Build sustainable utility services models with advanced customer analytics

by GemSeek
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To stay competitive utility companies need to keep up to date with customer expectations, increase satisfaction, and transform their offerings accordingly. Here are several key areas of changes that you should consider to enhance customer loyalty and generate business growth with the help of customer analytics.

INCREASE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT BY PROVIDING SERVICES THAT CUSTOMERS ACTUALLY WANT AND NEED

Customer retention is no longer merely a question of reliability and cost. A growing number of both B2C and B2B customers are pushing for cleaner energy consumption as well as larger involvement in energy management and conservation. If you want to win in the long run they need to update your general business model with flexible options for the customer and individual control over energy use.

This transformation may require significant investment and dedication, but it can be a powerful foundation for a lasting relationship of trust with the customer. Such a foundation, in turn, leads to sustainable business growth in an increasingly volatile market.  And, nevertheless, your competition is looking this way, too. A study by Jaywing found that 73% of telecommunications and utility marketers rank improving their customer contact strategy as the top priority for data-driven marketing.

But how to achieve a truly customer-centric model in practice? Start by developing a genuine understanding of the customer. Use customer analytics models to develop insights about key drivers of customer satisfaction and use them to develop opportunities for new services. At GemSeek we utilise the power of predictive analytics to understand customers on a granular level. We can help you create very targeted actions depending on what a customer needs (e.g. personalised offers) and quickly deploy these actions.

QUALITY CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MEANS QUALITY OF LIFE

To build long-lasting customer satisfaction, utility companies need to continuously go the extra mile to increase customer engagement. For providers of electricity, gas, water and other utility services quality of customer experience equals the general quality of life. That’s why it’s all the more important to have a clear strategy on the improvement of experience at every stage of the consumer journey. For current customers, such improvements can include the provision of clear and easily accessible information about consumption data and proactive energy-saving tips. Technology also provides opportunities for real-time communication with consumers in regard to outages, billing, etc. What’s more, with the help of customer analytics models you can now execute data-driven customer rescue campaigns. Retention engineering is the process of unlocking the value of customer data, tracing (un)successful journey patterns, detecting customers at risk and recommending next best actions.

SMART CUSTOMERS WANT SMART HOMES

Think for a moment on the following: How committed are you to developing broad, open smart home solutions that are scalable over time? Your customers are at least considering implementing smart home solutions in the near future, if not already using at least one such. The smart home market is expected to reach $107.4 billion by 2023 and consumers are increasingly conscious about energy usage in regard to cutting down their carbon footprint or just saving money. Providing smart home services has multiple benefits, which far exceed customer experience improvement. An increased number of smart thermostats, connected water heaters, electric vehicle chargers and other IoT solutions means increased volumes of data available about energy usage on an individual customer level. The latest machine learning models allow for accurate future network performance prediction. Imagine what this means for the core business of utility providers! A transition to a true proactive model of operations where companies can prevent power outages before they happen, reduce grid inefficiencies or make the most of renewable energy sources.

OPTIMISE THE ALLOCATION OF YOUR MARKETING BUDGET

Which marketing channel brings the highest ROI? When is saturation point reached for a certain campaign or medium, past which efficiency will drop? Timely and clear recommendations based on existing data certainly make planning much easier. Marketing Mix Modelling is a powerful method that captures the short- and long-term impact of spend by channel, pricing, promotions, competition activities. It uses this data to give the answer of the most important strategic question that every marketer faces: Which channel drives the most conversions and how much should I spend where?

CUSTOMER SUCCESS STORY: REDUCING CHURN AND UPSELLING EXISTING CUSTOMERS THROUGH CUSTOMER ANALYTICS

THE CHALLENGE
Our client, one of the largest energy providers in the UK, was facing issues in both their B2B and B2C businesses. They were experiencing a significant churn rate in their SMB electricity and gas business, largely driven by low customer satisfaction. The UK market allows customers to swiftly and easily switch from one supplier to another, exacerbating churn issues. Simultaneously, in B2C, our client was rolling out its smart meter platform and was looking for ways to increase its reach across customers.

OUR SOLUTION
We deployed a micro-segmentation pattern analysis which helped identify microsegments at risk, as well as dissatisfaction drivers for SMB accounts. These were used to design a specific set of communication and key account initiatives to remedy service delivery dissatisfaction drivers. Simultaneously, we developed a smart meter upsell model. It calculated the propensity for customers to buy the new service based on their usage, CRM and billing data. Our client then contacted these customers with targeted marketing offers.

THE RESULTS
Our customer analytics models resulted in a 7pp uplift in satisfaction amongst the targeted SMB population, an estimated 30% churn risk reduction. Based on our model, the client achieved 13% higher conversion rates for the B2C smart meter upsell campaign.

TAKING THE LEAP
At GemSeek, we deploy data-driven insights to solve our clients’ most pressing business challenges. We work to unlock our clients’ data and mobilise the organisation to deliver maximum potential with new and existing customers.
No matter the circumstances, every company has valuable data that could be put to better use in a cost-effective way. A large initial investment is not a prerequisite for reaping the benefits of Big Data analytics. Starting with a pilot customer analytics project is often the best way to unlock the potential of your data.
GemSeek can help utility companies fully monetise the value of their data, engage customers and acquire new business. Our cutting-edge analytics has greatly helped our clients in their customer acquisition and retention efforts.
We’d be very happy to share other customer success stories from the utility sector.