CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT PLATFORM
A Customer Engagement (CE) Platform provides the basis for
customer interaction with the utility and drives channel shift to
self-service options. CE consists of web and mobile presentment
of account information, and facilitates the interaction of customers
with the utility. In some cases this is purely informational – the
presentment of consumption or account information, and others
fully integrate accounts management, consumption presentment, interactive alerts, alarms and financial transactions.
A key element of the user interface (UI) is the requirement to fundamentally simplify the human interaction with the platform. Intelligence built into the UI is required such that the customer or customer service representative is guided to the correct workflow/journey irrespective of their experience with the platform or their understanding of the journey. The UI must deliver a high quality experience for all users to encourage adoption and use.
A Customer Engagement Platform offers significant efficiencies for utilities by reducing the number of calls and interactions with utility personnel. This “channel shift” – the ability to allow customers to self-serve, on their own schedule and at their own pace, off-loads volume from call centres, and will, depending on the capabilities of the CE platform, increase customer satisfaction. In addition, CE platforms offer an outward communication tool for utilities for use in emergencies, and can significantly improve the effectiveness of conservation efforts.
Customer Engagement platforms range from simple displays to full-functioning interactive systems. These systems can be developed in-house, or be integrated with CIS and MDM platforms or be hosted solutions. To be most effective, CE systems should pull data both from CIS platforms and MDM platforms, which allow both a financial and quantitative perspective on water use.
Customers, while typically introduced to CE through the provision of volumetric information, will usually then appreciate the ability to interact financially with the utility through the same platform. CE systems offering only volumetric information are typically less useful, unless there is a means to allow the customer to obtain financial transaction data from another source.