A Mid-Atlantic Utility Leveraged Business Automation for Customer Sat: A ClayWorks Case Study

In today’s fast-paced digital age, customer experience and data reporting have become increasingly critical for utilities looking to provide industry-leading customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. The challenge lies in managing and leveraging customer data to provide a seamless and personalized experience, all while ensuring the data is accurate and up to date. For one medium-sized utility in the Mid-Atlantic region, this challenge was no exception.


With a growing customer base and increasing demand for automated customer interactions, the utility needed a solution that would enable them to streamline their customer experience and data reporting processes. That’s where Microsoft’s Power Platform, Power BI, and SharePoint Portals, along with Virtual Assistants and AI, came into play. By leveraging ClayWorks the utility was able to utilize these technologies to develop a series of apps and automations that transformed their customer experience and data reporting capabilities, making them more efficient and effective than ever before.


The utility faced several challenges related to Customer Experience and Customer Data Reporting. One of the major challenges was that the existing customer data management system was outdated and inefficient, leading to inaccurate and incomplete customer data. This made it difficult for the company to provide personalized customer service and targeted marketing efforts. Additionally, the manual data entry and verification processes were time-consuming and prone to errors, which affected the overall customer experience.


Another challenge was the lack of a centralized system to manage customer interactions across different channels such as email, phone, and social media. As a result, customer requests and complaints often fell through the cracks, leading to frustrated customers and missed opportunities to address issues in a timely manner. The company realized that a more holistic approach was needed.


Moreover, the utility was struggling to keep up with the increasing demand for self-service options from customers. The existing self-service portal was outdated and did not provide the necessary features and functionality to meet the evolving needs of customers. This resulted in longer wait times for customers who preferred self-service options, leading to a negative impact on customer satisfaction.


Lastly, the company was facing challenges related to data analytics and reporting. The existing reporting systems were not user-friendly and did not provide real-time insights into customer behaviors and preferences. This made it difficult for the company to make data-driven decisions related to product and service offerings.


Overall, these challenges were affecting the company’s ability to deliver an exceptional customer experience and to stay competitive in the industry.


To address the challenges faced by the utility, Clayworks productivity specialists proposed a comprehensive solution leveraging Microsoft’s Power Platform, Power BI, SharePoint portals, and positioning for virtual assistants and AI to provide automated customer interactions.


Firstly, they designed and developed a series of custom apps using Microsoft’s Power Platform that catered to various aspects of customer service, such as bill payment reminders, reporting of outages, and service request updates. These apps were designed to be user-friendly and accessible on multiple devices, ensuring that customers could easily interact with the utility at any time. Additionally, they integrated Power BI dashboards to provide real-time analytics and insights into customer behavior, usage, and preferences. These dashboards were designed to be easily accessible to the decision-makers in the organization, allowing them to make informed decisions and respond quickly to customer needs.


Secondly, the ClayWorks team developed SharePoint portals to create a personalized experience for customers. These portals were designed to provide customers with a single location to access information related to their account, usage, and billing. Customers could also access educational resources to help them understand their bills, energy consumption, and conservation tips. These portals helped to reduce the volume of customer service calls and inquiries, allowing customer service agents to focus on more complex issues.


Finally, they positioned virtual assistants and AI to provide automated customer interactions. The virtual assistant was designed to provide customers with immediate assistance 24/7, answering frequently asked questions and guiding customers through various processes such as bill payment and service requests. The AI system was designed to analyze customer data and provide personalized recommendations to customers based on their usage patterns and preferences. These recommendations could include energy-saving tips, payment options, and customized service plans, further improving the overall customer experience.


In conclusion, the solution provided by ClayWorks professionals helped the utility to improve customer experience and data reporting. By leveraging Microsoft’s Power Platform, Power BI, and SharePoint portals, the utility was able to provide personalized and user-friendly experiences to their customers while also improving their internal processes. Additionally, the implementation of virtual assistants and AI helped to further improve the customer experience by providing immediate and personalized assistance. The solution also helped the utility to optimize their resources by reducing the volume of customer service inquiries and allowing their agents to focus on more complex issues.


Once the solution was defined and approved, the implementation phase began. The project was divided into different phases based on the priority and urgency of the features. The first phase involved the creation of a customer portal that would allow customers to view their account information, such as bills, payments, and consumption data. The portal was built on SharePoint with a custom interface design that aligned with the utility’s brand.


The second phase involved the integration of the customer portal with the utility’s internal systems, including billing and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This integration allowed for real-time data updates, reducing delays in customer account updates and billing.


The third phase involved the implementation of chatbots and virtual assistants to handle common customer inquiries and provide 24/7 customer support. These chatbots were developed using Microsoft’s AI technology and integrated with the customer portal and CRM system. This integration allowed chatbots to access customer data and respond to inquiries quickly and accurately.


The final phase involved the deployment of Power BI dashboards to track and analyze customer data, such as satisfaction rates and response times. These dashboards provided actionable insights to the utility’s management team, allowing them to make data-driven decisions to improve the customer experience.


Throughout the implementation, ClayWorks professionals worked closely with the utility’s IT and customer service teams to ensure that the new systems and processes were well understood and accepted. Regular training sessions were conducted to help employees understand the new systems and tools and provide support when needed. As a result, the implementation was successful, and the new systems and processes were adopted quickly by both customers and employees.


The implementation of the Microsoft Power Platform, Power BI, SharePoint Portals, and positioning for Virtual Assistants and AI to provide automated customer interactions proved to be a game-changer for the utility. The challenges they faced with Customer Experience and Customer Data Reporting were overcome through the development of utility focused ClayWorks apps.


The implementation of these technologies has enabled the utility to gain valuable insights into their customers and make data-driven decisions to improve their services. The ability to provide automated customer interactions using Virtual Assistants and AI has also helped to improve the overall customer experience and increase customer satisfaction.


As the CEO of utility noted, “The implementation of these technologies has allowed us to not only streamline our processes but also improve our overall customer experience. Our customers now have access to real-time information, and we can make data-driven decisions to better serve them. We are thrilled with the results we have achieved through this partnership.”


In conclusion, the successful implementation of the Microsoft Power Platform, Power BI, SharePoint Portals, and positioning for Virtual Assistants and AI has helped the Utility overcome their challenges and improve their operations. This case study serves as an excellent example of how technology can be leveraged to improve customer experience and drive business success.

Next Steps:

  1. Consider adopting business process automation: If you’re facing similar challenges with customer experience and data reporting, consider leveraging business process automation to streamline your operations and improve your customer service. Look into platforms like Microsoft Power Platform and Power BI, which offer a wide range of tools for process automation, data analytics, and reporting.
  2. Partner with experts in the field: If you’re not sure how to get started with business process automation, consider partnering with a consultancy firm like Red Clay Consulting. With their extensive experience in the utility industry, they can help you identify the right tools and strategies for your specific needs and guide you through the implementation process.
  3. Embrace the power of virtual assistants and AI: Virtual assistants and AI can be powerful tools for automating customer interactions and improving the overall customer experience. If you’re not already using these technologies, consider exploring their potential for your business. Look into chatbots, voice assistants, and other AI-powered tools that can help you provide faster and more personalized service to your customers.
  4. Focus on continuous improvement: Business process automation is not a one-time fix, but a continuous process of improvement. Make sure you have a plan in place for monitoring and optimizing your automated processes over time and stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in the field. By continually refining your processes and leveraging new tools, you can stay ahead of the competition and provide the best possible service to your customers.