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Customer Experience: How iCon creates value with customer journey insights

The Energy Thought Summit brings energy experts and pioneers together once a year to discuss the current state and future of the energy sector. innogy Consulting also took part of course. This time, we were focussed on an incredibly exciting topic: customer experience (abbreviated to CX). We’ve specifically dedicated ourselves to this idea within the framework of innogy’s CX Factory. As the “Customer Journey” division for the B2C business, they deal with all the responsibilities surrounding customer experience – one of the most important levers for the B2C segment. Its tasks: enabling phenomenal user experiences whilst maintaining cost efficiency.

innogy Consulting showed how this can be done at the Energy Thought Summit in April, first in practice by holding an interactive workshop and then by giving a striking explanation in a “fireside chat” interview with our retail partner Kashif Ansari.

Customer experience in practice: workshop From “Crazy Eights” to Click Dummies

As I am responsible for the topic B2C and, more specifically, CX at innogy Consulting’s Retail Account, I had the unique opportunity of conceptualising and moderating the interactive workshop. The idea was to have participants agilely optimise the customer experience of a US utility company during the workshop. In doing so, they should individually identify the most important, real customer problems and develop a digital solution to meet these head on.

To do this, we relied on the design sprint method “Crazy Eights”. Four teams, each made up of three to four participants, developed eight ideas that they had identified as customer problems in eight minutes. After the time was over, each team selected its best idea and created a sketch on a smartphone in the form of a three tiered process to show what the respective digital solution could look like, either as an app or website.

The highlight: with the help of innogy Consulting’s digital team based in Düsseldorf, four click dummies were developed overnight on the basis of the team’s designs. Thus the participants could test them on their smartphones the day after. The exciting combination of exciting methodology, speed in implementation and on-site presence of innogy Consulting colleagues enabled interesting customer discussions during the event.

What customer orientation really has to offer: a fireside chat with Kashif Ansari

Why does innogy Consulting focus on the topic of customer experience and what insights have we already gained in the process? As one of the first speakers on the main stage, these questions were answered by our retail partner Kashif Ansari at the Energy Thought Summit’s fireside chat:

Why is the topic of customer experience so important for utilities in the USA and Europe?

Kashif Ansari: The demands placed on utilities are increasing as a result of legal requirements for cross-selling and up-selling services in the field of energy efficiency and increased support for electric vehicles. Both require a deep connection to the customer. And that’s exactly what a customer experience programme can do.

However, there are also a number of processes that depend on customer knowledge for their successful implementation – in the area of billing, for example. Cloud-based invoicing and customer relationship management systems require harmonised and integrated customer journeys. If these are not consistently implemented and continuously optimised, complaints increase and with them costs. This is an important issue, especially with the increase of smart metering.

What is iCon’s approach to the innogy customer experience?

Kashif Ansari: Our approach is a clear focus on the issues that are really important to our customers. We must actively involve our customers in the further development of energy suppliers.

Another very important part of our approach is to simplify the customer journey to the six most important points of contact: from joining to usage to payment, cancellation, moving house and change of contract conditions. For these points, we are looking for digital and analogue solutions that make life easier for our customers. It is important that we “pick up” the customer where they are and make it as easy as possible for them to find the communication offers they need at that moment.

What are the main findings of the CX programme?

Kashif Ansari: As part of our CX program, we have identified moving house as the most important starting point in the customer journey for energy suppliers in Europe. Most people aren’t particularly interested in where their energy comes from until they move house, which is when they consciously deal with their utilities company. The consequence: this is when most people change their supplier.

On the basis of this insight, we have redesigned the processes for innogy and rounded them out with suitable digital offers – successfully. The programme has made an enormous contribution to our B2C business: EBIT rose by 10 percent, solely on the basis of improved customer experience. In Poland, 80 percent of moves are now dealt with online. And in Germany, the average cost per move has fallen by 82 percent.

An article by

Daniel Sochaczewski

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