Utility companies are collecting, cataloguing and processing data from a wide range of sources to improve their services. However, obtaining high-quality data and effectively correlating operational information with customer data and external sources (such as the weather) remains a significant challenge.
The inability to exploit this data has contributed to steady customer churn, as well as limited insight into customer behaviour. Ultimately, without personalising services, utility companies are unable to retain customers, enhance customers’ energy utilisation, or increase revenue.
Artificial Intelligence-based solutions can help utility companies with these challenges. There is a growing realisation of this; in Gartner’s 2020 CIO survey, 38% of Energy, Oil & Gas Utilities’ IT leaders said they were investing in AI and machine learning.
BlackSwan Technologies’ ELEMENT™ an AI-enabled, Platform-as-a-Service trusted by leading organisations around the world, can help enterprises to:
- Improve the customer journey and increase revenue through personalised offerings
- Predict and prevent customer churn
- Understand and optimise customer energy utilisation behaviour
Below are examples of utilities industry use cases, where deploying and tailoring ELEMENT provides exceptional value.
Customer satisfaction and personalisation
Improve the customer journey and increase revenue through personalised offerings
ELEMENT enables utility companies to gain a deep understanding of customers’ behaviour and preferences by incorporating all available data – from internal and external sources, quantified datasets and written materials. This includes information retrieved during and after a customer uses one of the provider’s services.
Operational data from the utility provider’s website, app and phone service – such as an app feature not working or a phone call being cut off, can be combined with more specific data from customer services interactions such as complaints and feedback retrieved through customer satisfaction surveys or social media monitoring.
ELEMENT enables utility companies to obtain greater insights about their customers by applying a Knowledge Graph, seamlessly correlating information about customers’ energy usage, customer service interactions and characteristics. By cross-referencing data and detecting meaningful patterns, customer insights are used to create a personalised experience and increase customer satisfaction. For organisations, such as telecom and cable providers, that are making their first moves into the utilities re-sale space, ELEMENT can highlight likely cross-sale opportunities.
Customer churn prediction and prevention
In-depth understanding of customer profiles reduces customer churn
ELEMENT helps utility companies analyse data to identify patterns which can indicate how likely a customer is to churn.
ELEMENT aggregates data such as customer feedback, contract information, utility usage, frequency of website and app use and social media activity from a wide variety of sources to enrich customer profiles, achieving a 360-degree view of the client. ELEMENT records the source of every data point and can even assess the likely accuracy of one data source over another. Data visualizations enable analysts to quickly identify trends, after which they can deep dive into the analytics.
By gaining a deeper understanding of a customer segment and each individual customer, an organisation can use the knowledge they have to take appropriate actions to reduce customer churn.
ELEMENT can notify managers when customers require further assistance or automatically set triggers in place if for example, a contract is nearing its end. Specific risk triggers can be set such as a customer’s inability to pay, a customer complaint, or a new deal provided by a rival supplier that is available for the customer. AI can enable personalized recommendations, special offers or another action to be taken in the appropriate time frame, boosting customer satisfaction and preventing churn.
Predicting consumption and modifying behaviour
Insights to enhance customers’ energy utilisation
ELEMENT uses a combination of AI approaches (known as “Composite AI”), including machine learning and rules-based engines to predict how much energy a customer will consume.
ELEMENT enables organisations to achieve unified consumption knowledge, seamlessly correlating internal data such customer behaviour, location, and external data such as weather forecasts and environmental conditions.
Accurate predictions can enable utility companies to better understand demand and supply and allocate resources efficiently, and identify customer anomalies where energy consumption is considerably higher or lower than expected. This knowledge can alert managers to potential faults with the supply or issues with the customer’s premises.
Utility companies also can set trigger events to help modify a customer’s usage; an email explanation of how much more energy they are using than the average customer, for example. ELEMENT’s AI can monitor and learn about the prompts, language and channels that are most effective in modifying customer behaviour. The system can then build a set of granular customer segments that would benefit from the same interactions.
BlackSwan Technologies’ ELEMENT is a complete enterprise AI solution that can be customized to support multiple business use cases, including Competitive Market Intelligence, Product Personalization, Data Privacy Management, and Trade Intelligence.