It’s that time again when we like to take stock, but above all to forecast for next year. First, we are happy to look back and see all the work done in less than 12 months: we launched this blog and the new website at the beginning of 2021 and since then we have worked hard to innovate the field of digital sales in the utility sector, introducing a few revolutionary tools inside our OnBoarding Funnel. Furthermore, there have been many goals, collaborations, and partnerships…and some excellent news will be published soon to end the year in the best way possible, so stay tuned.
These are our past few months, but what about the future of digital sales in the utility sector? What will be the news and developments that we expect to see taking place over the next year? In short, what are the 2022 trends to study, monitor and prepare for? Here are our forecasts.
Sales digitisation is here to stay
We talked about it extensively on this blog: the Covid-19 emergency worked as the accelerating factor of an already very active process of sales digitisation that was impacting companies in the utility world. While it is true that the sector appears to be among the most resistant to change, it is also true that when there is a need for innovation and commitment to offer new services, utility companies can deploy a unique and inimitable resilience. Hence, within a few months after the impact of the health emergency, the entire sector was already reorganising and getting back on its feet by implementing new, completely remote sales methods and customer care. And many new tools have appeared related to the sudden surge in digital. In just a few weeks, CMS software became the backbone of the entire company and the need for a new application map made its way up to the top priorities list. And here is where we too have entered the matter: OnBoarding Funnel is an ideal tool in this climate of virtual contracts and communication between company and users because it integrates the most classic CMS services, enhancing them and allowing them to work even better within a digital panorama.
Also, the development of so many new tools is excellent news for companies because what some initially thought was a temporary revolution, swearing that we would soon return to physical branches and local agencies, wasn’t transitory at all: digital selling is here to stay, and keeping up with the revolution is the only way to stay competitive and appealing on the market.
There will be further development of process automation
A second trend that has a lot to do with the new remote model of the business world is that of process automation. If the use of technologies to optimize and accompany work has already existed for several years, the sudden surge in remote work during the various lockdowns has highlighted some human labour-based operations that can be carried out even more efficiently by machines. Hence, in many fields, utility companies have begun to wonder where they can improve operations by developing process automation mechanisms. The two fields in which we are pretty much sure that there will be developments during the next year are that of process mining and optimization, i.e., the use of algorithms and artificial intelligence to analyse business processes and understand how to optimize and order them, and that of document automation and recognition, or the use of AI to recognize the content of official documents without having to go through human interaction. Not only do we believe the latter is one of the most interesting among the next trends, but we are also studying the implementation of document recognition to be used in practices and contracts management within OnBoarding Funnel. (Would you like to know more on this topic? Read our article about machine learning, AI and document recognition while waiting for further developments).
The use of AI will become even more extensive
Another prediction that will embrace not only the utility world, but the global market, is that of the even more extensive use of artificial intelligence to enhance operational, communication and management processes. While a decade ago talking about artificial intelligence and machine learning made us feel like in a science fiction film, today it is a normal and almost obvious step. However, although the wonder of the striking novelty has faded a little, we must not think that the evolution in this sector is over. Undoubtedly, 2022 will see an even more massive use of artificial intelligence both on the customer side and on the company side, but there’s more: progress is also knowing how to apply the means available in an increasingly advanced way, so let’s expect a surge of innovative, more complex uses of artificial intelligence.
Cloud services will have their best moment
As we have already discussed in a previous article (read it here: Cloud software: the silent revolution inside the (digital) revolution), one of the leading technologies in this last period is the one that allows the use of tools and services in the cloud, i.e. online without the need for local installation of software. This model works for many reasons (you can find them in our related article) and for this reason, it is a trend that is destined not only to stay but also to continue and be strengthened. We are confident of this future development because we can touch it every day: OnBoarding Funnel is a completely cloud-based tool, and our customers often remark the importance that the absence of hardware and software maintenance and the incredible possibility of customization have on their choice.
Customer satisfaction has changed, and we must change with it
All these transformations, when combined, result in a new way of understanding customer satisfaction: starting from the post-pandemic period, the sensitivity of customers to the innovation of products and services offered by companies has changed, and what up to a few months ago was the normal offer today is unacceptable. To satisfy customers today, companies in every field must ensure that they are in line with the times to offer interactive services, designed on the needs and habits of the end-user and that are friendly and intuitive to use. To put our hopes on users’ patience no longer works: companies must be prepared to embrace progress, otherwise, they will lag behind and risk disappearing.
These are some of the 2022 trends for the utility world that we advise you to keep an eye on starting today. We are already doing it for you too: get in touch now to find out all that OnBoarding Funnel can do for your company in 2022!