Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia Innovates with KloudGin integrated with Shopify to create Digital Marketplace for product and services for its customers
August 25, 2020
Our mission at KloudGin is simple. For the business, to transform their customer experience and connect with their customers like never before. For the field workers, to receive and deliver information where, how, and when it is needed.
Chris Strippelhoff, VP Member Services, of the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia likens the work they are currently doing with the NGC to that of Lewis and Clark. “It is a customer experience that does not exist today, so, like the pioneers Lewis and Clark, we are the ones creating the map – from nothing – to help others with the discovery.”
NGC was formed, by the Gas Authority, to provide its 80 members across the states of Georgia, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Florida, with a digital transformation in how they engage with the 246,000 customers they collectively serve. The results have far-reaching benefits for consumers, gas providers and the Gas Authority members alike.
The Challenge Being Faced
Historically, the sector only provided natural gas customers a piecemeal offering, with gas line install and gas supply not joined up with the provision, installation, and maintenance of gas appliances. Multiple parties would need to be involved in any parts of the process, meaning it was more challenging for a customer – and took far longer – than was needed. Frustrating enough, but with emergency work, like a water heater repair or replacement this became a greater issue. Householders could find they needed to switch to electric appliances, as they were often quicker and easier to source and install – to get their hot water supply back it was inevitably speed of service that was paramount.
NGC, powered by KloudGin software, creates a completely new experience for consumers, overcoming the challenges and making it an easy, convenient, and affordable end-to-end process. The result is a highly automated platform, with real-time integration with the gas providers’ existing infrastructure, from the first point of a customer enquiry through to completion and billing of the work. This unique turnkey solution is truly a one-stop shop for gas installation services and products.
Enhanced Customer Experience
Consumers order the appliance they need from the NGC e-commerce marketplace, buying from approved suppliers and with automated inventory checking integrated into the system. The install is then scheduled from a choice of dates and times to suit the customer. All installation work is carried out by accredited contractors, who receive details of the work via a Kloudgin mobile and fully understand the requirements when they arrive at the job with the appliance. Via the same mobile app, the contractor is able to update customer records with pictures, notes and signatures.
The solution seamlessly integrates with financing software so that payment terms, including interest-free payment options, can be set up and payments are shown on the gas provider’s monthly bill.
For consumers this means they enjoy a single, seamless point of contact, for what has an extremely complex process in the background. For the gas companies it ensures they are offering their customers an enhanced, added-value service and experience. It helps companies retain their existing customers and potentially increase the number of gas appliances they use, and reduce the risk of losing them, due to breakdowns and switching to other energy source appliances. They will attract new customers who are drawn to natural gas as an efficient, effective, and environmentally friendly energy source, with this enhanced customer experience. With a gas appliance lifetime up to 15 years, customer loyalty is also ensured through this enhanced relationship.
True Digital Transformation
A truly pioneering approach, harnessing technology to bring about a digital transformation to make it easier for consumers to purchase services and use natural gas in their homes. For natural gas companies they are building customer base and loyalty, and for the Gas Authority members, who as local municipal governments depend in the majority on tax-based income sources, an opportunity for revenue generation from a scale they otherwise would not be able to achieve.
Chris Strippelhoff concludes, “what we have developed, from scratch, is a highly sophisticated digital solution, which has extremely complex integration needs but is straightforward and seamless for a customer to use. We all know consumers want things easy and affordable and we are creating that experience. It is a win for consumers, a win for gas providers and a win for our local municipal members and the communities they serve.”
Vikram Takru is CEO of KloudGin, Inc. He co-founded KloudGin with the vision of creating transformative field service and asset management technology that eliminates silos, connects people, process and technology, and creates access to information where and when it is needed. He is committed to delivering solutions that work for field crews in the toughest conditions.