The landscape of how customers interact with businesses is changing.
Over 60% of the US population currently owns a smartphone. Nearly 1.8 billion people worldwide are using social media. And millennials, the generation of technology, will make up almost half of your customer base by 2020.
Businesses must adapt to be able to thrive in this changing landscape, and for Utilities, SAP Multichannel Foundation is the answer.
SAP Multichannel Foundation for Utilities (MCF) offers Utilities a unified multi-channel platform to engage customers in real-time through their own preferred communication channels. They key focus of MCF is to increase the availability of self-service options to customers with a multichannel approach, ultimately, resulting in increased customer satisfaction, lower response times, reduced support costs and higher margins.
To jumpstart this change, MCF now comes out-of-the-box with a customer self-service mobile-enabled web application that covers the majority of engagement scenarios a customer may have. This responsive SAPUI5 based app is fully brandable and allows customers to view outages, manage their online account, and much more – all through their smartphone, tablet, or computer.
The customer self-service app is a great addition to your company’s arsenal and it alone may be worth implementing MCF, but in terms of customer engagement and future enablements, the Multichannel Foundation offers much more.
At it’s core, MCF is a layer, or “foundation” if you will, that is placed on top of your SAP back-end systems to simplify the communications with your front-end customer facing applications. In addition to the self-service app, other customer engagement opportunities exist through channels such as SMS, Social Media, IVR, and email to name a few.
Customers today manage their lives using the internet and mobile apps. Combined with the deregulation of utilities and increased competition, the importance of these communication channels will only grow.
Using a custom solution to integrate each of these channels into your SAP environment is one option, but with the variety of devices and technology in which customers consume information, the potential for an overly complex system with costly maintenance is evident.
In conclusion, MCF yields Utilities the advantage of designing and branding a single solution while letting the business focus on developing high impact self-services they want to provide, all without needing to navigate the technologies, platforms, or device-specific constraints in trying to reach and interact with their customers.
SAP’s Multichannel Foundation for Utilities may truly be the game-changer to launch the industry into the age of consumerization.