Aiming for one million satisfied customers – robotics improving the customer experience


22.11.2018 at 09:15
Our electricity users will take a more active role on energy markets with the advent of electric cars, solar panels and smart home solutions. At the same time, our busy lives are fueling an expectation that solutions should be as easy and hassle-free as possible.

Caruna's innovation team thinks about solutions that can meet customers' service expectations and envisages how customers' living environments and lifestyles will change. It is important to us that every phase in the electricity transmission process provides our customers with added value. This imposes new requirements for customer service work, which we have enhanced with the help of robotics. In practice, this will facilitate the work of customer service personnel, making it more meaningful.

The most inspiring thing about my job is building customer experiences. When I began working on the customer experience programme a couple of years ago, I got to know more about customers' expectations, and segmentation enabled the team to lay a strong foundation for digital services. Our customers' wishes are mainly related to everyday efficiency. Customers want effortlessness and the opportunity for financial optimisation. At the same time, people want to live sustainably and ethically.

An effortless everyday life

We are used to having everything available in the blink of an eye, so customer service should also work smoothly – long waiting times are not a part of modern service. Automation enables us to identify the customer, forward customer contact directly to the appropriate expert and reduce the amount of routine manual work.  The time that we used to spend digging up the customer's basic details can now be dedicated to addressing the actual issue at hand. So far, we have succeeded in substantially reducing response times, and customer feedback indicates that the effortlessness index is increasing.

Next, we want to help our customers optimise their use of electricity. We have just initiated a project aiming to take electricity consumption monitoring to the next level. The project uses analytics to combine changes in consumption data and the living environment – customers are automatically notified if their electricity consumption differs from the normal level and the change cannot be explained by weather fluctuations or increased usage.

A sustainable and ethical everyday life

Climate change will change the everyday lives of our customers, whether they live in detached houses or blocks of flats or whether they are companies. It is our job to think about how to make the services of the future as easy to access as possible if a customer is buying an electric car or solar panels. Our customers are very interested in taking an active part in sustainable development. The majority of solar power producers are located in our area and, this year, 1,700 new households joined the ranks of small-scale solar power producers. It is our job to help solar power companies and our customers to find each other, even if we do not offer such services. Furthermore, we are developing a smart electricity network to enable solar power producers to transmit the electricity that they generate to other people.

Customer service - from customer adviser to expert

Customer service was previously centralised and all calls were directed to a service centre, which connected customers to different specialists. Now we have three regional teams consisting of experts, and one team is dedicated to solving business customers' problems. The teams have been reinforced by robots that handle matters such as inputting data into different systems. In practice, the robots take care of work that is long-winded or even boring. As a result, our customer advisers are competing to see who will have the next robot programme.

Elina Lehtomäki, Development and Innovation

Follow on Twitter: @ElinaMaariaL

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