Winning customer satisfaction with onboarding and digital sales: Andrea Tugnoli (ACEL Energie) explains how to do it

What are the ingredients that determine a successful contact experience in the energy retail sector today? Certainly, there is no single answer, but there are experiences from which to draw inspiration such as that of ACEL Energie. An independent survey recently carried out by ACEL Energie shows how the contact experience that the company offers in the sales and onboarding phase to its customers is considered excellent on all kinds of channels. Fabio Asselle, Co-Founder & CEO @ Dazerolab, talked about this important milestone and some upcoming initiatives with Andrea Tugnoli, operations manager at ACEL Energie, during the live “Automation and digital sales for utility: future technologies to support the changing market”.

ACEL Energie: an agile model at the service of the customer

ACEL today has embarked on and grounded an important digitization process, which has garnered a high consensus among its users; these results would have been impossible without a collaborative business organization model, which puts the customer at the centre and employs a highly agile internal structure to decide the path for future development. The ACEL model made a difference, especially during the impact of COVID-19: the company had previously taken decisions to develop its digital and online channels; despite this, at the beginning of the health emergency, about 50% of the operations still took place in person at the physical branches. The call centre assistance followed with 40% and the online one with the remaining 10%. In March 2020, with the closures due to the COVID emergency, ACEL suddenly found itself with the physical branches closed and had to take a decision very quickly. This is where the internal organization model has become a key point: the company wanted to push its digital channels but decided to do it in the right way, bringing together all the players in the supply chain around a table, from the direct consultant who works in close contact with customers to the IT team, partners, and stakeholders. By combining the knowledge and experience of all these players, ACEL was able to evaluate all the facts necessary to offer a truly useful and valuable service, developing a digital presence based on the final customer’s freedom of choice.

Digitization and operational efficiency have won the customers’ satisfaction

The development of this digitization strategy based on customer wishes has brought excellent results: this is demonstrated by a recent survey, in which ACEL asked customers to rate the efficiency of contact and user experience within the ecosystem of services and corporate channels. The results speak for themselves: with a satisfaction level clearly above the sector average, ACEL confirms itself as an extraordinary company for customers. The agile model that puts the customer at the centre and all the players around a table to break down barriers and define efficient processes has proved successful: customers in the onboarding, sales, upselling and switching phases prefer the freedom of choice, optimization and customization offered by ACEL Energie.

The power of easy, accessible, inclusive (and green) digital services

In particular, the development of the new path focused on the desire to offer an easy online service, accessible to all and which would allow saving time. To do this, ACEL has chosen the path of a digital platform including web-self and web-assisted services, with the possibility for customers to choose any contact channel. The implementation of all possible points of contact within an onboarding and digital sales platform such as the Onboarding Funnel has made it possible on the one hand to create a unified sales funnel, on the other hand, to facilitate the moment of contact between operators and customers by making all the useful data available at each stage, from the personal data to the user history.

A strong innovative factor for the company and customer satisfaction made possible by the path undertaken is that which revolves around inclusiveness: since the ACEL client base is partially made up of over 60s with a less advanced level of digitization than digital natives, ACEL had to find a solution that didn’t exclude them from services while still taking the company to the next level. For this they have relied on the web-assisted model, thanks to Onboarding Funnel, extending it to the entire range of contact channels: today anyone can decide to call or contact ACEL via WhatsApp message, chat or website and be supported in all kinds of operations like contracts, change of service, transfers, etc. No advanced computer knowledge is required, and the clients simply need to have a smartphone at hand. Along the same lines of action, ACEL has employed technology to create an inclusive hybrid model also in person: those who show up at the branches can continue to use the usual services, however, enhanced by larger screens, graphometric signatures and other more advanced forms of signature such as OTP.

Another important point is that the digitization of processes has also given a boost to corporate sustainability: thanks to these new methods, ACEL has embarked on a 360° path towards paperless which has led to saving for branch activities alone about 6 million square meters of water, or about two Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Web-assisted on every channel: time-saving resource optimization

Thanks to the implementation of the Onboarding Funnel and the new tools in business operations, it was possible to extend the web-assisted services to every type of contact, leaving customers the freedom to choose their favourite channels. This has made it possible to offer a better and, as the survey demonstrates, highly appreciated service, and to optimize company costs, reducing contact times between operators and customers. The economic aspect for the company is not trivial: considering that on average the calls to inbound call centres are about 250,000 per year and that the costs are counted in seconds, even the decrease in the average call by one minute means a savings of 100,000 euros per year for ACEL. Added to this is the time savings for the customer, who, thanks to the digital platform and Onboarding Funnel, does not need to repeat information to the company: digital tools make them immediately available in real-time during the assistance process.

The future of operative performance? It’s in the data and hyper-personalization.

Customer information is the key point, especially when looking at the future of companies in the utility world. Customer data, in constant respect of privacy, offer valuable information on which to build more personalized and satisfying services. Companies like ACEL, which make innovation and customer satisfaction their assets, aim to become consultants who improve the lives of those who use their services. Therefore knowing your customers well is crucial: thanks to the optimized use of data and the power of tools such as the Onboarding Funnel, customer satisfaction coincides with the satisfaction of the company budget and improves the sector for everyone.

Did you miss our live “Automation and Digital Sales for Utility: Future Technologies to Support the Changing Market”?

Watch the replay on LinkedIn (in Italian) and don’t forget to follow us to stay updated in real-time on our upcoming events.

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