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03 September 2019 5 min read

From mid-market player to market leader in smart meters

Propelling E.ON, an electric utility company, to the status of market leader (Ofgem), by leveraging the power of advanced technologies to transform customer service and field force efficiency.

Client requirement

The UK is undergoing an energy revolution. The government’s £11bn smart meter programme is being channelled through the country’s main energy providers – with a mandate to install them in 95% of customers’ homes by the end of 2020.

As one of these providers, E.ON was faced with not only this rigorous target, but also a lack of consumer appetite for the product, as well as a negative media hype surrounding the smart meters themselves.

E.ON was also experiencing logistical challenges: long installation wait times, a lack of personalised service, declining conversion rates after the early-adopters have had their meters installed, an inability to predict the long-term and an under-utilised field force.

Baringa’s role

Above all, Baringa gave E.ON control and confidence. With the implementation of new communication channels and enhanced existing channels, a new 2-way SMS system was introduced, and the letter process was streamlined from three weeks to just one. This immediately transformed the customer experience.

By adding Artificial Intelligence into the mix, E.ON could then identify the propensity of each customer to respond, and via which channel. A model based on AI and machine learning also helped balance field supply and customer demand, allowing for accurate short and long-term forecasting.

Existing knowledge of customers was also tapped into, so that insights could provide them with a much more tailored and personalised journey. Understanding any previous contact E.ON had with its customers, in turn led to improved conversion rates.

Outcomes and Impact

With Baringa at its side, E.ON moved from a mid-market player, to a market leader in smart meter appointment generation, as recognised by Ofgem.

E.ON has also implemented a market-first with a short-term resource-sharing agreement with another energy supplier, as it continues to meet its regulatory requirements.

Simon Duncan, E.ON’s Head of Smart, Transformation and Governance

“What matters most is convenience for our customers. At E.ON we’re leading the energy transition for customers, which means we make things smart, sustainable and personalised, offering every customer an energy solution that’s right for them. We want to make booking an appointment for their smart meter installation as easy as possible, so they feel and know that we understand them and put them in control. AI and Machine Learning give us greater insight into our customers and help us predict how they might respond, so we can match their needs and preferences with our offering. Our messages are much more salient now and we use our different channels in a much more sophisticated way to match different customer journeys.”

Andrew Millerd, Director, Baringa

“Baringa has a huge heritage in the smart meter space. We have worked with all large energy suppliers, regulators and DCCs in some shape or form over the last decade. E.ON customers were having an erratic experience, no-one was going through the same journey, and the field force couldn’t go about their jobs efficiently. By pinpointing accuracy with machine learning, E.ON can now address each customer in the most impactful way and personalise their smart-meter journey, and E.ON’s field force technicians are at the frontline of UK’s energy revolution.”