Analysis of third-party studies suggests that a well-working data ecosystem has the potential to generate economic benefits of £7bn to £18bn in the UK.The Customer Journey Sandbox provided the following insights:
It is time to build people’s confidence in using their personal data, so they can benefit from it
Businesses need to meet both emotional and functional needs if they are to build customer confidence in sharing data to ultimately build better customer experiences. People’s concerns are emotional: security; fear of fraud; worry about hassle and a feeling of invasiveness.
People living in poverty use skill and resilience to make ends meet. They often manage very challenging and stressful situations. By recognising the skills they employ to manage their finances – both with financial and non-financial rewards such as discounts and flexible payments – businesses can provide the positive re-enforcement and updated tools to help people access essential services and build loyalty.
There are five ways to ensure people will engage and benefit
The Sandbox revealed that the following five principles need to be applied to any customer experience relating to data:
Responsibility: acting ethically, with a duty of care towards customers and with their needs in mind; transparency: being honest and clear; control: giving the customer real choices; convenience: ease of use and simplicity; and value: giving the customer benefits that matter to them.
How the prototype worked and what it could deliver
Datum Future built a prototype in an app setting, which allowed 18-35-year-olds on Universal Credit to receive benefits such as discounts and payment flexibility on essential utilities and telecoms services. They could do this by sharing information and positive attributes about themselves to demonstrate their eligibility for benefits.
The prototype was well-received and considered easy to use. Aside from the financial reward offered, consumers liked having a “one stop shop” for all their utility and telecoms bills to help them manage their costs in one place. 85% of respondents liked the fact that they were rewarded for demonstrating responsible behaviour.
If the Sandbox was adopted in the mainstream its impact over five years could be:
- Consumer: £343m – savings on bills & lower costs of debt
- Business: £142m – cost savings on customer service and customer debt
- Society: £78m – public poverty cost saving
How business can benefit and collaborate to gain competitive advantage
The Sandbox showed promising opportunities to shape a vibrant data economy and deliver entirely new services to customers. By building trusted customer journeys that deliver tangible value, companies can address people’s needs, generate efficiencies and build customer loyalty – ultimately driving revenue opportunities.
Much of this promise comes from the opportunity of data portability – the principle that people should be able to take the data they share with one service and move it to another – which can help to promote competition online and encourage the emergence of new services.
Opportunities abound, but to get there, challenges must be addressed through new ways of working and collaborating. While UK and EU regulations are advancing key issues around data portability, interoperability, and consent mechanisms, working collaboratively with industry to create a seamless secure customer experience is a key priority to enable these new types of data services to thrive. Equally, diversity and inclusion in data to ensure accurate representation is paramount and these challenges requires cross-sector and stakeholder collaboration.