3 Sweden

Creating a service to demystify the phone bill

Found in translation

Unlike most mobile operators, Scandinavian operator 3 is committed to building long-term relationships with their customers through transparency. Recognizing that self service was in need of a makeover, 3 came to Fjord looking to create a mobile experience that would take this transparency to a new level, offering their customers clarity and simplicity with their monthly bill.

For most mobile phone users the monthly bill is harder to interpret than a foreign language. The incomprehensible list of numbers and charges are just a few symptoms of “bill shock.” As people increasingly use their phone for Internet services, media consumption and even payments, the bill becomes even more inscrutable. 3 didn’t want their love of data to overshadow their commitment to an enjoyable interactive experience for their users.

In response to this challenge, Fjord took a service design approach to create an experience that would be both engaging and educational. The end result is My 3, an app for iPhone and Android that provides a clear and engaging way for customers to understand their voice, messaging and data usage. Users are able to take control of their bill, right from their smartphone.

Transforming ugly data into a beautiful service

While designing the app, Fjord needed to gain a real sense of the complexities involved in building what we know as the mobile phone bill. When we peeked beneath the hood of the telecom operator, we understood the complexity of mobile subscriptions – multiple layers of allowances for voice, data and messaging, roaming usage, and customized add-ons. In fact, 3 used over 200 different subscription models. The challenge for Fjord was to create a service that would provide every user with context-specific data visualisations of their bill. That meant customizing and beautifying the billing system, without getting stuck in data glut.

The My 3 service provides users with a multi-faceted interpretation of their usage: an opening “snapshot,” a deeper investigation of invoices and the ability to see trends over the past six months, as well as how their bill compares to a typical customer. With so much information, a compelling visual representation was essential; Fjord created “vinyls” and “doughnuts” which playfully depict clear breakdowns of their charges.

A data viz social circle

My 3 doesn’t just make data useful, it makes it fun. The app offers users an illuminating glimpse of their recent social history with a dynamic phonebook of favorite friends plus a representation of typical daily usage. It also taps into the connectivity of the smartphone with constant access to customer care if there is an issue that requires support. The service becomes an important platform for helping and guiding customers to pick the best subscription for them – rather than getting discouraged and leaving 3.

Fjord has helped 3 transform a customer struggle into a channel for engagement. The My 3 app embraces service design thinking, turning elaborate subscription models into simple, yet enticing data visualizations.

With the My 3 app, 3 is underscoring their effort to create a more authentic relationship with customers by demystifying the phone bill. This is a huge benefit for customers as they learn to juggle multiple connected devices and the data overload that accompanies them. And the app has shown that doing good for your customers can benefit the bottom line: Since the launch of My 3, hundreds of thousands of customers now rely on the service to stay in control of their usage, reducing the need to call customer support.

In fact, 50 per cent said they called customer service about their bill less often as a result of using the app.

People like using it too. 70 per cent of those who have downloaded are using it every month, and the ratings from Google Play and iTunes that praise My 3 as a beautiful and thoughtful design prove that users are experiencing 3’s commitment to a new and alluring relationship with their bills.

By partnering with Fjord, we have created a beautiful, innovative way to give our customers access to their data and show our commitment to transparency.
Johan Gertell 3 Sweden VP