This post was originally published on EnergySavvy’s website. EnergySavvy is now Uplight.
We are excited to announce that National Grid is expanding its implementation of our Utility Customer Experience (UCX) platform. EnergySavvy’s AI-driven, end-to-end customer experience solution dramatically increased National Grid’s ability to align its low-income programs with customer needs, with initial pilots showing up to 120 percent higher enrollment in key programs.
In 2018, National Grid piloted EnergySavvy’s advanced UCX platform with 650,000 income-qualified electric and/or gas customers. Based on these positive results, the utility is expanding the customer experience solution to reach more than 2 million customers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in April 2019, with additional expansions to other National Grid customers to follow in the summer. The new offering will incorporate energy efficiency, e-pay and e-bill options as well as low-income programs, additional advanced analytics and functionalities.
“We had three goals with our low-income personalization pilot: enhance customer service, reduce operational expenses, and successfully demonstrate the technology and business processes for delivering a personalized customer experience through multiple communication channels,” said Kelly Carney, vice president of customer process enablement, National Grid. “Because of the compelling results, we are expanding this solution to enable National Grid to deliver highly personalized customer insights and program offers to our customers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.”
With EnergySavvy’s UCX platform, National Grid’s customer service representatives have immediate access to personalized recommendations for each customer (‘Next Best Actions’), enabling the CSRs to quickly identify the best fit offers or programs in which a customer is not currently enrolled.
National Grid has many ways to serve their low-income customers—from fuel assistance to energy efficiency programs.
“One of the challenges is quickly matching each customer with their best action given the wide range of programs,” continued Carney. “Personalization helps CSRs do this quickly and effectively, increasing enrollments and enhancing the customer experience.”
For the National Grid pilot, the EnergySavvy UCX platform used sophisticated data analytics to uncover new customer insights, and then provide personalized recommendations through both the call center and email communication channels. During the pilot, National Grid increased low-income program enrollments on average 53 percent in the treatment group, with some programs seeing an increase as high as 120 percent. Other treatment group impacts included an 11 percent reduction in contact center calls, a 16 percent increase in arrears collections and a 15 percent improvement in ‘trust’ scores among surveyed customers who went through the improved contact center experience.
With 40 million low-to-moderate households in the United States, these customers make up 10 to 30 percent of a typical utility’s customer base, making this a critical customer segment to reach.
“Providing a personalized customer experience is a required capability for National Grid as we move forward,” said Terence Sobolewski, chief customer officer, National Grid. “Not only do our customers expect it, but it is also a key enabler to achieving our other corporate objectives, from operational expense management to the introduction and growth of innovative new services and programs. To succeed, personalization must be comprehensive, and that is the solution EnergySavvy is providing us.”
EnergySavvy’s UCX platform goes beyond low-income customers, providing personalized experiences for all customer segments and all types of offers. It does this by unifying disparate data sources, applying artificial intelligence to generate insights and match messages and offers with each customer, and then enabling systematic delivery across multiple communication channels.
“To make the most of their customer interactions, comprehensive personalization is now a must-have capability for utilities,” said Aaron Goldfeder, CEO, EnergySavvy. “The two key challenges to becoming a personalized utility are constrained IT and utility-specific personalization analytics. National Grid’s success in deploying EnergySavvy underscores how we are the only vendor with both the technology advantage and the solution approach to work with any IT situation while also delivering results in a rapid, agile fashion.”