Customer Centricity: A key issue in the energy markets

12
Sep 18
Author:Ash Natesh
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“I think customers in the energy sector have largely been left behind while other sectors have moved on,”  Melissa Reynolds told the Financial Review.

Melissa Reynolds has over 30 years experience in product, marketing, brand, sales and service in consumer and business markets. This includes leading large scale customers and digital change in the financial services and media sectors. Prior to AGL, Melissa worked at NAB as EGM retail; Sensis where she led the digital transformation of White Pages; Esanda and Westpac. Her wealth of knowledge in the various sectors makes her a pioneer in customer relations cutting across different sectors.

In a number of recent interviews Melissa shared her thoughts on some topical and pressing issues which are at becoming a high priority for the energy sector.

Digitising customer services

Melissa commented that with the finance industry offering technological solutions that make it easy for their customers to access services, the energy markets need to get on the same boat.

“When the group embarked on the program, about 40 per cent of services for customers could be done digitally. Now it’s upwards of 70 per cent,” Reynolds says.

AGL is two years into a three year, $300 Million transformation program aimed at lifting the customer experience by digitalising customer services, providing simplicity and ensuring correct cross-channel interactions.

The program was announced in August 2016. AGL is investing in three core components namely: Foundational capability, such as IT systems; digital adoption; and ‘signature moments’ for customers around their experience with AGL. There is a significant rise in investment for data-driven personalisation of services.

Customer centric- culture

At present the energy market is convoluted and creates confusion for the consumers. There is no clear understanding of the competition that exists.

Melissa shared two critical Ingredients to break through the customer situation:

  1. Building a customer-centric culture, enabled by faster ways of working , where there is cross-functionality in teams aligned around key customer journeys and improve customer experience on a whole.
  2. The Underlying Technology and Infrastructure that supports personalised and digital ways of interacting, whether its sales or services across various channels.  

“Without great technology and people coming together, you don’t have the necessary ingredients to deliver great, personalised experience” – Melissa Reynolds (CMO Magazine)

AGL tackling affordability & customer pains

The number one pain point in the energy market is the energy affordability. This concern raised by 3.6 million customer accounts is why AGL has a $50 Million debt relief package and extension of loyalty discounts.

Easy Move is another offering aimed at reducing customer pain points. This is targeted towards customers that are moving houses.This enables customers to track move on the go and connection changes online.

Energy insights is another simple solution that alleviates clients pain points. AGl relaunched energy insights to bring about more transparency so customers can manage bills better. The insights show information about how they consume energy in the home by category, such as heating and cooling, cooking, appliances and lighting. This categorizes the energy consumption therefore giving customers more control over the information.

More Recent additions that Melissa has been working on are ‘here to help’ online tool, which shows if customers are eligible to particular concessions around health. It also has a range of new digital payment systems that customers can take advantage of.

Learn more on how Melissa Reynold’s is changing the way the Energy Market is servicing their customers at the Competition & Customer Experience in Energy Conference, 13th & 14th November 2018, Melbourne.

 

Submitted by Ash Natesh

Ash Natesh

Ash is the Content Marketer at Criterion Conferences. Writing and sourcing content is all part of her day to day routine. She can’t stop drinking coffee, other than coffee her interests lie in Music, long walks amidst the mountains, Dance, Anime, Science Fiction and all things nerdy!

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