Alan Griffiths

Alan Griffiths

Vice President Consulting Expert

The future of Energy Services is packed with new technology and constant digital innovation, where the use of data to improve customer experience is becoming more and more crucial for suppliers to meet high customer expectations. One could therefore, argue that the role of Systems Integrators (SIs) in dealing with increasingly large volume of data is even more necessary than before – but perhaps for more complex reasons than you might think.

At the pace that emerging tech growth is moving, it is obvious that SIs must use all of their capabilities to bring these new technologies together in the most effective way possible for energy suppliers. But even more importantly, SIs must use their deep industry knowledge and insight to help their clients make better choices. For example, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be used to automate many industry processes, but to bring the most value the SI must ensure that it is the right processes that are being automated rather than just using “tech for tech’s sake”. SIs can ensure suppliers don’t make the common mistake of automating a bad process, instead of fixing any underlying problem and optimising the process before applying RPA.

Besides, to deliver the best customer experience, data must be used in the correct way. Some of the best customer experiences in our everyday day life are driven by personalised data used at the right time and in the right way. For example: Uber, knowing where you are, where you want to go and having a secure access to your payment information; Amazon, providing personalised site offerings and updating your order progress through email, text and voice messages; Sky Sports, knowing your favourite sporting teams and keeping you updated with their latest information by your channel of choice. Energy companies have a way to go before they can meet this same level of service, but given the kind of data that is already available, there is no reason why they cannot provide a tailored, unique customer experience for every single customer.

To demonstrate this, a few months ago, when people could still meet in person, CGI brought together the energy supplier community with some of our key technology partners. Working closely with Salesforce, AWS, Vlocity, OrdoPay and Electralink we brought to life some key customer experiences across marketing, sales and services, making the best use of data to drive those experiences.

These included:

  • A personalised customer experience: using granular data from a smart meter it is possible to provide recommendations on products and services, such as the detection of EV and specific ToU tariffs.
  • Friction free payments: using Ordo Open Banking technology, energy retailers can help customer pay for their bills at a time convenient for their cash flow and without the need to hold or take card details.
  • Digital Contact Centre integration with CRM: using a digital contact centre integrated with CRM account information reduces the cost of operations and improves the customer experience.

These types of experiences are already widespread in the consumer retail sectors, but as the energy sector, like manufacturing and transport, is lagging behind, there is a great opportunity to make a step change to benefit both business and customers.

Data and technology are critical to the evolution of an organisation’s digital transformation, but they must be used in the context of the industry businesses are operating in.

CGI has been at the heart of the UK energy retail market since its inception, delivering technological innovation in key industry areas, such as balancing and energy settlement and smart metering. We also work within areas of great change, like the Ofgem’s smart market programme, in particular around flexibility and faster switching. As a SI, we have a huge amount of critical understanding when it comes to the data that supports the energy market and the kind of customer experiences that suppliers must focus on.

By working with our alliance partners, we combine our unique industry insight with their tech capabilities to ensure that each customer experience is individually driven by data and energy suppliers offer the best possible value to their customers.

For more information, get in touch.

For more information about friction free payments, read our recent blog: “COVID-19: Alleviating payment burden on customers while maintaining cash flow”

Find out more about CGI in Energy Retail

About this author

Alan Griffiths

Alan Griffiths

Vice President Consulting Expert

Alan has worked with many of the UK’s major utility companies and has gained a wide ranging and in depth knowledge of the sector through a wide variety of business consulting and programme delivery roles.