This special interest group is where customer care professionals share tactics on how utilities are improving interactions with their customers. 


Reinventing Customer Care

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Nevelyn Black's picture
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Nevelyn Black is an independent writer with a background in broadcast and a keen interest in renewable energy.  In the last few years, she transitioned from celebrity interviews and film shoots...

  • Member since 2017
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  • May 6, 2019 6:45 pm GMT

This item is part of the Special Issue - 2019-05 - Customer Care, click here for more

Customer care is constantly evolving.  In a world of instant gratification, largely thanks to Netflix and Amazon, it is no surprise that utilities must reinvent themselves.  Utilities are investing in and working with startups to pilot new solutions within grid networks.  They have also integrated AI and machine learning with online customer applications and utility websites to deliver consumer self service capabilities.  Many companies in the private sector are taking advantage of the opportunity by producing products and services to promote this transformation.    Recently, Tendril, the leading provider of AI-powered utility customer experience and DSM solutions announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire EnergySavvy, the leader in personalized utility customer engagement.  “Teaming up with Tendril creates a platform that unites all residential utility customer data, analytics and insights in one place,” said Aaron Goldfeder, CEO, EnergySavvy.  EnergySavvy delivers the utility industry’s leading purpose-built, cloud-based customer experience platform.  In fact, more than 30 utilities and state programs across the U.S. rely on EnergySavvy to enable their own transformations.  Tendril’s data analytics on more than 123 million homes can provide crucial information for electric/gas utilities and energy retailers.  Renowned AI companies, Bidgely and Oracle also unveiled analytics tools designed to help utilities improve the customer experience.  A new generation of customer service solutions will reduce the need for customer calls by providing customers and CSRs more digital tools.  Bidgely works with utilities serving residential customers to help them deliver usage insights and offer energy efficiency solutions.   While the personalized customer insights from Oracle present a new way for users to interact with data and a guided workflow that allows new CSRs to "deliver the same level of service as long-term call center experts.”

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Data and technology are not the only transformations taking place in customer care.  A new approach to customer service is also improving the customer experience.  The Spark, ICF blog shared their perspective on how more meaningful conversations lead to better customer service and business outcomes.  Technology-enabled self services coupled with interpersonal communications has improved customer relations and increased customer satisfaction.  It would seem then that true success lies in the perfect marriage of relevant technology and attentive customer service representatives.  How is your utility balancing technology and personal communications to improve the customer experience?

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