Customer relationship management (CRM) systems and simulation methods, also known as Digital Twin simulations, are two digital methods that have been around for some years now, decades in the case of CRM systems. Both are used for optimisation and visualisation in various operational contexts. Market players across industries are leveraging these digital methods to drive their business results and inform their marketing activities. In the energy industry, combining CRM methods with emerging simulation methods enhanced by smart meter data analytics is forming the new foundation for marketing innovation.
Below we analyse 3 ways in which this emerging foundation can be used by energy companies to optimise their marketing budget.
1. Integrate smart meter data analysis into your CRM system for personalised utility contract suggestions
It's very common for customers with expiring contracts to call their utility to renegotiate a new contract. Customer care agents in utilities have access to CRM systems to be able to conduct troubleshooting. Smart meter consumption data can enhance a utility’s internal intelligence by providing more information on the bill, coupled with more detailed customer demographics, and even generating personalised savings recommendations for each utility customer. With analysis of the smart meter data, call agents can look at a very detailed profile of the customer and suggest a new available or better-suited Time Of Use tariff contract that covers the customer's needs more efficiently. Big energy companies like EDP are using smart meter data to inform their capabilities. Antonio Coutinho shared with us that ‘’when you know how energy is being consumed, it’s a lot easier to help the customer save that energy [...] or help your customers find the best tariff contract.’’
2. Generate household-level Digital Twins with energy insights
The concept of digital twins has been around for quite some time now. Bernard Marr refers to the concept of ''a virtual model of a process, product or service. This pairing of the virtual and physical worlds allows analysis of data and monitoring of systems to head off problems before they even occur, prevent downtime, develop new opportunities and even plan for the future by using simulations.” With every piece of data collected, a digital twin can be enhanced and enriched to produce accurate results before they even happen.
With smart meter data analytics, energy retailers can generate digital twins from rich customer profiles to acquire better intelligence and create simulations around the customers' habits and demographics and thereby, improving the customer journey and their sales efforts. Other examples include communicating the right offers, for example, an EV charging tariff, to a group of customers who already have EVs. Similarly, not wasting time and money on sending solar installation offers to customers who already have solar but target those who are more likely to invest in solar for the first time. NET2GRID can detect which households have appliances like photovoltaics, electric vehicle, batteries and heat pumps, a useful capability for utilities to segment their users for marketing campaigns.
3. Provide suggestions based on relevant consumer information
When you have a household-level digital twin, providing personalised suggestions or new energy services becomes easier. You can do that by creating simulations. ‘’When you know how much the customer is consuming, or how much is their energy profile, you can also help with suggestions of what might be the best product for using photovoltaics for their home,’’ argues Antonio Coutinho. Customers using a lot of energy in the day can be targeted with solar PV offerings and further insight on what might be the optimal size of their installation. Another example is customers who have both EV and solar but are not currently optimally using them and, thus, can be targeted with an EV smart charging service to make better use of them both.