This post was originally published on EnergySavvy’s website. EnergySavvy is now Uplight.
“Hey Alexa. I got a high energy bill in the mail. How can I lower it this month?” While IoT technology like Alexa might seem futuristic for even a modern utility, these kinds of personalized interactions are not only now possible, but expected from today’s customer. And utilities are feeling this pressure. If given the opportunity, 39% of utility customers would opt to use another energy provider, and 66% of utility customers believe that utility communications aren’t relevant to them.
Many utilities believe that the road to personalization requires a complex CIS upgrade, taking years and millions of dollars before any benefit is seen. Fortunately, there are other options. Companies like Amazon, Netflix, or the ride-sharing apps like Lyft and Uber, have forever reset expectations around customer experience through the pioneering use of customer personalization powered by cloud based predictive analytics. Utilities can now take advantage of their years of experimentation and learning, instantly applying the most relevant takeaways and insights to their own organizations.
For example, in each utility customer’s journey, there are a number of key, common points at which they need to interact with their utility—such as starting or stopping service, reporting an outage, or requesting financial assistance. Just a few of of the lessons utilities could take away from Amazon, Netflix, and ride-sharing companies to reimagine these customer journey points include:
- Eliminating the challenge and expense of duplicate outage reporting through proactive communications.
- Using historical data to predict when a customer has the greatest likelihood of requesting a recurrent turn on or turn off.
- Providing field technicians and customer service representatives with a 360-view of the customer.
- Using an Alexa-like AI to power IVR systems, or by integrating directly with Alexa’s API for IoT use.
- Delivering only the most relevant actions, programs, and rate plans for each customer.
Effective personalization solutions don’t need to be a part of or dependent on a new CIS. But successful solutions require industry-specific expertise, need to leverage predictive analytics, and be based upon a scalable, cloud-based platform. By using personalization cloud technology, utilities are able to start with small, achievable steps, realize quick wins, and then use the savings to invest in the next step of a longer term roadmap–delivering immediate results and customer delight. And because such technology is agile, it can meet a utility’s needs today, as well as into the future.
Download the new eBook, Creating the Personalized Utility, to find out how to chart your utility’s road to customer personalization success, see results immediately, and perhaps even avoid another lengthy and expensive IT project.