Taking Advantage of AI Throughout the Customer Lifecycle
It is becoming clear that the new battleground for customer experience is the smart use of data and artificial intelligence to offer omni-channel, connected experiences. Utilities have access to huge volumes of data flowing through their systems, websites, apps, call centres, and marketing programs–all of which continue to grow. If this data remains siloed, utilities will miss the opportunity to develop a comprehensive understanding of their customers and prospects–and will struggle to translate insight to revenue.
To succeed in today’s digital-first environment, and deliver intelligent, personalized experiences, utilities must take a holistic, data-driven approach. This requires an understanding of the full customer journey and the key interconnections between experiences across the lifecycle:
- Marketing: Acquiring new customers and continuing to propose relevant offers throughout the lifecycle is vital to a utility provider’s business. Too often today utilities are limited by the inability to personalize offers which results in poor conversation rate and high cost of acquisition. Instead, utilities can unify zero, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party data and apply AI to predict needs and deliver highly personalized, relevant campaigns and offers that will appeal to their target customers.
- Sales: Customers expect to be able to sign up for services or make their purchases anywhere and at any time, using the channel of their choice. In the commercial and industrial segment, the need to provide the tools that support complex account management is vital. Utilities should ensure they use AI to automate and eliminate the manual processes that inhibit productivity and reduce the opportunity for positive engagements with customers. Additionally, utilities can enable service agents to proactively offer relevant, personalized offers and promotions to customers through the harmonization of commerce processes with service. This will increase offer uptake as well as cross- and up-sell rates.
- Service: Customers often feel the frustration of poor service experiences, and this directly impacts their overall satisfaction. Customers naturally object to spending significant amounts of time trying to resolve issues, being transferred from one agent to the next, and re-explaining the problem each time. To address this, utilities must provide agents with the relevant customer data and tools, leveraging AI and natural language processing so they can quickly address issues–and while in the service interaction, propose personalized additional offers that could be valuable to the customer. Furthermore, to meet the expectations of the digital-first mindset, utilities must provide intuitive, unassisted service capabilities. Together these improvements can drive much greater satisfaction and dramatically lower cost of service.
Within this lifecycle, these key front office experiences are all underpinned by the back office integration to the core capabilities within utility providers, from rating, billing and collections, all the way through to advanced meter and device management. This ensures that AI can help surface the pertinent data and information at each distinct point of the utility provider’s interaction with the customer.