5 processes utilities companies should be automating to reduce operating costs

Posted by Allan Hendry

The energy market is in crisis and many utilities companies are struggling to cope with rising prices. Organisations are on the hunt for risk-free ways to save money and avoid going bust.

With that in mind, automation should be a key part of every company’s solution. By automating internal processes, utilities companies can save time on monotonous tasks and cut their costs right down.

So, let’s have a look at ways utilities companies can use automation to slash their bills.

What processes can you automate?

1. Customer service requests

The digital experience for customers is vitally important, as it directly affects their satisfaction.

Many incoming customer service requests are asking the same questions. For energy suppliers, it’s often about bills or tariffs, changes of address or incorrect meter readings.

An automated chatbot can deal with these repeatable requests with ease. Powered by Natural Learning, these virtual bots provide a personalised customer experience. They're effective, and they save time and money.

2. Validating meter readings

Suppliers have to validate meter readings to generate customer bills. This is usually done by humans, which risks potential human errors. If customers receive an incorrect bill, it could lead to poor customer satisfaction and affect the company reputation.

Using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can help mitigate this. It automatically validates meter readings based on a customer’s usage, increasing accuracy and minimising the risk of errors.

3. Onboarding new customers

RPA not only helps you with your existing customers, but also welcomes new ones as well.

Automating your onboarding process can help you keep on top of the data you’re responsible for. The bots will check form entries, automatically sort documentation, and highlight errors. Information checks are historically carried out by employees, but bots are far more efficient. This frees up the employees, saving a great deal of time and resolving issues faster.

4. Market analytics

Keeping competitive is key for utility companies to stay in the game. Luckily, automation can help here too.

RPA is excellent at data aggregation. It can scrape data from competitor sites for a variety of purposes. With that, it can then feed companies with the information needed to ensure their deals remain competitive.

5. Compliance

The government requires utilities companies to submit reports and documentation to comply with environmental, energy efficiency and social programmes. Doing this manually can be a painstaking process, but automation is on hand to help.

Automation can compile the required data into reports and submit them on a regular basis. This ensure companies are meeting compliance deadlines and not landing themselves in hot water.

Investing in automation will reduce costs

For utilities companies, understanding the potential for automation is key for success in their difficult market. Thirty-eight percent of surveyed companies who are thriving say they defined automation as a priority during their strategic planning.

VKY Intelligent Automation can help utilities companies integrate automation into their business processes. So, if you're on the lookout for a trusted automation partner, we would love to help you out.

Contact us today to find out more.