Data and AI: your shortcut to launching new products and services quickly
The energy sector is increasingly competitive, and its products and services are constantly evolving.
Your utility needs the ability to provide customers with the breadth of energy and additional products and services they require now and in the future.
Fortunately, there are ways to enact low-cost changes that enable new products and services to be rapidly brought to market. You can even recognize exactly what your customers want and how best to deliver it.
By leveraging the power of data and AI, you can identify opportunities and implement strategies ahead of the competition.
This can take two forms: commodity and non-commodity.
You can use artificial intelligence (AI) to identify trends in demand from customer usage or contract data and build new tariffs.
You can also use technology to model the impact of new products on usage, revenue, and billing. This ability to accurately forecast the efficacy of a new product adds crucial agility and responsiveness to your customer offering.
It also makes your customers feel that you understand them and are focused on their needs.
Emerging non-commodity products
Amidst the increasing demand for sustainable energy, many consumers are seeking ways to self-generate energy to mitigate increasing retail energy costs.
Distributed energy resources such as solar panels, windmills, and industrial batteries are growing in popularity but do require significant investment and maintenance. If you identify a trend amongst your customers toward adopting self-generation energy resources, this may signify a mutually beneficial opportunity.
You can, for example, offer leasing solutions for solar panels, including installation and maintenance as options. These can either be billed as one-off costs or as a monthly service charge. A wide range of possibilities exist to utilize data to provide a hybrid charging solution whereby consumer costs are offset by the user selling a portion of their self-generated electricity back to the utility. Once again, you can leverage AI to model the broader impact on your customers’ billing and rates, adjusting your buy-back rates accordingly. By allowing your customers to configure the products that best suit their unique situation, perhaps with an online tool on the customer portal, you can provide them with visibility to their costs and benefits, putting them in control of their energy journey.
There are other opportunities for non-commodity innovations that align with customers’ lifestyles and enable you to position your brand as a key component of it, such as EV chargers and car-sharing schemes. These can help you evolve from being merely an energy retailer to a truly renewable service partner.
The key to all of this is data
Understanding your customers, their lifestyles, and their needs will help you develop products that inspire loyalty and attract new customers.
You can gather this data through your Customer Information System (CIS), such as the consumptions retrieved via your smart meters, insights captured during the sales journey, the payment behaviour of this customer group, or insights gleaned from customer service interactions such as sentiment.
If employed correctly, these insights can enable you to quickly devise, launch, and optimize products and services.
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