CRM Software for Utilities: main benefits, challenges and insights from LINKSOFT’s experts

Utilities are at the core of everyday life, providing basic but essential services, such as electricity, gas and water. Utility providers never sleep in order to keep the lights on and the taps running. And that’s a lot of work! Combining the strength of people and infrastructure in complex ways is what helps utility companies succeed, but embracing new technology it what assures viability.

The right technology can futureproof businesses in the utilities sector by providing valuable insights, ensure the connectivity of remote workers, and help complete projects faster. Adopting a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software can be the right solution for overcoming challenges faced by utility companies nowadays, and LINKSOFT can help implement a cutting-edge technology – Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 suite. Moreover, in this article we present insights extracted from our experience with clients from utilities industry, to highlight the main benefits they acquired after implementing a CRM solution with LINKSOFT.

Become competitive by implementing CRM

Utility companies are encountering unprecedented challenges, including heightened regulatory scrutiny, restrictions, increased competition, competitive pricing, and a growing array of consumer choices.

Undoubtedly, the cost of acquiring customers has risen and may continue to do so. While there are various perspectives on the customer lifetime value (CLV) to customer acquisition cost (CAC) ratio, it’s generally acknowledged that these acquisition costs can only be fully justified by retaining profitable customers for as long as possible.

Within the utility industry, customers expect to track monthly usage, view and pay bills online, communicate regularly, and access support across all service channels. To proactively meet and exceed these expectations, companies must strive to understand their customers better than their competitors. But how can this be achieved?

First and foremost, utility companies should take several proactive steps to enhance customer retention, and with a modern CRM solution it’s possible to implement a robust customer support strategy.

CRM overcomes all the challenges!

A CRM platform for utilities is used to manage customer interactions and the channels used in those interactions. The software is designed to collect, store, and analyze customer data within the context of a utility company.

The main challenge that utility workers face daily is upkeep of services for consumers. Whether it’s electricity cables, water or gas pipes, one thing is for sure: events of damage occur and need immediate intervention. In this context, quick and efficient communication is a must, because personnel should be promptly notified of work and easily report on the results of inspections or the progress of repairs.

Besides the importance of communication, we can outline the necessity to make it transparent and easy to access when needed. Information is necessary to manage projects, assign tasks to team members so it’s clear who works on what and when. Collecting and aggregating data in dashboards and charts make it easier to create a comprehensive overview on how your company is performing.

Communication is also key for customer interactions, and in today’s context these are radically transformed because customers expect instant responses through various channels such as websites, social media or chatbots  Living up to customers expectations is a big challenge, which is why providing personalized experiences, quick problem solving and easy access to information is essential.

Moreover, time consuming activities and administrative tasks are what keep the company from evolving. Certain tasks, especially the repetitive ones, such as invoice generation, contract management, payment processing, and more, should be automated not only for time-saving, but also to avoid errors and ensure a proper data management.

Last, but not least, one of the main challenges faced by utilities companies is staying up to date with the technological progress. The industry is constantly reshaped, but CRM can help you stay one step ahead of all these challenges. Good news is, you’re in the right place, and LINKSOFT can take care of everything.

A Game Changer for Operations

A CRM system combines staff skills, real-time data and time-saving technology in an efficient way. The planning process is seamless and labour is always routed to the right place, which is why projects are completed more efficiently. Moreover, costs are reduced and wastage is limited because repetitive tasks are automated.

CRM for utilities_ENG
CRM for utilities_ENG

From workloads to customer enquires and customer satisfaction, every aspect of the business is streamlined and smart efficiencies are added at every level, depending on the implemented modules of the CRM solution.

Benefits for Businesses:

      • • Automation capabilities: Streamlining routine tasks, processes, and approvals through automation can significantly enhance productivity, freeing up valuable time for employees to focus on customer care;
      • • Business tool integrations: Integrate various business tools to streamline operations and gain a comprehensive overview of service performance and customer satisfaction from a unified platform, reducing the need to switch between multiple applications;
      • • Customer portals: These portals serve as the foundation of adaptable utility services, allowing individuals within your service area to access their accounts at their convenience;
      • • Project management: Efficiently manage projects and monitor the performance of service technicians to minimize power outage durations and ensure optimal service delivery;
      • • Analytics and metrics: Tracking and managing analytics and key performance indicators (KPIs) is essential, and presenting this aggregated data in a user-friendly format is equally crucial. This data not only aids in operational efficiency but also provides valuable insights for improving sales strategies.
      • • Security and privacy: Ensuring the security and privacy of customer information in compliance with relevant regulations.

Advance Customer Experience with CRM

Embracing digital thinking is what empowers employees to make informed decision, save time, reduce errors and improve processes. As we mentioned before, communication is key. Teams need joined-up interaction across multiple channels, fields agents need to be able to tackle issues even when they’re on the road, and back-office staff need real-time data at their fingertips. But most important, customers need information in order to have trust in their utility provider.

Benefits for Customers:

      • • Constant access to account information: Customer representatives have instant access to up-to-date account information, facilitating assistance with billing and usage inquiries;
      • • Informed decisions: Customers understand their usage and make informed decisions about their energy consumption;
      • Convenient online payments: Through online payment and invoicing features the payment schedules are managed and timely payments are ensured;
      • • Increased visibility: Customers can easily view and pay their bills, and also manage payment preferences;
      • • Streamlined customer inquiries: Using forms provide customers with the convenience of submitting service requests or seeking assistance online.

Insights from LINKSOFT’s Experts

The activity of companies in the utilities sector is filled with challenges, and its rigorous management is only possible with the help of technology, which eliminates human errors and streamlines processes in terms of time consumption. Technology doesn’t replace the human factor but supports it, allowing employees to redirect more attention towards ideas of development and innovation. In this regard, LINKSOFT stands by energy and gas companies looking to accelerate their digitalization process.

Advantages of CRM implementation
Advantages of CRM implementation

Main Challenges

The most common issue faced by companies in the utilities sector (energy and gas providers) that have sought the assistance of our experts, has been the lack of an application to centralize all data and bring together the most important workflows under a single informatic system. Previously, all the work was done in Excel, manually, or in various outdated applications kept on local servers, which couldn’t be scaled to meet the needs and evolution of companies. In some cases, the previously used software was CRM 2016 On-premise, and there was a desire to upgrade to something more efficient in line with technological advancements.

Utilities clients turn to LINKSOFT to streamline communication and customer relationship management, facilitate lead capture, and provide an overview of customers to enhance collaboration between departments. Transitioning to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online brings benefits in terms of scalability, accessibility, increased security, and automatic updates from Microsoft.

CRM solution Linksoft
CRM solution Linksoft

LINKSOFT’s Solution

In Romania, the energy and gas business has a specific nature due to the fact that authorities entirely regulate the domain. Moreover, the energy market is unpredictable, owing to frequent legislative changes and price regulations.

For this reason, the Dynamics 365 Sales module has become a “core application” for each client, as it is customized in line with current requirements and adaptable to the domain’s volatility. Through the Sales module, there’s an accommodation of the sales flow, following the trajectory: lead, opportunity, offer, products, locations, contract, and respectively – order.


Another model requested by utility sector clients is Dynamics 365 Customer Service, useful for handling complaints and managing customer interactions. This module ensures your business’s success by allowing you to quickly respond to customers, supporting active communication across multiple channels, and rapidly managing and distributing resources to resolve issues.

Utility Companies choose Dynamics 365

Implementing a CRM solution from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 suite is the answer to employees’ need for a 360-degree view of customers, specifically regarding contracts, activities, and notifications throughout their lifecycle.

Efficient software solutions have become essential in managing distribution, planning capacity, monitoring consumption and managing customer relationships. The advantages of implementing a CRM solution from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 suite lie in the scalability of the application hosted in the Microsoft Cloud. Moreover, you’ll benefit from 24/7 support, and your application will always be up-to-date with the latest technologies released by Microsoft.

Businesses in this sector need to account for colossal amounts of data, managing not only consumer – provider relationships but also location consumption, overall zone metering and consumption analysis, corporate client consumption predictions and many more streams of variable data.  In this context, we have assessed business needs and created software solutions that ensure a seamless digital transition.

LINKSOFT has extensive experience in projects undertaken in the utilities sector, some of them lasting up to 7 years. Many challenges have been overcome during this time, and the path to success has been and continues to be paved by the prompt response of LINKSOFT experts to new requirements and the constant realization of complex developments. Contact us now, and let’s craft together the perfect roadmap for your CRM implementation!