For businesses who haven’t yet migrated to a new customer management system, now might be the time to make a move. The demand from customers for advanced digital services is here to stay, while the ability to manage complex data is a necessity for meeting ever increasing regulatory and growth needs.
Many companies in the Energy industry as an example have already experienced difficulties when switching to a new system. Lessons can be learnt from these challenges, but the process remains high-risk, with an effective plan needed to re-platform smoothly, and avoid damaging customer experience or brand reputation.
This plan should be informed by a clear rationale for change, factoring in any current gaps in your system capabilities, and the functionalities you need to support your customers and goals.
Let’s not forget, the rewards of re-platforming are attractive. Shorter servicing times, smarter automation, and reduced process failures are all realistic outcomes when a new system is integrated correctly. Deciding to take the leap to a new system might feel like a big commitment, but the opportunities it can unlock are extremely powerful.
In this blog, we explore these opportunities in more detail, outlining key drivers behind the rationale for re-platforming, helping you to decide whether now is the right time to migrate.
Embracing technology for internal agility
New systems are built with new and improved technology, unlocking opportunities for efficiencies within your internal processes. If you’re operating on a traditional system, this is likely to be server-based, whereas new platforms are utilising cloud-based technology, which facilitates greater reliability by limiting downtime and hardware failures.
There are cost benefits associated with the cloud too. These systems will allow your staff to log on from any device in any location, leading to many benefit areas enabled through remote working.
A similar point can also be made about the number of logins and servicing screens required by staff. It’s common to see multiple systems being plugged together in a traditional end-to-end process, due to add-ons being introduced for evolving requirements. This has a knock-on effect for the customer, with handling time rising to accommodate for multiple system logins. More cost is also accrued through the need to train users on multiple systems, along with purchasing numerous licenses and forms of technical support.
Through your current system, you might be relying on batch processing to carry out account updates – an approach which fails to compete with the efficiencies of modern alternatives. On a new system, performing real time billing, payments, and account updates is the norm, resulting in faster responses for your customers.
The power of data-driven decisions
Are you leveraging data effectively for decision making and performance improvements? If you recognise a need for more capability here, re-platforming will help you to level this up. The data architecture in new systems can be tailored for self service, enhancing accessibility for front-line managers, right the way through to executives for insight.
By having critical performance data at your fingertips, you’re better equipped to react to new and changing trends, which is especially important as market competition increases again. On top of this, knowing your customers means you can tailor treatments or determine a ‘next best action’, using data to inform the way in which your system operates, and the decisions you can alongside this.
More communication = More convenience
For the customer, better communication should be an immediately recognisable benefit from a systems migration. Modern systems have the capability to offer multiple channels of communication, such as email, WhatsApp, social media, text message, and telephone. Having this choice is much more convenient, enabling continuity across different channels for a single enquiry.
When set up correctly, this approach is also easier and quicker for the supplier to manage, with less reliance on telephone conversations providing greater efficiency. Similarly, company websites can integrate new systems and become self-serve, reducing the need for customers to contact you, which improves their experience while reducing your costs.
Can you keep up with industry change?
From a different angle, changes in industry regulations are becoming more frequent and impactful for suppliers. They often create the need for quick, complex action, which can be challenging to deliver when operating on a traditional system.
Change of supply journeys for energy are also getting quicker, requiring multiple processes to work together and handle industry flows. There are greater obligations for reporting and monitoring too, including that of consumption levels to support vulnerability.
Agility is a recurring theme throughout this blog, and it remains applicable here. Moving to a modern system will empower you to react to the industry’s evolving needs faster, giving you more capacity to focus on other areas of servicing.
Are your growth ambitions supported by your system?
Growing customer base will increase the strain on your system, while a decision to offer new products or features, with different technical needs, will create further challenges. This may include introducing new pricing structures, and ensuring interoperability with third party systems.
You should consider how easy it’ll be to adapt your system to these requirements, and what the timescales might be to bring the necessary changes into action. If this is lengthy or complicated, it may be worth looking at a new system, where bespoke processes can be built to support your strategic growth needs.
Finally, think about the cost of handling your day-to-day processes, and how this might change as your customer base grows. Switching to a new system will allow you to embrace automation, avoiding backlogs of work that require manual intervention. In return, you’ll be saving time for the customer, while freeing up people for customer interactions, rather than deploying them on administrative tasks.
How we can help
At BFY, we hold a wealth of experience when it comes to customer re-platforming in Energy, Utilities and Financial Services. Our migration experts can offer unique and valuable insight into each stage of the process, helping you to scope, source, select, and implement a new system. When coupled with our additional experience in People and Culture Transformation and Operational Excellence, we can help offer you e2e transformation for your servicing operation.
If you’d like to find out more about how we can support you, contact Jonathan Paton.
Jon specialises in Customer Operations leadership, customer contact, and operational service delivery transformation/improvement.View Profile