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Big data technologies and engagement in the Utility sector: how to increase customers loyalty

For utility companies who want to take advantage of big data technologies, it’s an opportunity to increase customer engagement and build trust and loyalty.

The Energy and Utilities sector is an industry in transformation. New markets, political and regulatory pressures, digital transformation, climate change, and the need to control costs are all impacting the sector at a rapid pace.

At the consumer level, companies are no longer at the center of the market. Customers dealing with difficult to understand bills, rigid and standardized offers, and unreliable and inefficient customer service now have more options. As a result, companies are more focused on being more customer-centric to increase engagement and retention—in other words,  loyalty—with customers. Many challenges, but also many opportunities.

 

“Big data technologies”: Not just a buzzword

No longer just a buzzword, we’ve seen big data technologies go from hype to reality. era. As defined by Gartner, big data technologies are “high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing that enable enhanced insight, decision making, and process automation. “

This represents an area of great potential value for marketing, which can use big data technologies to learn as much as possible about targets and customers, such as which products they’re buying, how they’re using them, how they are navigating your website, and what they are interested in. Through analysis, companies can draw conclusions about what customers want, how they buy, and what they will respond to, and it makes it easier to personalize and optimize marketing messages and promotional offers down to every single customer or target.

In the energy and utility sector, this is a real opportunity to combine the right offer and the right time, to address requirements and issues at the individual level, and to better understand future requirements of each customer, gaining trust and loyalty along the way.

 

Why big data technologies are essential for the Utility Industry

According to GTM Research, companies in the Utility sector will invest in data analysis, and those investments will grow from $700 million in 2012 to about $3 billion in 2020, an increase of over 400%.

But where will these huge investments be conveyed? And above all, why are they considered so important?

Analysis from big data technologies will allow companies to help customers be more efficient with their energy consumption. For example, the more that is known about a user’s home, equipment, and usage habits will enable the company to provide efficiency recommendations, automated temperature control services, and other services to help customers be more efficient (and save money in the process).

On the other, data is fundamental for increasing customer satisfaction and gain customer loyalty and trust.

Helping customers make better choices that save them money builds customer loyalty.

The number of people who change their energy provider increases year by year. A survey conducted by Ofgem revealed that in 2015, 13% of UK users switched suppliers. In 2016, this figure rose to 15%, up to 18% by 2017; that’s nearly 1 customer out of 5. This is confirmed by an increase in searches related to changing utility suppliers on Google Trends (source).

 

Improve customer care to increase customer loyalty

Today’s customers have greater expectations for online: they are used to the logic of one-click engagement of Amazon or Netflix and expect to find that same ease of engagement in other sectors.

According to Forrester data, in the US, 77% of adults place top value on their time: “the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer service.”

This is true no matter the product or service that you are providing.  Companies in the Utility sector must start thinking out of the box to establish a happy and lasting relationship with users. Talk with them. Solve their problems quickly. Help them save money.

Digitization can facilitate this process. Doxee was recently recognized among the 20 most promising technologies for the Utility world in 2018 by CIOReview.

Omni-channel communication and customer care strategy should be personalized and tailor-made as much as possible. To do that, it is important to: know your client, analyze the data and put the customer at the center.

 

1) Know your customer:

The goal is to understand how people interact with your company according to factors such as age, gender, residence, or timing (such as time or day or even the time or year). This is just a suggestion; you’ll want to choose the data that is most relevant to your services, target market, and business objectives.

Call centers and service centers are no longer enough. Companies must be able to respond to the needs of customers on the channels that customers frequent ( email social networks, chats, and apps).

 

2) Analyze data:

Not all data is the same and it’s not about quantity, but quality. Take advantage of big data technologies to provide the analysis that can inform decision making and to help you better understand how to reach and serve customers.

 

3) Put the customer at the center

By analyzing the data Utility companies can get to know their users better, making it easier to put the customer at the center of their efforts and for every interaction. As the customer journey and other customer-facing processes become more digital, big data technologies can support adding personalization at every step, from promotion to new customer onboarding, to the monthly billing cycle

 

Find out how Doxee Interactive Experience – Doxee iX – will help you to drive greater customer engagement and improve the customer experience. Download the solution overview:

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