CIS vendors discussed: Ferranti Computer Systems, Fluentgrid, Hansen Technologies, Junifer Systems (since acquired by Gentrack), LogNet Billing, Netcracker, Oracle, Ponsfacio, Redknee, SAP, SmartGridCIS, Tieto
As retail energy providers vie for leadership in competitive markets, a good billing and customer care operation has never been more vital.
Our latest research among energy suppliers shows that 70% agree their billing / CIS solutions and operations are key enablers for their business strategies. They identify a wide range of benefits for their businesses, including positive impacts on customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, competitiveness and profitability.
Understandably, the business benefit that energy retailers most value is accurate billing. This finding reflects the fundamental importance of getting bills right the first time for maintaining customer satisfaction, as well as for minimising inbound billing enquiries and keeping down customer service costs.
Energy suppliers also told us that they want solutions that can help them streamline and automate customer processes. Faced with stiff price competition and eroding margins, taking out cost by automating the main customer-related processes and enabling customers to self-serve across multiple channels is essential. Good customer self-service capabilities can also enhance customer satisfaction, which in turn influences customer acquisition and loyalty.
Our survey also found that energy retailers highly value billing solutions that are flexible. According to our research, many suppliers regard solutions flexibility as one of the most essential criteria when selecting a new system and vendor. This capability can help energy providers easily configure new tariffs and service plans, adjust service parameters, and introduce value-added services, as they endeavour to keep their value propositions fresh and competitive.
New Directions in Energy Retail: Billing & CIS for Competitive Edge explores energy retailers' views on the challenges they face in competitive markets and how their billing and CIS operations can be effective in supporting their strategies.
The report provides a detailed evaluation of a range of billing / customer information systems, to provide a starting point for suppliers who are embarking on the process of choosing a solution.