kentoh - Fotolia

British Gas powers customer experience with third-party Salesforce app

Its parent company, Centrica, uses Salesforce to support Hive – now British Gas is using a third-party Salesforce app to improve customer experience

British Gas has used the Vlocity Energy & Utilities Cloud service, built on Salesforce, to power its digital transformation journey. The application is being used across British Gas’ sales, marketing and customer care organisations.

As part of a digital transformation, the utility firm used the application from Vlocity to provide a unified customer experience and support greater business agility, to achieve its business objectives more quickly.

British Gas made a strategic decision to upgrade its operating model to offer highly personalised energy offerings that combine commodity and non-commodity products. 

The Vlocity Energy & Utilities Cloud offers guided selling processes that Vlocity claims can expedite the experience without coding. Built on the Salesforce platform, it comprises applications and capabilities that extend the power of Salesforce, including: a utility industry process library; an advanced product catalogue; offers and promotions; configure price quote (CPQ); pricing, proposal and contract management; and market switching and fulfilment.

British Gas said the initial results with the app have highlighted improvements in end-to-end process times. For instance, quotations that previously took three days can now be delivered in less than three minutes, it said.

Ronald Starreveld, director IS architecture, business and energy at Centrica, said: “Within a few months, we have successfully delivered a strategic solution that accelerates time to market for new offerings and meets the rising expectations of our business customers.”

British Gas’ parent company, Centrica, has been on a digital journey for a number of years and regards technology as an enabler to help it drive new business value. In the company’s 2018 annual report, group CEO Iain Conn said: “For our customers, across both consumer and business divisions, we have been focused on increased personalisation of offers, increased digitisation of the customer experience and customer journeys, and provided new propositions and services which our customers clearly value.

“At the same time, enhanced segmentation has allowed us to place a stronger focus on customer lifetime value. In both divisions, we have continued to invest in customer service.”

Read more about Salesforce

Centrica has been a user of the Salesforce software-as-a-service (SaaS) product since 2017. Salesforce has been part of the company’s Hive Connected Home heating product and service and is used to automate, integrate and accelerate many core business processes.

Discussing the use of Salesforce in the Connected Home business, Neil Procter, global head of customer relationship management (CRM) for the Connected Home team, said: “We needed a platform that was extremely agile. It took us just a few hours to work out that Salesforce was the right solution. And because new features are constantly being added, it is well placed to support our future plans.”

The Connected Home team used Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud to keep customers up to date with their latest innovations, complete a sale, fulfil orders and provide technical support.

Read more on Business applications

Data Center
Data Management