AGL is one of Australia’s largest energy retailers. At a time when rising power and gas prices are a pressing issue, AGL recognises that financial vulnerability is an unfortunate reality for many Australians.
In response to AGL’s commitment to address customer concerns on financial vulnerability, underpinned by their strategic objectives of Social Licence, Growth & Transformation, they have been able to leverage recent investments made in their world class Data & Decisioning platforms.
The Decisioning technology can leverage both predictive and response data and analytics to identify customers who may be showing early signs of hardship, then orchestrate customised communications to raise awareness of the various support options available, including access to AGL’s hardship programs. Additionally, AGL worked collaboratively with the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to ensure the system design of the tool targeted customers who may be experiencing financial difficulty.
It is the first time this technology has been used to reach vulnerable customers, using both data and automation technology to ensure their customers receive support they need earlier.
The platform was introduced as part of AGL’s multi-year Digital Customer Experience Transformation Program, where significant investments were made in technology and data (including Big Data) to provide analytical insight to better inform business decisions.
By using a Decisioning Platform & Predictive Analytics it will over time allow a shift towards responsive modelling, machine learning and even real time contextual information in making the best and automated customer decisions. The goal is to create targeted and personalised options for customers as well as greater speed and efficiency to market, which helps balance both customer and business outcomes.
At a more macro level, the role of technology at AGL continues to evolve – automating outcomes where possible in order to create efficiencies in delivery and learning as well as allowing humans to focus more often on value-add tasks.
To support this mission, their Decisioning, Analytics and Data team have even made changes to their recruitment processes and capability mix as a result of the implantation of this new technology. Beyond the core competencies, they have recognised the need to have people who are able to self-learn and adapt to the ever-increasing pace of change as technology advances.
Since launching in January 2019, AGL have sent over 100,000 Early Hardship Communications to customers. This has exceeded their expectations in raising awareness of the support options available to customers and they have also been able to measure an increase in usage of their “Here to Help Online Tool”.1 Insights gained already from the initiative are being used to inform the next phase of delivery, where they will further leverage technology and personalisation options to increase the quality of their customer engagement model.
Australian Industry Group: The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Australian businesses in transition (August 2019)