Before they knock on our door, many energy suppliers and water companies have looked into building, and even attempted to build, an in-house customer engagement solution. More and more utilities are recognizing the increasing need and pressure to help their customers better manage and reduce their consumption, but they also recognize that they need some assistance. Here’s why, when it comes to the decision – ‘should we build or buy?’ – buying a plug and play solution from Advizzo is an absolute no brainer.

The behavioral science bit

Our customer engagement solutions may be sleek and slick, but don’t be fooled by the polished product we present – what lies beneath is based on years of research, testing and development by our accomplished team of behavioral and data scientists, and our customer engagement specialists.

For a utility company to replicate the kind of behavioral science based software, services and solutions that we deliver, it would take years. That’s because, whilst behavioral science is growing in popularity and application, it’s still a relatively new discipline. It’s really only been a recognized field in its own right for the last decade. Establishing the right in-house team would pose significant challenges.

So just what is behavioral science and why is it so specialist? It’s a complex subject so there’s no one size fits all description. We’ve dug around a bit and think this description from the Marketing Society is pretty spot-on:

“Behavioral science is a scientific model of human behavior which acknowledges and embraces the inherent cognitive biases and distortions that often characterize human judgment and decision making – recognising that much of what influences our thinking is actually going on subconsciously. It recognizes the importance of habits in our everyday lives – automatic behaviors that we do without thinking, cued by the environment around us, of social and cultural effects as we try to ensure we fit in with society, and of just how much our decisions can be – unbeknown to us – affected by our surrounding, immediate context and or by how choices and information are presented to us.”

In a rather large nutshell, that description just about summarizes everything we do and why we are so successful in motivating customers to change their behavior and reduce their consumption.

Obviously the foundation of what we do lies in data – first and foremost the data from meters and smart meters. Where our behavioral science specialism comes in, is how we correlate and frame the data insights to individual customers, and how our insights are presented. There’s a real science behind it – which is why we achieve such great results where in-house customer engagement projects usually fall short.

We don’t want to give too many trade secrets away, but suffice to say, if you revisit the Marketing Society’s description of behavioral science, there’s a reason why:

  1. The ‘nudges’ that we send to consumers work. You can read more about ‘nudges’ (they’re a behavioral science thing) in our recently published blog – How a nudge can help save energy and water.
  2. Customer consumption comparisons with similar households really drive behavioral changes.
  3. The way that consumption insights, tips and advice are presented to consumers are critical to success. Let’s just say – pie charts have a much greater impact than bar graphs in this type of engagement! You can have that one on us.

Over the last five years we’ve conducted experiment after experiment to produce what has now become our tried and tested software, solution and services. And we’ve done it so that you don’t have to try to replicate it in-house, which brings us onto our second point – the challenge of internal projects and resources…

Time to market

We’ve already covered the challenges around getting the ‘science bit’ off the ground – but how long is it likely to take your organisation to get this whole project rolling? Building a data and behavioral science based customer engagement solution with all the nuances involved requires a significant amount of resource and investment – from multiple teams and with high CAPEX costs.

That’s why our ‘plug and play’ solution is fast becoming the go-to customer engagement solution for water companies and energy suppliers. Not only is it an OPEX cost, but because we have the science and the technology refined and ready to roll, we can have your customer engagement solution up and running within a matter of weeks once we have the data required.

Our APIs are designed to enable your IT teams to seamlessly integrate our data and insights into your IT landscape – delivering unified channels of engagement. That means your IT team can integrate our API within days; your customers enjoy a seamless service and experience; and your call and field agents can tap into our data insights at the touch of a button – through integration with your CRM system.

If we’ve wet your appetite to find out more about what we do and how we do it, then we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch today! Or for more reading about behavioral science, then why not delve into our recently published blog – How behavioral science can help customers prepare for Time of Use Tariffs.