Case Studies

EDF: Leading digital transformation in the energy industry

EDF wind power station image for a case study on the successful digital transformation in energy industry, including oil and gas companies

EDF, a leader in the UK’s energy sector and a subsidiary of the EDF Group, embarked on a digital transformation journey with LivePerson in 2011, which aimed to deliver reliable and efficient digital customer experiences.

The journey in numbers

82%

first contact resolution

4.3/5

ease score

23%

containment rate

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The EDF story

EDF stands as one of the UK’s largest energy companies, supplying electricity and gas to over 5.7 million residential and business customers. EDF has been actively involved in the development of renewable energy projects, showcasing its commitment to helping Britain achieve net zero. With a focus on innovation and customer-centric solutions, EDF has implemented significant advancements in digital transformation initiatives, enhancing customer experiences with digital technologies, and fostering a more sustainable energy ecosystem for its customer base.

“At the heart of our business, EDF is committed to helping the UK achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050, and we’re starting with the changes we need to make ourselves. We’re implementing responsible, safe, and sustainable actions across our organisation to ensure the electricity we generate, and supply, is lower in carbon than ever before. As well as this, we’re constantly looking for ways to innovate and give our customers the best experience.”

~ Tom Jackson, Senior Leader, Rapid Response at EDF

Challenge #1: Gaining in-depth understand of customer preferences

EDF’s primary challenge lies in understanding and adapting to the rapidly changing preferences and needs of their customer base. In an energy market characterized by evolving trends and consumer behaviors, EDF needed to develop a strategy that would enable them to tailor their services and communication effectively, ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction and engagement.

Digital Transformation Solution: Intent analysis streamlines support

To address this challenge, EDF used LivePerson’s Conversational Intelligence suite for comprehensive data analysis, gaining in-depth insights into customer interactions. This approach was particularly instrumental during the 2021 UK energy crisis, allowing EDF to effectively identify and respond to the specific needs and concerns of customers affected by the crisis, demonstrating the practical application of their data-driven strategy in real-time situations.

Outcomes

  • Enhanced customer understanding –  Deeper understanding of customer preferences and behaviors, enabling more personalized and effective service.
  • Agile crisis response – EDF was able to provide targeted and empathetic support to those affected, enhancing customer trust.
  • Informed service strategies – EDF was able to make informed decisions, improving their service offerings and overall customer engagement.

Challenge #2: Creating more ways to connect with customers

Recognizing the diverse needs of its customer base, EDF faced the challenge of modernizing and expanding its communication channels. This was particularly crucial for customers with accessibility issues or those in vulnerable situations who required more tailored and efficient ways of interaction, especially considering the limitations of traditional telephony channels.

Through the telephony channel, customers were unable to make transactions in the messaging channel, so this was a key focus to help improve the customer experience going forward.

Digital Transformation Solution: Meeting customers where they are with digital technologies

EDF leveraged LivePerson’s IVR deflection to messaging feature to divert the influx of call volume to more efficient and cost-effective messaging channels like WhatsApp and SMS. A custom authentication bot helped move the process along so customers could solve their problems via messaging. By integrating transactional capabilities into messaging channels, like the ability to make a payment, these conversations could be fully contained. 

Outcomes:

  • A better customer experience – No more waiting on the phone or having to switch channels to accomplish their goals. 
  • Sticky digital channels – A stronger customer experience with fully-contained conversations led to repeat use and lower call volume.
  • Agent efficiency – Agents are able to support multiple customers at once via messaging. Plus, tools like the authenticator bot reduced agent workload so they could spend more time with customers who required a human touch.

Challenge #3: Managing increasing interaction volumes effectively

WhatsApp conversation about paying bills, showing how digital technology can provide energy services to assist oil and gas industry businesses

As EDF’s web traffic grew, so did the volume of customer interactions. This increase presented a significant challenge in maintaining the quality of customer service. EDF needed to find a way to efficiently handle these interactions without overwhelming their customer service agents or compromising the quality of support provided.

Digital Transformation Solution: Automation scales the human touch

EDF utilized LivePerson’s conversational AI tools to manage the increasing volume of customer interactions. By automating routine queries like FAQs, EDF allows customers to get quick answers to simple questions while freeing up agents for more complex, higher business value tasks. Additionally, EDF automated proactive messages to inform customers about new government regulations like smart meters. By proactively informing customers about things like policy changes, EDF made their customers feel supported and also limited the volume of inquiries related to these changes.

Outcomes

  • Reduced handling time for routine inquiries – Customers experienced quicker resolutions to their basic queries.
  • Enhanced focus on complex cases – Agents were able to devote more time to intricate customer needs, enhancing service quality.
  • Improved customer and agent satisfaction – A more streamlined process led to a better experience for both customers and agents.

Progress — in more ways than one

EDF’s collaboration with LivePerson exemplifies a progressive approach to customer engagement in the energy sector. With their first contact resolution rate at 82%, this partnership has not only streamlined operations but has also significantly enhanced both customer and agent experiences, setting a benchmark for innovation in customer service.


Explore the tools that aided in EDF’s successful digital transformation in energy industry by creating an innovative, supportive customer experience