Today’s consumers expect an easy, intuitive digital experience when it comes to their service providers—and utility companies are no exception. However, many utilities struggle to meet this expectation throughout each customer interaction. Oracle alone offers a full suite of solutions to help energy, gas, and water utilities deliver timely and connected experiences, whether they are setting up an account for the first time or getting tips to reduce energy use in their home.
In recognition of these efforts, Oracle was named a leader by IDC in its MarketScape: Worldwide Customer Experience Management (CXM) Solutions for Utilities 20211 and MarketScape: Worldwide Digital Customer Engagement Solutions for Utilities 20212 reports. The IDC CXM report adds that Oracle “can be considered a behemoth in the utility industry, with solutions covering all subindustries and most segments of the value chain.”
“The pandemic really put pressure on utilities and energy retailers in competitive markets to become customer centric, by providing a better customer experience and accelerating customer engagement programs. Lowering the cost to serve per customer remains an imperative, but the ability to serve customers on their preferred channels, while supporting the contact center with a single view of the customer are both top priorities.” said Gaia Gallotti, associate research director, IDC Energy Insights. “Additionally, customers increasingly demand personalized, meaningful, and valuable experiences from all their digital journeys. It is apparent that utilities and energy retailers that contemplate their digital customer engagement approaches into their over customer experience strategies will come out on top.”
Meeting customers where they are
As consumer expectations and utility business models continue to evolve rapidly, many utilities are playing catch-up in delivering experiences to customers that are easy and personalized. Oracle is helping utilities of all sizes, including AEP and Exelon, deliver connected, meaningful interactions across their customers preferred channels. The IDC CXM report adds that Oracle offers a “clear and comprehensive roadmap for its CX product portfolio, which is supported by substantial investments in CX pillars, including 360-degree and omni-channel view of customer information and interactions, AI-powered customer insights, unified data model, configurability, single pane view of relevant systems, and integration of critical back-office systems.”
Oracle Customer Experience (CX) for Utilities, is a suite of CX and utility-specific applications that help utilities manage and improve their interactions with customers. With the integrated suite, utilities are able to marry operational data from back-office systems with marketing, sales, service, and engagement systems. With this collective intelligence, utilities can better tailor communications and campaigns across channels to deliver more value to the customer.
The report goes on to note that “Oracle CX for Utilities suite is enhanced by Oracle’s data-driven and AI-powered intelligence, which carries out data ingestion and connectivity, data transformation, data normalization, data aggregation, and data management,” and adds that, “This intelligence can be activated through online and mobile channels to support self-service and aid marketing, sales, customer service, field technician, and billing analyst roles.”
Turning intelligence into action
In addition to becoming more digitally savvy, many utility customers are also turning into energy prosumers as they adopt electric vehicles, solar, storage, and other distributed energy devices. With the enormous amount of data that utilities hold, customers expect to be informed, educated, and engaged with their service needs understood – whether interacting through digital channels or speaking to a customer service agent. This makes the need for data-led engagement even more critical in reaching customers and motivating them to better manage their resources.
The IDC Digital Customer Engagement Solutions report highlights that “Oracle CX for Utilities suite includes Oracle Utilities Opower solutions for utilities customer engagement, covering alerts, next-best actions, energy management, efficiency, peak management, rates, and device automation,” and adds that “Personalization starts with a series of customer touchpoints (e.g., move in, new billed usage, rate change, peak day, high consumption), is enhanced with segmentation using hundreds of sourced and predicted customer attributes, and is supported by wide channel selection (web, mobile, SMS, paper, email, IVR, push, CSR chat, and voice).” With its holistic platform, Oracle Utilities connects all customer touchpoints to deliver a cohesive, personalized experience across every interaction.
“As utilities look towards aggressive conservation and decarbonization efforts, it’s not enough just to get customers to pay attention to a message, but to also make it so simple and intuitive that they are compelled to act,” said Hillary Martin, vice president of product strategy and marketing, Oracle Utilities. “From the customer information system to marketing offers and personalized efficiency tips, only Oracle brings all the relevant data and tools together, coupled with proven behavioral science and AI, to engage and influence customer action throughout their journey. Oracle CX for Utilities provides the customer platform that utilities need to reinvent how they interact with their customers in a more digital and sustainable world.”
1 IDC, “MarketScape: Worldwide Customer Experience Management Solutions for Utilities 2021 Vendor Assessment,” Gaia Gallotti, Jean-François Segalotto, and Gaurav Verma, June 2021 (Doc # US46154220)
2 IDC, “MarketScape: Worldwide Digital Customer Engagement Solutions for Utilities 2021 Vendor Assessment,” Gaia Gallotti, Jean-François Segalotto, and Gaurav Verma, June 2021 (Doc #US46149620e)