The potential for using conversational AI technologies such as chat and voice agents can be found in almost every industry. But especially in the customer service of the energy industry, there are many use cases that can lead to the relief and conservation of internal resources and a higher customer loyalty through automation.

"80% of all requests can be solved by a well-designed bot. - Accenture "Chatbots in Customer Service" 2016

For example, necessary but for customers often annoying processes, such as the transmission of the meter reading, can be automated with the help of bots. Recurring questions about tariffs or requests for adjustments of the monthly payment can also be answered by bots without the help of employees.

This is because systems such as chatbots and voicebots answer customer queries automatically 24/7 with the help of artificial intelligence. This happens in website chats, in messaging platforms or even on the phone. Customer service staff are only consulted if the bot is unable to answer a query.

Possible applications for chatbots in the energy industry

Chatbot Use Cases for the energy industry

  1. Reporting the counter reading via chatbots 

Chatbots are ideal for taking over process-oriented conversations. For example, if users want to submit their meter reading, data such as the customer number and meter number are first requested for identification purposes. The chatbot then asks the user to enter the current meter reading and inform it of the reading date.

Through integration into the company's systems, such as SAP, the chatbot can store the data directly in the customer's profile. The link can also be used to check whether the new meter reading differs greatly from the old value. If this is the case, the chatbot can ask for a reason. 

The transmission of meter readings can be made even more convenient for customers through the use of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology: With the help of the software, chatbots can capture text and numbers on images. All customers have to do is upload an image of the counter. The chatbot then reads the meter number and the meter reading directly from the image.

You can find out how this use case can be implemented in detail in the blog post "Reporting meter readings with chatbots" read.

Chatbot Karl

2. How chatbots can help you move

In addition, chatbots offer customers the option of taking their electricity and gas contracts with them to their new home without any complications in the event of a move. Once again, all they need to do is verify their customer and meter numbers and enter their meter number and enter the new home address to which the supply is to continue. The bot then asks for the meter reading of the old apartment when the customer moved out, the date on which the old and new apartments were handed over, and the meter number and meter reading of the new apartment.

Here, too, customers benefit from uncomplicated processing: Since the bot is integrated into the company's systems, all data can be stored directly. There is no longer any need to fill out multiple forms to log apartments off and on. Customer confidence in the reliability of the chatbot can be strengthened by sending customers a confirmation e-mail after they have submitted their data.

Chatbot Karl from Süwag

3. Change the tee via chatbots

In order to avoid high back payments at the end of the year, customers can use the chatbot to change the amount of the monthly payment and adapt it to their individual consumption. The procedure is similar to the two use cases described above.

4. manage contracts and invoices

The bot helps customers keep track of their contracts and contract data and facilitates data management. For example, they can request invoices via the chatbot, which are then made available for download as PDFs in the chat. In addition, it can easily transfer the contract of the old flat to the new flat as a relocation helper.

5 Changing the SEPA mandate via chatbots 

Another frequent case in customer service is the change of the SEPA mandate. Since in this, as in other use cases, sensitive data is transmitted via the chatbot, it is important to seek advice from the legal department regarding data protection when designing the virtual assistant.

6. Customer advice on tariffs via chatbots

Individual advice directly from the sofa? A chatbot can put together the right offer for the user. It works like a filter and can respond to specific wishes and ideas.

Chatbot Karl from Süwag

7. Virtual assistants as interactive FAQs

Last but not least, there are also many general questions that are on the customer's heart. For example, where can bills be viewed, where can the contract be cancelled or whether the electricity is generated sustainably. 

Chatbot Karl from Süwag

Building a knowledge base for virtual assistants

There are many possible applications for bots in the energy industry. When implementing a chatbot project, however, it is advisable to first limit oneself to the use cases that are most relevant for the customers. For this purpose, the logs of the customer service can be evaluated and the most frequently asked questions can be identified. Based on this, a knowledge base for the chatbot can be started and continuously expanded after the launch of the chatbot.

With the help of a well-designed bot, customer service processes can be optimized and customer satisfaction increased. However, the development of a chatbot concept is complex and demanding, as many aspects have to be considered. To make this easier for you, we have developed a chatbot canvas that guides you through the process step by step.

Chatbot Canvas
Download Chatbot Canvas