Australian Utility provider uses RPA bot to retain customers

RPA - Utilities

Australian Utility provider uses RPA bot to retain customers

July 21, 2021

The worldwide utility industry deals with a large amount of data. Among the key metrics tracked are the details of the homeowners, the average monthly consumption, and invoice and payment details. While it would seem as though the payment information is critical, homeowner details such as name, billing address, and average monthly consumption are critical aspects. Managing volumes of customer data is a daunting task.

This client of Infoveave is among the fastest-growing utility provider in Australia. A growing customer base and new connections bring in the need to effectively manage and monitor customer information, usage, and billing details.  With new customers acquired or sites getting activated with supplies many times, there is an account without having customer information on it.  This would mean that there are supply connections to the site but no named account holder leading to billing and reconciliation issues and revenue leakage.

The problem/challenge faced

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Dealers

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Performance Indicators

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Improved Productivity

An Occupant Account refers to those accounts that are supplied with gas and electricity without a customer name present.  

Such an account arises when the name of the person occupying the site is not known to the utility’s provider. This typically arises when there is a new homeowner for a particular unit where the supply connection is already present. In such cases, the service provider would not know the name to raise invoices apart from the supply of electricity and gas. 

To verify who is living at the site, the company needs to undertake several checks to verify the account and ensure that there is continuity of supply.  If the company is unable to confirm the same, it will go ahead with the disconnection of the supply.  The process of confirming the occupier and disconnection in case of inability to trace the occupier is tedious and long.  Various operational steps including sending out letters, physical verification, and calls by the call center are undertaken.  to the team members including the call  It is a tedious task to verify the occupant.  An Occupant account is then forwarded to a call center which is tasked with confirming invoice details and ensuring customer retention.  

  • The process illustrates a few pain points in terms of account verification and invoice collection. The manual process of verification, while effective, poses an additional cost to the company in terms of workforce deployment. 

  • The time taken by each call center agent would take to verify a single account while dealing with large volumes of data poses a significant challenge. 

The solutions deployed

The process illustrated above is highly tedious and time-consuming and is long drawn. The three-pronged process can take up to three to four weeks.  At times, the supply to the site continues and hence unpaid invoices are mounting and no revenue coming in, something that is clearly a big cost to the company. Without proper intimation and timely reach out to the occupier, the company may lose the customer to a competitor supplier. 

Another challenge that presents itself is the retention of customers. While several service providers do address invoices to ‘Occupants’, a customer would feel more compelled to continue should his/her name be used. 

While sending out letters to the address on the account, the company also must ensure prior notification is given as per the AEMO guidelines. This ensures that no incorrect disconnection orders are being sent out.  Sufficient time must be given to the occupier to respond to the letter and claim the account supplying a name and other details as asked.

To bring down the Turnaround time and reduce the workload, Infoveave built out an RPA to address the need. 

The BOT is designed and trained to perform a series of activities: 

  • From the FTP location access the list of accounts that are not tagged with a named account holder. AN RPA (Robotic Process Automation) bot is trained to weed out the homeowner’s addresses. This process helps create a list of homes that are either unoccupied or have new owners. 

  • The bot scans through the list created and proceeds to send out an LOI (Letter of Intent) to all the homes titled ‘Occupant’. If there is no response to the notification, the bot proceeds to send out the DOL (Disconnection Occupant Letter) in a few days. 
  • The list continues to get smaller, based on the responses received. A final DSO (Disconnection Service Order) notification is sent to those homes that have not communicated with the company.  
  • The Process illustrated helps the service provider plug revenue leakage while retaining existing customers.  

Results and outcomes

  • The Infoveave RPA bot helped the company save capital. 

  • The bot also helped in automating the process that would have taken a considerable amount of time. 
  • The RPA bot also sifted through the data effectively with considerable accuracy.  

Industry

Utilities 

Geography

Australia

Client

Australia’s fastest-growing utilities company with over 700,000 clients across the country.

"Infoveave has far exceeded our expectations in streamlining our business operations."
Manager, Marketing Division

Why use RPA

  • Double down on the time spent executing manual tasks
  • Save costs and capital on manpower otherwise deployed on rule-based tasks
  • Running multiple bots and executing multiple tasks at once
  • Plugging revenue leakage and ensuring customer retention 
  • Effective and timely completion of tasks

Infoveave features used

  • Objected CR RPA tool
  • Principal email master list with customer details
  • Infoveave Automation tools
  • Participant (Occupant) email master
  • Address Book
  • Dashboard and Reporting
  • Info boards/Insights
  • Reports generated by the client

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