About me... Jenna at Bulb

Hi… I’m Jenna and I am Head of User Research here at Bulb :3 . I have been here for 6 months and lead a team of 4 other researchers

The ‘User’ in my title refers to YOU… our members. It is my job to know what makes you tick… how you’re thinking about Bulb, our services and your experience around your energy use and supplier.

That means I spend my day-to-day on the phone with members, visiting you at home to understand your reality and communicating what I hear and see back to all the people that matter here at base.

I specifically often focus on research for Bulb Labs - the team here looking after innovation and, broadly speaking, the future - of the company and your experience. Bulb’s mission is to help our members save money on their energy bills and reduce their carbon emissions. Bulb Labs is our way of learning about new technologies and techniques that we think might help people do that in the future.

Our current focus is Electric Vehicles. We know EV is going to play a big part in the future of all energy supplier’s businesses. We want to make sure that whatever Bulb decides to do is based on the needs of our members - so I’ve recently been out on the road chatting to a lot of our current EV owners to learn more about the highs and lows of EV driving. You can read more about me and my research in this blog.

I love working at Bulb as I get to spend my time doing what I do best - listening and learning about all the peculiarities of how we think and behave as humans… but I’m doing it to drive the future of a part of our lives which most effects something massive… the future of our planet and protecting it from carbon emissions B) .

When I’m not Bulbing I can be found, most usually, holidaying in a tent in the Sussex countryside with my husband and two children, aged 2 and 3. Having two toddlers does not leave much time for anything else! :’(

If you want to reach out to me to share any of your views on Electric Vehicles or anything else you think it’s important we know about our members and their lives - I’m all ears. Reach me here on Community. If you’d like to get involved in research and are keen to chat on the phone, have me come and hang at your place or be the first to hear about the experiments and trials Bulb Labs are running you can register your interest on the Labs page

Hi Jenna,you make your job sound like a social club or a knitting circle! Lol Whilst I do appreciate your role we “the customer” just want low prices so we can manage on our pensions! Whilst it’s fine to go on community and voice our opinions ultimately it does us no good as when energy prices rise we’re hit in the pocket! So where does electric vehicles bring us to in this domestic energy environment? Yes! Nowhere! Anyway had an email from EDF saying" have you heard bulb are increasing their prices for a third time,come back to us for a better deal" ! Makes you think when a big six member is after your disgruntled customers Jenna! Do you think your time would be better spent in looking after your loyal customers and finding ways to keep us? I am on my way soon by the way but nice to give my opinion!

@“Jenna at Bulb” I would have thought that the User Research Team should have realised that now is not the right time to add this thread.

A lot of your customers will have joined Bulb because comparison sites showed you are one of the cheapest, and they’ve now just been hit with a substantial price hike. In the wake of this rise the last thing they’re interested in is knowing that they’re paying for a team of 5 to do your job.

I suspect that @John2152 is speaking for quite a lot of your members and, given that your role is to know what makes customers tick, you should have anticipated such a reaction to the article and not published it.

@john2152
It’s great to hear your thoughts and hearing directly from members is why Community exists. I’m sorry if you think my introduction to research here at Bulb was wide of the mark just now. We really don’t like price rises and know it affects the experience of our members more than any other issue. Unfortunately, the inescapable fact is that wholesale energy prices are really high right now - something that will in time affect all of us in the UK, Bulb members or otherwise. I personally believe in Bulb’s mission to ensure people are not teased with unsustainable fixed rates, subsidised by people paying standard variable rates - and that our members are in touch with the true cost of energy. If that is not for you, we do not charge exit fees so our members are free to vote with their feet. Meanwhile, other providers are busy raising their exit fees to ensure people cannot easily leave.

@yyt
As you mention, I manage a team of 5 researchers…. for a company the size of Bulb that is something I am supremely proud of. It means we have the capacity to ensure that our member’s thoughts experiences and behaviours inform every design decision we make. We get a lot of positive feedback on the user experience of being a Bulb member and we see most members happily managing their accounts online without the need to contact us. This enables us to keep our costs down - passing the savings onto you.

Hey @John2152 @yyt and @“Jenna at Bulb”

As I can understand, there are some concerns regarding the price increases for Bulb which are due to happen around November, but I can assure you it’s not something Bulb would want to do or have thought about lightly. The prices of purchasing gas and electricity supplies, including clean energy, are rising quite rapidly and in order to sustain a business, they do need to increase the costs slightly every now and again in order to ensure the business stays afloat and to ensure they can provide cheaper energy to us in the future.

Personally, I think @“Jenna at Bulb” and her small team are doing incredibly well for a business who provides to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of customers every year. For a small team of 6, researching and providing ideas and projects to the higher management, this is something we would be expecting a team of 20+ executive members to be doing so I have nothing but praise for all of the members within Jenna’s team.

All of your thoughts, ideas and feedback from the price increases will be taken onboard by Jenna’s team - that I’m sure of. One way everyone can get involved is by signing up to Bulb Labs, where you can be one of the first of many to get exclusive access to future experiments and take part in important projects which will hopefully turn into big success stories for Bulb and Bulb’s members!

I think putting the focus on EVs is really good because as of now, there are over 166,000 electric cars and over 5,500 electric vans within the UK alone! Just think, by 2020, we could have over 350,000 electric vehicles in and around the UK, reducing our toxic output by a whole bunch and it would be great for Bulb to be part of that mission. Bulb is all about reducing energy costs while also reducing carbon emissions - which essentially means more bang for our bucks (also having more in our wallets!) and making the air we breathe that bit more healthy.

Well done to Jenna and the team, your blogs have been really insightful so far and I’m excited to see and hear more from you guys!

Thanks for your kind words @mitchell :3 I am proud of the work me and the team do. I should also mention that we keep all research work in-house - so instead of paying big fees to Market Research Agencies (as many companies in the past would do) we run and manage everything ourselves using lean principles to make sure our members’ pounds are best spent to understand them - keeping your experience fantastic and our costs low at the same time.

To hear more about this I urge you to read the post my colleague Spyri did yesterday … she’s leading some really exciting work to shape the design of our internal tools. Tools which will enable our customer service be second to none as the person answering the phone will, not only answer your question but fix your problem. None of the dreaded “I’ll pass that on to the such and such department and they will be in touch… (in approximately 12 years)”

All of my team will be posting an introduction in the coming weeks… keep an eye out to understand more about the work we do here. Very happy to have members’ thoughts and feedback :slight_smile:

Hi @“Jenna at Bulb” : just looking at the ‘Bulbs Lab’ Google Form - the questions ‘Which of the following companies has previously supplied your gas or electricity?’, and ‘What were the OTHER reasons you chose your current energy supplier?’ both imply that multiple answers can be selected but those have ‘radio’ (single selection) answers as opposed to checkboxes (like the ‘lifestyle adaptations’ question). Would it be possible to tweak the answers?

I’d like to see a ‘Special requirements’ section (I know there’s a ‘anything else’ box at the bottom) - for example: ‘Would you say you or a member of your household have any special/unusual requirements - such as electrical medical equipment, mobility issues, being a carer, work from home, have multiple electricity meters for the same property?’ as it might highlight more interesting ‘edge cases’.

I wish we had user tagging on here so I could tag @John2152 as “Resident troll” :mrgreen:

@yyt, many customers also understand that price rises from all suppliers at this time is basically inevitable.

@“Jenna at Bulb”, thanks for the intro.

@RichyB Thanks for your thoughts on the Labs sign up page. You are right it needs some attention. I will look at that.

And you’re completely right about edge cases - we do actually do quite a bit of work with edge cases. Maybe have a look at my latest post - you might be interested :slight_smile: