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OVO Energy automates meter reading and more with WhatsApp Business

OVO Energy was founded in 2009 and redesigned the energy experience to be fair, effortless, green and simple for all customers.

OVO is on a mission through its sustainability strategy Plan Zero to tackle the most important issue of our time; the climate crisis, by bringing its customers with them on the journey towards zero carbon living. To help expand its ability to connect digitally with members, OVO Energy turned to MessageBird.
OVO Energy Logo
Europe
128%
increase in marketing opt-ins
+90%
NPS score from WhatsApp channel
2x
number of tickets handled
per agent every hour
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Challenge

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, created two challenges:

Agents started to work from home in line with Covid-19 restrictions. This created the need for a communications platform that was secure and easy to use anywhere.

To align with its company vision, OVO Energy needed to expand its ability to communicate with members digitally and give members more choices on how to interact with OVO. They also sought a more efficient way to conduct monthly meter readings using customer-friendly digital communication.

Solution

OVO Energy worked with MessageBird to set up an interactive communication channel that allowed members to make direct contact with OVO through WhatsApp to submit automated readings of their home energy meters each month, alleviating the need for a visit from the meter reader.

Here’s how OVO Energy’s WhatsApp-based meter reading automation works:

  • The customer engages by starting an automated WhatsApp chat with OVO Energy.
  • The customer’s identity, type of fuel, and previous meter reading are all verified automatically through the OVO database.
  • The customer submits a new meter reading with a photo or written entry.
  • The new entry is verified, and that information is added to the database for billing.

In addition to building the meter reading system, OVO Energy incorporated a number of time- and money-saving features designed to streamline its digital communications:

IVR (interactive voice response) deflection sends members from the telephony system to an automated WhatsApp conversation.

QR codes on emails and other internet communications send members to WhatsApp, further familiarizing members with a more efficient way of communicating with their energy company.

Website deflection and contact us pages send members to a trackable URL for list building and data gathering, providing OVO Energy the ability to measure the results of its effort to transition to WhatsApp for customer communication.

How it looks

Examples of OVO's Meter Reading Flow on WhatsApp.

Why they chose MessageBird

OVO Energy turned to WhatsApp and MessageBird to help meet those challenges. OVO chose WhatsApp because it is the most popular messaging app in the UK, and therefore is familiar to most of OVO’s members. WhatsApp also has features, such as pictures, video, and location functionality that provide a more robust, seamless experience for members.

In order to use the WhatsApp Business API, OVO Energy would need to work with an official WhatsApp Business Solutions provider. They chose MessageBird because:

  • MessageBird’s Inbox and Flow Builder products provided the ideal automation solutions for OVO to deliver an easy, user-friendly platform. 
  • MessageBird’s deep practical knowledge of omnichannel communication, commitment to customer service.

Outcomes

OVO Energy found that its members adjusted well to the transition to communication through WhatsApp. The energy company also achieved significant improvements in operating efficiency while improving the customer experience.

MessageBird and WhatsApp enabled significant improvements in efficiency for OVO Energy during the first three months of implementation:

  • CSAT improved by 44% compared to its telephony channel
  • +128% increase in marketing consent compared to other channels
  • 2x the number of tickets handled per agent every hour
  • NPS is above +90% from WhatsApp channel

All TrustPilot reviews for OVO’s WhatsApp implementation received five-star ratings from members.

“The Flow Builder and Inbox functionality that MessageBird provides is a really easy, user-friendly experience that helps our members reach OVO Energy quickly. Our people also find the tool helpful and efficient to use.”
Daniel Baker, Business Development Manager
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