Earth Month: Top 5 ways renewable energy industry can power up customer experience

Earth Month: Top 5 ways renewable energy industry can power up customer experience

Millions of people across the U.S. recently observed a total solar eclipse—a rare and captivating event. The cosmic moon-sun alignment was not only breathtaking—it served as a reminder of the power of the sun’s energy.

The event spotlighted solar energy as a valuable renewable and sustainable power source. In 2023, the U.S. solar industry added a record-shattering 32.4 gigawatts (GW) of new electric generating capacity, marking a 37% increase from the previous record set in 2021 and a 51% increase from 2022, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Customers modernizing their energy infrastructure will be expecting the latest in customer experience (CX) technology as well. And that increasing demand translates to a growing pipeline of customers and businesses expecting stellar customer service to get their inquiries answered, and secure installation.

Read more about the leading five ways renewable energy companies can power up seamless customer experience with the latest CX AI innovations.

Solar eclipse

1. Integrate artificial intelligence for boundless CX

Digital habits of today’s consumers necessitate a solid and seamless customer service strategy, as the ability to support customers at every touchpoint grows increasingly complicated.

Consumers desire the same ability to reach a brand across the journey—and customer interactions are taking place across the spectrum. This new experience landscape is boundless, presenting a significant challenge to offer boundless CX to manage all interactions across the end-to-end customer journey.

Taking advantage of artificial intelligence can simplify and enhance the customer journey in a holistic way—for customers, business leaders and agents.

A 2024 IBM study found 3 in 5 consumers would like to use AI applications as they shop. “Consumers know brands and retailers can do better. Leading digital experiences have shown them what’s possible, and they now expect companies to infuse technology to create a connected, omnichannel shopping journey,” the study said.

Meeting demand accommodates consumer needs—but every new channel, application, and project introduces additional complexity, making it even more challenging to streamline CX.

Clean energy companies that adopt CX for AI can achieve optimal management of interaction volume amid a shifting mix of interaction types, including voice and digital, self-service and agent-assisted. An interaction-centric cloud CX platform with pre-built AI models embedded into CX applications can help you clear any hurdles that can block exceptional customer experience.

Of course, just implementing CX AI without each and every integral piece needed to reach its full potential can cause it to collapse before your business can even begin to realize the immense capabilities.

Today’s fast-paced customer service economy leaves zero room for that level of miscalculation. NICE research found customer service impacts brand loyalty for 95% of consumers, and 44% will abandon a brand after as few as two bad service interactions.

Brands need to dial up their CX to keep up to navigate the whirlwind of demands, such as maintaining cost effectiveness, boosting sales and empowering their workforce—all while working to exceed customer expectations to stay competitive.

To be both successful and effective, CX AI technology must include a cloud platform and applications purpose built for customer experience, vast historical customer interaction data, domain expertise and AI models specifically trained on the best customer interactions to accelerate AI initiatives across the entire customer experience.

2. Achieve 360-degree customer management

Orchestrating modern interactions and delivering amazing customer experiences for every touchpoint is critical in any industry—especially the expanding renewable energy sector.

In fact, achieving seamless customer journey orchestration across voice and digital channels requires taking the first step of guiding customers from the very start to successful resolution of their journeys.

To sustain a seamless customer journey, the right technology needs to be enhanced with the most natively supported channels than any other solution and be able to maintain context throughout the experience.

One fast-growing European energy company that wanted to increase support of customers’ energy transition by majorly investing in renewable energy sources adopted modern CX technology. To launch its presence in a new region, it hired a global leader to deliver a scalable, omnichannel contact center solution.

This enabled the company to provide ease-of-use and flexibility to implement 360-degree customer management, and integrate with Google Analytics using APIs to track the customer journey from acquisition to conversion.

As a result of modernizing its CX technology, the solar company achieved:

  • 20% reduction in misrouted service calls to sales
  • 11% reduction in misrouted service calls

“With this unique customization, our client can track leads from beginning to end in order to analyze channel conversion rates and pinpoint which marketing campaigns are performing best,” said the business development director for global technology enablement at the BPO.

A Western Australia company working to play a pivotal role toward a low carbon economy for local communities needed a cloud-based contact center solution to orchestrate 100% of interactions. Its contact center agents can now respond to consumers on their preferred channel regardless of location.

Through its use of interactive voice response (IVR), the Australian company can more efficiently structure its contact center to ensure relevant calls are seamlessly directed to agents with relevant skillsets.

It also gained the capability to review call recordings to assess agent performance and deliver improvements across its customer service team—enabling managers to better plan for peaks in call volumes and ensuring the team can adequately staff its contact center to meet demand based on valuable insights.

Since adopting the modern CX AI technology, the company has achieved a 33 percent improvement in its call handling time.

3. Access real-time data, immediate insights for better outcomes

A solar company looking to fuel its business growth needed to pivot quickly to deliver outstanding customer service and harness sophisticated data.

The nation’s leading home solar, storage and energy services company wanted to collect more data around outbound calling. Key goals included determining its contact rate, measuring success in calling potential customers and maintaining appropriate staffing levels.

The company quickly recognized its employees are at the center of the organization and wanted to pursue ways to help them focus on what matters most: high-skill, high-value tasks. By doing so, it could help unleash their potential to create unforgettable experiences for customers.

Leveraging the industry’s leading performance management tools made it possible to give agents important feedback on their performance. Using dashboards, agents had important real-time KPIs at their fingertips.

“With dashboards, agents can see their important KPIs in real-time,” said the manager of contact center operations. “We’ve also built dashboards for directors and managers—they get a higher-level view of arrival patterns, performance and a real-time view of how their agents are doing.”

Directors and managers also had access to their own customized dashboard views so they’re positioned to gain a high-level view of arrival patterns, performance and a real-time view of agents. That enabled them to step in to provide more offline coaching or training to help recalibrate to help agents contribute to overall goals.

Identifying more dynamic ways, such as automated gamification, helped motivate agents for optimum performance management and helped engage agents by making work fun.

“We give everybody access to the metrics and use it in a fun way so employees aren’t concerned if peers see their data,” said the manager of contact center operations. “Every week, we reward the top person for sales conversions, and it’s driving a more competitive spirit.”

Republic truck

A leader in recycling and waste disposal services across the United States is driving innovation in fleet electrification to reduce emissions and help meet sustainability goals. In a parallel move to modernize its customer service, the company adopted state-of-the-art CX technology to measure, assess and improve customer sentiment, as well as increase agents’ soft skills.

Such pre-built customer satisfaction behavioral models derived from 20-plus years of industry experience gave the company the advantage of leveraging the most comprehensive and expansive interaction database in the world.

Agents’ soft skills are now objectively reported and benchmarked. Performance reports are delivered to agents in an easy-to-understand, color-coded format several times a week to support a culture of continuous improvement. Paired by precise IVR and high-quality data-driven management support, company leaders say employee experience has improved greatly.

“Our service challenges are often region-specific. For example, one market may be struggling with retention, and another might be having trouble with bulk pick-ups, so the ability to identify and proactively target queries at a regional level has been incredibly helpful,” said a senior customer service manager.

With the added technology, the company hit crucial business goals such as a:

  • 30% reduction in repeat calls
  • 33% decrease in negative customer sentiment
  • 120% increase in the number of coached actions in just three months post-go-live

4. Leverage workforce management tech for efficiency

In the 21st century, using spreadsheets to manually figure out staffing requirements will only hold back your business.

The nation’s top home solar, storage, and energy services company was doing just that until it implemented a modern workforce management solution.

Now the solar company can leverage AI-powered guidance and automation with advanced workforce engagement capabilities supports agents in innovative and intuitive ways. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to anticipate business demands and optimize its workforce—more intelligently and more accurately with an omnichannel forecasting engine.

The intuitive look and feel allows a company to get its workforce management up and running fast, making it easier to manage forecasts and schedules. If a change is needed, the solution offers flexibility to follow the pace of intraday insights and reforecasting capabilities.

“We were putting our employees through a lot of pain, because we were moving their schedules, sending them home early, etc.,” the manager of contact operations said. “We now have an integrated solution for forecasting schedules based on historical call volumes, so we are much less reactive. … And our employees are happier, because we’re not changing their schedules so frequently or moving their shifts around.”

By onboarding a new workforce management solution, the company saw the following benefits:

  • Increased occupancy rate to 90%, or the percentage of time agents spend dealing with customers compared to their total available time (Marking an increase from 60%).
  • Achieved its goals on service level, abandon rates and speed-to-dial KPIs.

5. Engage a unified platform to pave way for growth

With an eye on business growth, it’s smart to move to a scalable customer experience solution.

In fact, the European company focused on solar called it critical to maintain service levels to support client growth and the evolution of the business.

For example, when interaction volumes fluctuate, the call center can quickly onboard new advisers and adjust capacity. It also has been able to ramp up omnichannel capabilities, such as supporting social media inquiries.

And even more attractive to any business, all this can be done cost effectively with a pricing model based on a pay-as-you-use model.

“It’s reassuring to know that our client’s future growth will always be supported without incurring additional infrastructure expenses,” said the global technology solutions marketing manager for the BPO working with the European company dedicated to increasing the green energy transition for customers.

Limitless growth allows companies to grow and operate with confidence while enjoying greater scalability, reliability, and security—all on a single platform.

Companies can also reap training benefits with a unified platform

Toggling between multiple contact center solutions resulted in lost time and threatened a positive customer experience. So, the European energy company looking to broaden its solar power customer base sought a unified solution to help curb any potential delays from advisers spending unnecessary time navigating too many tools.

Having an intuitive interface streamlined the training process—a critical piece of the plan for going live in 90 days.

“Using a unified platform also lets us quickly track performance—even across different channels—and ensure that we’re satisfying SLA requirements,” said the business development director for global technology enablement for the BPO.

Using its new managed solution has helped the company successfully close deals, increase sales and optimize marketing.

The global technology solutions marketing manager for the BPO agreed that building up a company requires a solution that offers the flexibility that only a unified cloud solution can offer.

Earth month

Renewable energy industry CX done right

Firms focused on renewable energy can take the lead of the companies described above by choosing NICE CXone.

NICE CXone is operating at an unrivaled scale and outpacing the industry in innovation, and trusted partner for over 6,000 organizations worldwide with over 1 million agents using the platform daily.

Get a CXone demo today to learn more about how to:

  • Orchestrate 100% of conversations on one platform
  • Eliminate 7 or more point-solutions to streamline operations
  • Increase CSAT 50% or more with digital, self-service and voice
  • Innovate 10X faster with AI purpose-built for customer experience