In the push to save our planet, experts are hunting for ways to solve the need for more power without hurting mother nature. Amidst this change, harnessing electricity from the nature like sun, wind, earth, and oceans are getting a lot of attention. Utilities are jumping to add these power sources into their mix driven by regulatory mandates, federal incentives, and a growing focus on environmentally conscious consumers.
Big power companies are strategically acquiring smaller niche green-energy businesses to flex their green power skills. However, shuffling things around gets squiggly especially when it comes to CX management for these nouveau green suppliers.
The emergence of technical assistance centers (or TACs) as a ‘helping hub’ is an innovative approach to address the challenges of CX management for renewable energy utilities.
Challenges in Renewable Energy CX Management
- Challenge: Integrating diverse systems
- Impact: Ability to integrate multiple systems, applications, platforms and workflows like energy management, GIS, meter data, and ERP hindering operational efficiency.
2.Centralized Monitoring and Asset Management:
- Challenge: Data acquisition from dispersed sources
- Impact: Ability to co-ordinate real-time data from various sources resulting in reduced visibility into energy and asset performance.
3.Navigating the Renewable Energy Value Chain:
- Challenge: Lack of industry and product knowledge
- Impact: CS agents grapple with general inquiries due to limited understanding of procedures and technology, resulting in inaccurate information around application-to-activation, billing and payments.
4.Energy Analytics and Insights:
- Challenge: Harnessing data for forecasting and planning
- Impact: Limited ability to anticipate demand-supply fluctuations, manage peak loads and predictive maintenance impacting potential for growth.
5.Technical Customer Support Gaps:
- Challenge: Absence of in-depth platform and renewable energy (e.g., Solar) component knowledge
- Impact: Technical support is compromised, leading to challenges in diagnosing and troubleshooting like inverter, panel performance, quote and contract management etc.
Technical Assistance Centers: New-way for Renewable Energy CX Management
In response to these challenges, utility companies are turning to specialized partners with expertise in renewable energy services, covering frontline, back-office, and technical support services. TACs, play a pivotal role in addressing gaps in industry knowledge, operational synergy, technical and general customer support.
Key Tenets of Our TAC Model
1.Power Delivery: Provide guidance on optimizing power delivery systems and troubleshooting issues related to renewable energy integration.
2.Energy Management Systems: Offer support in selecting, installing, and maintenance to specific customer needs on optimizing energy usage.
3.IT Systems: Supporting queries around network connectivity, troubleshooting assistance and configuration guidance.
4.Digital Asset Management: Guiding customers on setting up, configuring, and troubleshooting digital systems for optimal power usage.
5.PV Arrays: Offer expertise in optimizing PV array layouts and panel performance by addressing queries around design, installation, and maintenance.
6.Smart Meters: Aid interpreting meter reads, diagnosing meter issues and queries around installation, operation and consumption monitoring.
7.Inverter and Charge Controllers: Resolving queries around inverter performance, system compatibility.
8.Distributed Energy Resources: Offering guidance on integration, grid impact assessments, and regulatory compliance.
9.Energy Storage: Advising customers around battery packs, performance optimization through energy storage design, integration guidelines and performance analysis.
10.Field Services: Supporting field service technicians through remote assistance around equipment installation, maintenance and calibration.
11.Revenue Generation: Providing guidance on market incentives, energy trading, and other revenue-generating schemes.
12.Consumers: Provide guidance on energy-efficient practices, equipment selection and usage optimization.
Value Proposition of Our TAC Model
1.Flexible Operating Models: TACs provide two flexible operating models – Work from home (WAH) and work from office (WFO). These models enable geographically dispersed hiring and the establishment of a center of excellence for renewable energy management.
2.One-Stop Helping Hub: TACs are designed to ensure general and technical queries or issues in relation to products, platforms and associated system components are addressed accurately, leaving the customer with a positive brand experience.
3.Digital Transformation Playbook: TACs implement strategic transformation framework, encompassing IVR to messaging, bot deployments, conversational IVR, FAQ improvements, predictive analytics, self-serve enhancements, automation and AI.
4.Universal Agents for Quicker TAT: TACs operate on a 100% integrated approach through the creation of universal agents equipped to handle customer queries across as well as perform basic-medium complex back-office transactions. This holistic approach ensures a superior CX.
5.Rebadging for Knowledge Retention: TACs prioritize the retention and rebadging of technical profiles like technical configuration specialists and platform design experts. This ensures that critical business acumen is retained in the workforce.
Case in Point
An American energy company providing clean, affordable electricity to 12 million people across Florida, elevated its renewable energy services by leveraging the Solar Energy - TAC services provided by Tech Mahindra, resulting in <95% on-time service level consistency, 97% quality, 30% reduction in handling time, 20% reduction in system downtime and 100% compliance to regulatory standards.
As the world intensifies its focus on sustainable energy solutions, the demand for renewable energy is poised to surge. TACs will emerge as a pivotal approach in navigating this transition, offering expert guidance, technical support and enhanced customer service across the renewable energy value chain. As utilities aim to position themselves in the low-carbon economy, TACs will become vital in ensuring seamless CX and contribute to the success to clean energy transition.
About the Author
BPS Business Consultant, Tech Mahindra
Sankha Bose has around 15 years of experience in Utilities catering to multiple roles from operations management to transformation. With his extensive domain knowledge of the Utilities (electricity and gas) mass market, he helps in building transformation solutions aligned to the current and future business and industry requirements for energy clients across front and back office operations and complaints management. He holds a post-graduate degree in Business Administration (Marketing).