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How the Power of AI, Data, & CRM is Transforming Italy’s Energy Sector

How the Power of AI, Data, & CRM is Transforming Italy’s Energy Sector

The power of AI, Data and CRM is key in the new climate. Read on to see how it is transforming Italy's energy sector.

Every company wants to satisfy its customers, understand their needs, and translate them into business opportunities. This is especially true in the energy sector where, despite a vast array of offerings from providers, raising customer satisfaction levels can be challenging. The power of AI, Data, and CRM is playing a crucial role in achieving this. 

The first necessary step is to activate innovative digital tools that place the client at the centre of the customer experience, making it simple, seamless, and engaging. 

Beyond customer centricity, which is a fundamental mission for Salesforce, it’s important to consider how data can be collected and integrated throughout the platform to gain deeper customer and business insights. Digital solutions are also crucial to the increasingly pressing need for energy transition. To understand how this all translates into operational strategies, we asked some of our clients to share their experiences with us.

Customer value comes through personalisation

“Our recent practice is moving precisely in this direction,” explains Roberta Ponticelli, CMO of Italian electricity and gas services company Iren. “We believe that increasing customer value comes through personalisation. It is essential to implement a strategy that, thanks to Salesforce tools, allows for a unique view of the customer, integrating transactional data with behavioural data, and then leverage all of this to provide a truly customised experience.” 

An example of this approach can be seen in the real-time upselling methods that will go live in October on the company’s recently launched website. Customers who are already holders of an electricity supply contract and have received a proposal for a gas supply via email will find a tailored offer in the banner that appears exclusively to them, as soon as they reach the relevant webpage. This innovative approach uses the power of AI.

Of course, for all of this to work, it must be based on a clear idea of what to propose, how to communicate it and to whom. This is even more true for companies like NeN, a fully digital energy provider founded in 2020 as a subsidiary of leading Italian energy company A2A. When entering the market, it is crucial to stand out distinctly, says Massimo Brizi, CEO of NeN and CMO of A2A. 

“From the beginning, we positioned ourselves as a fast, simple, and non-bureaucratic operator, using a different tone of voice and communication style. We shifted our customers’ focus from just the price lever to that of customer satisfaction,” states Brizi. “We offer our customers a fixed monthly price bill, 100% renewable energy, a digitally managed account, and customer care support through chat or phone. In addition to that, we offer an accurate list of the energy consumption, thanks to the use of machine learning algorithms that identify energy consumption per appliance to encourage virtuous behaviours.”

Generative AI represents a ‘paradigm shift’

Among the digital tools available, algorithms and, in particular, generative artificial intelligence (AI) are expected to create a paradigm shift across the industry that fosters a more beneficial customer relationship for businesses. Edoardo Fistolera, CIO and CDO at Dolomiti Energia, highlights how the energy operator is clear that it is transforming its integrated CRM and developing new strategies based on generative AI. 

Its arrival challenges marketing, IT, and operational roles, requiring us to think about how to leverage it to benefit processes and business solutions, for which a tool like Einstein GPT becomes fundamental.

EDOARDO FISTOLERA
CIO AND CDO AT DOLOMITI ENERGIA

For Dolomiti Energia, AI  is boosting productivity and efficiency across its business, accelerating code development, for instance, and reducing time-to-market. Other possibilities include using the power of AI to extract and distil information from customer suggestions and complaints to stimulate product management ideas. It can also be instrumental in training human operators on how to best interact with customers. 

“AI makes it easy to provide continuous training for operators, who, in our sector, change frequently,” says Fistolera. “Through interaction with AI trained on company knowledge, operators can also receive precise answers to better serve customers, activating for example truly tailor-made best next action solutions based on each user’s latest interactions.”

How the Power of AI is transforming field service

The challenge of placing the customer at the centre of strategies, utilising the opportunities offered by AI, and enhancing the overall customer experience also extends to helping internal users, such as those in the field service. For the Italian branch of the multinational Engie, field service is an essential additional service alongside the traditional energy offering. 

“The need to update our internal tools recently led us to transform a purely technological project into a business-oriented one,” explains Francesco De Martino, Head of Customer Solutions at Engie Italy. To maximise customer satisfaction, companies must not only focus on customers but also internal users: “Our call centre operators and field technicians were not in the spotlight when it came to user experience… This led us to update the platform not only to make their respective tasks more efficient but also to achieve other goals, like getting to know customers better to increase bundled product offerings.” 

“We also were able to make the management of field technicians’ interventions more streamlined, shortening time-to-bill but also the ability to engage new external partners much faster than in the past,” added De Martino. 

All this is controlled through digital tools that enable continuous monitoring of key performance indicators (KPIs) and precise and fluid definitions of customer experiences.

In addition to the challenge of putting the customer at the centre of their strategies, the power of AI offers vast opportunities to enhance sustainability efforts. With Net Zero Cloud, organisations can redefine related processes and adapt to constantly evolving regulations, achieving results that reduce the human impact on the planet and meet the expectations of their customers. 

“The path to digitalisation has not been straightforward,” reveals Maria Lacchini, Digital Transformation Manager at SNAM, the leading European operator in natural gas transportation, dispatching, storage and LNG regasification services. “However, we addressed the emissions issues, focusing on Scope 3, which concerns those emissions that a company is indirectly responsible for. By covering the area with the greatest potential for improving data collection and analyzing aggregated information, we managed to produce the first minimum viable product (MVP) in record time. 

The digital tool provided by Salesforce accelerated data collection, emission calculation, and reporting, by aggregating all sustainability information in one place. This facilitated collaboration among people from various units and provided continuously updated information on emission factors from different sources. Once again, our focus on user experience made it easier to obtain precise and detailed data insights, enabling the identification of future actions to reduce emissions.

MARIA LACCHINI
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION MANAGER AT SNAM
Carol Leboffe
Carol Leboffe

Carol Leboffe is the Energy and Utilities Strategy & Scale Leader, EMEA. Carol has been with Salesforce since 2015 and has held trusted advisor roles in EMEA and SEMEA centered on the Energy & Utilities, Telco and Consumer Goods industry verticals. Carol has deep industry, solution, and digital transformation insights gained in leading innovation companies.

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