Utilities are beginning to invest in their grid infrastructure and modernizing them by installing sensor devices across the grid. This is generating big data, the value of which must be unlocked through an efficient data analytics platform, explains Abbo. “Performing analysis on this data has a staggering value which is estimated at €220 per customer per year – this figure is based on the whole value chain.”
Abbo points out that while technology is one piece of the equation, it is also important to rethink business processes within the utility and engage the customer in order to reap the full benefits of data analytics.
Customer-utility experience needs more work
The customer-utility experience is sub-par in comparison to other industries, says Abbo. He recommends that utilities create online experiences for their customers that are on-par with companies like Amazon. “Customers should be able to do everything energy-related on their utility website. Convenience and ease of use is key. C3 is looking at this on behalf of the utility so that customers can enjoy a more Amazon experience. The idea is to create a seamless customer experience that customers are accustomed to with other companies.”
Abbo says that currently, the utility knows very little about its customer. However, with advanced metering infrastructure and other innovative technologies in the home, the utility has access to more information which can reveal their customers’ needs and expectations. This will lead to improved customer satisfaction and a reduction in churn.