Opower Expands Platform to Address Customer Care
Opower, a provider of cloud-based software for the utility industry, announced the next generation of its customer engagement platform: Opower 6. With its sixth-generation release, Opower expands its offerings to include customer care while improving core tools and analytics.
Opower's first customer care offering, Billing Suite, focuses on reducing high bill call volume and call center handle time. In early tests, clients using these products have reduced billing-related calls by up to 19 percent.
The Billing Suite features timely notices and analytics that allow utilities to improve satisfaction and lower cost to serve when customers receive a high bill. Specifically, the Billing Suite includes the following:
- High Bill Alerts that let customers know when they are trending towards a high bill and how they can adjust their energy use before the end of the billing period. Alerts can be delivered to both non-AMI and AMI customers and enable utilities to proactively resolve customer questions.
- eBill Notifications that offer an enhanced experience for customers signed up for utility e-billing programs by providing helpful context about the main drivers of their energy use. The notifications also give utilities an opportunity to market relevant programs and services.
- Billing Advisor, which arms utility call center reps with personalized insights.
Opower also announced that Puget Sound Energy (PSE) will be the first utility to deploy its Customer Care solution.
"PSE is embarking on a multiyear strategy to improve each customer touch point and increase awareness of opportunities for customers to save energy and money," said Jason Teller, vice president of customer solutions at PSE, in a statement. "We have worked with Opower since 2008 to engage customers in order to meet our energy efficiency goals. We are excited to extend our partnership with them to inject personalized insights into other touch points, such as unusual usage alerts, seasonal readiness, and eBills, to drive energy efficiency program participation and increase customer satisfaction."
"We know that customer engagement is different for utilities, and we are partnering with our clients to upgrade the entire customer experience," said Opower CEO Dan Yates. "We believe there is tremendous untapped value in data generated by utility CIS systems, and our customer care solution reflects our focus on unlocking that value. We have years of experience analyzing energy data and a mature platform, and, as a result, we are uniquely positioned to help our clients increase customer satisfaction while reducing their cost to serve."
In addition to the new Customer Care solution, Opower 6 includes a broad set of upgrades to Opower's platform that provide tools and analytics. With the release, Opower's segmentation and targeting capabilities will become available to all clients, enhanced customer intelligence tools will give clients the ability to track the progress of their Opower programs, and new customer level analytics, such as program propensity scoring, will help utilities better target customers for participation in non-Opower programs.
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