Every year, Eneco visits more than 250,000 customers for service and installation of central heating boilers, boilers, district heating, TOON, and nowadays, increasingly sustainable solutions, such as heat pumps, solar panels, and home batteries. To increase the ease of planning these appointments for the customer and simultaneously increase efficiency, Eneco has started working together with CLEVR and Ortec.
An Interview with Peter van Rheenen, Proces & IT Expert.
The customer comes first. How can we serve her even better?
"WHAT WAS THE REASON FOR DEVELOPING THE APPLICATION?"
Peter: “The application has existed since 2017 and is aimed at the fact that we wanted to serve the customer better by giving influence when we come by for an appointment. Also, we no longer wanted to drive from Eneco, where the customer was not at home. Before we started with Splash, we had one-sided customer agreements where we made a proposal, and the customer had to call if it was not convenient. As a result, we were sometimes in front of a closed-door in up to 40% of the cases. By digitizing this process and making the agreements two-sided, we have been able to reduce this “not at home” percentage to 2% -5%; a huge improvement.”
"THAT'S A NICE IMPROVEMENT, TELL ME?"
Peter: “That is very simple, the customer and we have less hassle because the customer is at the wheel when choosing a moment and can also do this online. Because the mechanic no longer has to leave his car to ring the bell to find out that the customer is not at home, we save a lot of time. Besides, due to the integration with Ortec, we have greatly improved automatic route planning. Before we had this application, Splash, the routes were manually planned. These routes are automatically delivered to our execution by Ortec’s scheduling algorithm, together with Splash, and then optimized on the day itself. So you see a big profit there. And in making the routes, and in the quality of the routes. Our planners only focus on resolving incidents or near incidents.”
Thomas: “This allows us to better serve Eneco’s customers and, of course, ultimately saves costs. We have now also completely aligned the Eneco experience for the customer. So whether the customer lives in Groningen and is served by an Eneco partner, or whether the customer lives in Rotterdam and is served by a technician who drives an Eneco van himself, every customer has the same experience. And gets the same communication with the same possible time slots. The customer experience is, therefore, the same for every customer.”
"WAS THERE A SPECIFIC BUSINESS OBJECTIVE TO WHICH THIS APPLICATION SHOULD CONTRIBUTE?"
Peter: “Yes, service for the customer. Once we started, we naturally had to achieve our business case, which also included the number of kilometers, “customer, not at home” percentages, customer satisfaction, and number of FTEs on the schedule. We have all managed to get these. With Mendix and CLEVR, we have a low-code solution in which we work with a permanent team. We are notable for the quality that is delivered, but also for the speed with which we can deliver it.”
Thomas: “We have a continuous team here with which we continue to develop. Whereas in the first years we were busy digitizing and mapping the entire process, we are now much more optimizing and supporting Eneco’s continuous change. We still have multiple areas where we can make more profit. Besides, the fact that we work with a continuous team and that we are present in the landscape is something that we do not just do with every customer.”
"THE NEED ENECO HAD WAS IT MORE IN TERM OF SAVING TIME OR PROCESS OPTIMIZATION?"
Peter: “Both are, but the customer is at the forefront of this process. So, as Thomas rightly says, aligning the customer journey across Eneco’s entire work area is very important. Being able to plan on both sides with the customer so that the customer also feels heard comes first. Of course, this also includes financial and optimization components. But in the first instance, the project was flown from the customer.”
Thomas: “There were several things at play, which we all tried to tackle with one overall solution. Of which the customer received the most attention.”
Peter: “The routes are as optimal as possible based on the customer’s wishes that are entered.”
Thomas: “The more freedom you give the customer, the wider the customer can choose, the more difficult it becomes to optimize those routes in terms of kilometers. With this knowledge in mind, routes for technicians are still planned considerably shorter and faster than if the planners had to do this themselves.”
Peter: “We have been working on that for the past two years. We try to move the customer in a certain direction as much as possible to ensure that, for example, he chooses the time slot that the back neighbor has also chosen. That way, we don’t have to be in the same street at two different times.”
Thomas: “We, therefore, have more influence on the appointment flow that we initiate. Here we can give many options that are optimal for a sustainable route. For agreements initiated by the customer, such as disruptions, we try to fit this into the routes that already existed as well as possible. Of course, we prefer to send a mechanic out, and he is busy all day in the same neighborhood.”
"HOW DO YOU STILL ENSURE AN OPTIMAL ROUTE WHEN THE CUSTOMER REQUESTS THE APPOINTMENT?"
Peter: “Splash, together with Ortec, ensures that we show the agent the nine best-fitting time slots at that moment. It is then up to the agent to see if he can persuade the customer to choose 1 of those 9 options, even if that means that we will only arrive later than the customer intended. ”
Thomas: “The agent, first of all, offers the options that are most optimal to the residents. The first options are sorted by travel time, how much extra do we have to drive to schedule that appointment in a particular route. ” If the customer is not available on any of these nine preferred timeslots, there is the option to go to a calendar with timeslots. This includes all possible alternatives within the period in which we want to help the customer find the less optimal moments. That is why the agent must direct the customer to one of the preferred timeslots and possible. Eneco does not exist without Splash
SUPPOSE ENECO HAD NOT PURCHASED THIS APPLICATION.
"WHAT IMPACT WOULD IT HAVE HAD ON THE ORGANIZATION?"
Peter: “You can no longer think of Eneco Home Services without this application, without Splash. This is also a great compliment to CLEVR, Ortec, and the team. We have now become a truly permanent part of Eneco’s process and IT landscape. If we hadn’t done this, we would have already lost the battle for the customer. Eneco is a big name but not the largest installation company in the Netherlands. We were one of the first with an online appointment portal, but now all our competitors have this. Besides, we would still have needed a lot of people to serve the customers. Then you are talking about many Euros per year that would flow out of there. In terms of turnover, but also of personnel costs.”
"HOW IS THE INTERACTION BETWEEN ENECO AND CLEVR"
Peter: “Very positive. It is easy and fast to switch with everyone within CLEVR. And not only fast, but also of a qualitative level, I quickly get the responses I am looking for. This is important in an environment like ours in which many changes are taking place. I am rarely, if ever, disappointed with what I get. We are usually surprised by what we get and when.”
Thomas: “I think from our side things are well organized here. We feel at home at Eneco. We can work here as if we were part of the team. We are always on location, the lines are short, and we can always text or call each other if something is going on.”
Peter: “There is now a second application that CLEVR will also build. This will be an application for our technicians to make the customer connection to our district heating brighter. Even when the customer faults with his connection or heat meter, this application will support the problem analysis and problem-solving technician. “
Thomas: “What’s nice is that this is an app that communicates with Eneco’s Internet of Things platform and that it is the first native mobile app on the new Mendix platform. This will be a technical tool. It is an application for installing a smart meter for the heat network. Hundreds of thousands of smart boxes have to be installed within that project. We call this the Eneco Connect Module. This app supports the technician to talk to that box. On that box, the mechanic can fix it via the app. He can see what malfunction it is, what is going on, and he can see possible solutions. Eneco being able to read the positions from a distance.”
Peter: “The first part of this process, scheduling the technician visit, is handled by the current application, Splash. The second part, once the technician is physically on-site, we can assist with the new app.”
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