Harnessing the power of data to help a major UK energy company support vulnerable customers
A major independent UK energy company, supplying gas and electricity services to residential and commercial customers, needed to find a way to utilise data to better identify, understand, and support its most vulnerable customers. Due to recent events across the energy industry, the company wanted to identify customers facing financial difficulties, health issues, or other challenges that may affect their interaction with energy services.
In order to achieve this, BJSS provided Data Science capability to create a unified view of the vulnerable customer base by integrating multiple internal data sources through a scalable and well-documented data pipeline built in Google Cloud Platform DataForm. This included data such as:
Customer demographics to understand segments and geographical elements
Payment history to understand financial vulnerability
Energy usage to understand potential rationing
Contacts and complaints to understand pain points customers had
Priority Service Register (PSR) information to understand customer medical vulnerability.
The customer view developed by BJSS enabled the company to analyse its customer data more efficiently and effectively, allowing for the swift identification and understanding of vulnerable customers.
Using data to help vulnerable communities
In addition, BJSS presented the customer view in a Tableau dashboard to show the geographical distribution of vulnerable customers in the UK, providing the energy company with a powerful tool to better understand and assist their most vulnerable customers. With the ability to filter the data by various vulnerability markers, the dashboard presents a granular view of the needs of different customer segments across the country.
This visualisation played a key role in the collaboration with charities to set up new foodbanks in the UK, as it clearly showed the locations of their most vulnerable customers. By partnering with charities, the company was able to provide support and assistance to those in need, improving the customer experience and making a positive impact in communities throughout the UK.
What’s more, the information has proven valuable for answering questions from governing departments such as the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy, regulators such as OFGEM, and charity organisations such as the Trussell Trust.
Analysing data to protect customers’ health
This solution has also been instrumental in the early stages of identifying customers who might be rationing their energy to dangerous levels. During a three-day hackathon, BJSS worked with the company’s Data Science and Data Analytics teams to develop and test new algorithms and data models. They used a combination of the customer vulnerability view, weather patterns, energy usage, and existing models to identify customers who may be rationing energy to extents detrimental to their health.
This solution highlights the impact that data science and technology can have on improving customer experience and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable customers. The use of data analytics and visualisation in this manner highlights the potential of these technologies in driving positive change and enhancing the lives of vulnerable customers.