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Digital Readiness in the Utilities Industry: Exploring the Potential of Chatbots in Multi-Channel Customer Service

Digital Readiness in the Utilities Industry: Exploring the Potential of Chatbots in Multi-Channel Customer Service
Subject:Digital Readiness in the Utilities Industry: Exploring the Potential of Chatbots in Multi-Channel Customer Service
Type:Bachelor Thesis
Supervisor:Ulrich Gnewuch
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Status: Open; In cooperation with hsag Heidelberger Services AG

Problem Description

Customer service has changed greatly in recent years, and due to advances in technology, it is about to change even more. Today, most companies offer multiple channels through which customers can get in touch with them (e.g., phone, email, web portals, chat, social media, …). Many experts predict that the future of customer service lies in the provision of a consistent customer experience across all channels as well as the continuous integration of new channels. As customers continue to demand faster and better service at any given time, many companies are also exploring the use of chatbots and digital assistants to replace or complement traditional service channels. Particularly industries such as retail, healthcare, insurance, and banking are considered the forerunners of chatbot technology. In contrast, the utilities industry has been traditionally slow to adopt digital technologies to connect with their customers. Therefore, it is questionable whether utility providers are currently able to provide consistent customer experience across their different service channels and if they are ‘digital ready’ for the deployment of chatbots in their customer service.

Goal of this Thesis

The main goal of this thesis is to develop a survey and benchmarking platform that can be used to collect data from German utility companies (Major German energy providers, Stadtwerke, …) about their current state of multi-channel customer service and their ‘digital readiness’ with regards to chatbots. The platform should enable the respondents to benchmark their company’s capabilities against those of competitors. hsag Heidelberger Services AG will support the student in the data collection process.

Skills Required

  • Interest in multi-channel customer service and in the utilities sector
  • Very good time management and organizational skills
  • Good development skills (JavaScript, PHP and/or Java experience is beneficial)
  • English skills

About hsag Heidelberger Services AG

hsag Heidelberger Services AG is an independent service provider for the German utilities sector. Its solution and services portfolio includes, among others, business process outsourcing, consulting services for designing innovative digital services, and e-commerce solutions. Its customers range from small energy providers (“Stadtwerke”) to major energy companies such as EnBW, RWE, or E.ON. Within the utilities sector, hsag is renowned for its outstanding quality and has been certified as ISO 9001:2015 compliant.

https://www.hsag.info/