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Creating a Digitally-Driven Customer Experience

For our retail energy provider customers, there is one thing that underpins almost everything they do: the need to deliver a superior customer experience in a fast-moving market where competition gets tougher by the day. Buyers are faced with so many choices from so many providers, that the ability to innovate and differentiate is critical for success – especially considering the low barriers to switching.

Underpinning this is the fact that customers expect providers – whether they happen to cater to the energy sector, or telecommunications, or anything else – to offer a similar experience to ‘best-of-breed’ digital-first players such as Amazon or Netflix. They want a seamless journey from commerce, through delivery, to support and billing, with consistent quality of service.

This has – unsurprisingly – led providers to review the commerce systems which play a central role in customer experience. Traditional CIS software provides a bedrock, and is being updated and augmented in order to offer improved capabilities around acquisition and retention.

Hansen has focused on serving customers in the energy and utilities sector for decades, which gives us a deep understanding of the challenges they face on the journey to become digitally driven. But we are also able to leverage our equally strong experience supporting communications service providers, who have already been faced with the same need to transform their operations, in order to become digital service providers.

Perhaps the key area in which the two segments align is the need to enable customers to pick and choose from a large catalog of products, often bundling services together into a single commercial proposition. This needs to be done consistently through any channel the customer wants: from a mobile device, via a PC, through a contact centre, or traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

For the consumer, there is nothing worse than being offered the perfect proposition, only to find they are not eligible due to some arcane rule. Or to find that an offer available when browsing in a store can’t be taken up online when they get home. Or to order a service and then need multiple support calls to find out why it hasn’t been delivered. As the adage goes, you get one chance to make a first impression.

The way we address this is through the combination of Hansen Catalog, which provides a single point of truth for products and services, creating a set of definitions which can be used enterprise-wide to ensure consistency, and Hansen CPQ, which integrates with a range of customer-facing platforms to deliver a high-quality sales experience across complex product portfolios.

Simply put, the catalog sorts out the product definitions, while the configure-price-quote software brings this into the CRM domain to deliver a consistent and seamless sales experience.

So that’s the theory. But what about in practice? In the next blog, we’ll talk about our experience deploying Hansen Catalog and Hansen CPQ for Simply Energy in Australia – a long-term Hansen customer leveraging technology from our communications portfolio to improve its customer experience capabilities. Stay tuned.

Steve Costello
Product Marketing Manager