CS Week in Sunny Phoenix was met with tremendous enthusiasm for our new personalized MMS video and picture messaging channel integrated with REACHTM Customer Preference Hub. This year we were able to forge new relationships by dropping a “take it or leave it approach” to preference management by identifying components and channels that complement partner solutions. In some cases, partners had already built a portal and customer database and were looking for complex rules and communications; by leveraging rich API’s, we found ourselves well positioned to execute upon new business. As an example, we found ourselves at a cocktail hour exchanging ideas with one utility’s IT leadership only to identify gaps in a customer’s journey that could be readily fulfilled by the combination of technologies. Had we pressed our product only, we would have never established the relationship. We found this numerous times throughout the event.
The event featured several presentations around artificial intelligence and bots. One of the best for customer engagement by Hydro Ottawa. They presented a thoughtful solution to a Google Home voice assistant that started with customer authentication via an industry leading IAM solution. In our numerous discussions with utilities regarding assistants, customer authentication frequently comes up and seems to be a showstopper. Additionally, the solution did not seek to exclusively answer one question, but sought to deliver a comprehensive customer experience. A unique note in the area of customer identification – Canada’s banks and British Columbia provincial authority are leading in the area of Blockchain-based digital identity – something we believe will eventually come to the utility space.
Lastly, we left CS Week energized, because both vendors and customers are seeking broad implementation of integrated customer engagement and notification solutions. Utilities seem to recognize the competitive pressure offered by renewables and complementary vendors, and they are really focusing on the customer experience. We are proud to be a part of the customer conversation and will continue to evolve our workflows and technologies with our customers and partners to maximize satisfaction and utility profitability.