Increasingly, utilities companies are facing significant pressure from regulatory bodies and consumers alike. Over the years, these organisations haven’t always had the best reputation for customer service and support, leaving clients feeling frustrated and underappreciated.
However, as the number of clients choosing to switch utilities companies continues to increase, and economic issues strain consumer loyalty, the industry is evolving. Brands throughout the utilities sector are beginning to invest more time and focus into their CX initiatives. According to studies from McKinsey and similar analysts, it’s these customer-focused organisations who are most primed for success, even in the face of an emerging recession.
By investing in better strategies for serving and supporting their clients, utilities companies can differentiate themselves from other brands, and accelerate opportunities for growth. Here are some of the top case studies showcasing the impact of CX strategies on the success of utilities brands.
Genesys and Utilia
Utilia, a leader in the prepay energy landscape, found itself dealing with a huge volume of customer calls and queries in recent years. The brand was concerned about the potential for damaged customer satisfaction rates when clients were left on-hold for too long, waiting to resolve a problem. As a result, they chose to work with Genesys on the development of a new digital strategy. The updated CX solution gives consumers multiple choices for how to manage and pay for their services.
Genesys DX allowed Utilia to create a self-service system which provides consumers with a quick and efficient way to deal with issues, without the need for agent assistance. Not only does this cut down on waiting times for clients, but it also reduces the pressure on the call centre agents responsible for handling customer concerns. At the same time, the Genesys DX landscape still allows Utilia to provide clients with access to an expert customer service team when their issues require the input of a human agent. With Genesys, Utilia has created a more efficient, customer-focused contact centre.
Avaya and Superior Propane
The Superior Propane brand has been leading the Canadian market for propane utilities for over 70 years. Part of the reason for the company’s success, is its commitment to phenomenal customer service, and high client satisfaction. In recent years, however, the company noticed its existing communication technology stack was limited in terms of flexibility, agility, and scale. Agents were struggling to collect insights from customer interactions, and hybrid work was practically impossible due to an on-premises system of tools.
Implementing the OneCloud solution from Avaya allowed Superior Propane to access a flexible platform, which opened the door to innovations like AI and advanced reporting. The solution includes a custom-built IVR integration for self-service, and enables proactive automated outbound communications. What’s more, speech and desktop analytics built into the tool have helped Superior Propane to reduce its average handling times by up to 30 seconds per call.
Enghouse Interactive and Hitachi Energy
A global organisation committed to advancing the future of sustainable energy, Hitachi Energy is committed to staying on the cutting edge of the utilities landscape. With B2B customers across 140 countries, however, the organisation has regularly struggled with delivering a phenomenal level of support across multiple channels, in different languages. A legacy voice contact centre solution was preventing the brand from achieving its goals for excellent customer satisfaction and retention.
After reviewing the market in search of solutions, Hitachi Energy chose to work with Enghouse Interactive, using its cloud contact centre as a service solution to build a global platform for customer connections. The solution allows the company to access the flexibility, agility and optimisation capabilities required to thrive. Plus, the tool integrates closely with the solutions already used by the team for collaboration and customer relationship management. The unified solution now allows the company to offer multi-language service to customers on a 24/7 basis.
RingCentral and Valda Energy
Located in the UK, Valda Energy is a powerful B2B energy supplier, selling gas and electricity to the SME market. The company has a strong focus on innovative technology, leveraging 100% renewable power, smart meter technology, and customer-focused service solutions. However, only 6 months after the company originally launched, they began struggling to serve their customers in the wake of the 2020 global pandemic. By embracing cloud-based technology, Valda Energy was able to continue serving its customers in a distributed landscape.
According to the brand, working with RingCentral allowed Valda Energy to build a unified cloud environment combining communication and collaboration tools with the contact centre. The technology allowed for a smooth transition into an era of home-based working, and gave the team more freedom to evolve and adapt over time. RingCentral’s open API environment was particularly useful to the company, as it allowed them to integrate new functionality as their operations expanded.
Content Guru and UK Power Networks
One of the UK’s biggest energy distributors, responsible for powering over 8.3 million businesses and homes, UK Power Networks has a strong commitment to delivering exceptional customer service. The brand found itself in need of an innovative solution for providing sustainable and resilient service to customers in any situation. Fortunately, the team found Content Guru and the storm contact centre platform, to assist in reaching their goals.
With help from Content Guru’s technology, UK Power Networks was able to achieve a 50% reduction in repeat customer queries, through the use of proactive SMS. At the same time, the team has achieved an industry-leading response time with a less than 3 second average time to answer, while maintaining 94% compliance with service levels. UK Power Networks have even managed to successfully handle more than 1000% of their normal contact levels at peak times.
Salesforce and United Utilities
United Utilities is a leading company in the United Kingdom responsible for ensuring clean drinking water reaches more than 7 million people throughout the North West of England. However, as its customers began to expect more than just a reliable supply of water from their utilities company, United Utilities decided it was time to double down on its CX investment. With Salesforce, the company can now assist teams in working faster, and smarter, to deliver better service at a lower cost.
According to United Utilities, an ambitious digital roadmap with Salesforce has allowed the team to improve it’s end-to-end resolve time by 20%. At the same time, it’s pledging to reduce customer bills by 10.5% by 2025, as a result of enhanced efficiencies and productivity. The company is currently leveraging a combination of Field Service, Service Cloud and Tableau CRM tools from Salesforce, to pave the way towards a stronger future.