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atriga EVU expert Michael Fait at E-world 2023: Customer centricity through digitalisation

At the end of May, international decision-makers met at E-world energy & water, the leading trade fair and meeting place for the European energy industry. The most sought-after contact person in Essen was atriga Senior Key Account Manager Michael Fait, who has been working on new strategies for the receivables management of energy suppliers for many years and is regarded as an experienced industry expert. We asked him about the pressing challenges for municipal utilities and energy suppliers and received interesting answers and exciting approaches to solutions.


Mr Fait, what were the most important topics for you at this year’s E-world energy & water?

It became very clear in Essen that the urgently needed energy transition can only succeed through overarching digitalisation in all sectors. And that applies to energy generation, grid operation and, of course, supply and billing. These challenges are not new for municipal utilities and energy suppliers, but the need for action is becoming increasingly clear, because customer centricity is an absolute core issue. In order to avoid bad debt losses, processes must be optimised, digitalised and the cross-channel dialogue with customers intensified.


Why is customer centricity so important for EVUs right now?

On the one hand, one has to look at the situation of customers: Fluctuating energy prices and unanswered questions about security of supply are leading to increasing uncertainty among consumers. One need only look at the current discussions about heat pumps, the massive price increases expected for fossil fuels in the future and, of course, the crucial question of how the switch to renewable energies can succeed for all sections of the population. This leads to a high communication effort for energy suppliers.

On the part of the energy suppliers, the high pressure on margins requires quick action, since the willingness of consumers to switch has also increased and they must now always remain in dialogue with their customers. This is not a short-term market phenomenon, but has become the new normal.

atriga Senior Key Account Manager Michael Fait: “The atriga Customer Communication Journey is the key to maximum efficiency in customer-centric dialogue for municipal utilities and energy providers.”

atriga-Michael Fait

But what is the role of atriga here?

I’m glad you asked. atriga has custom-fit solutions for the pressing challenges faced by utilities in these troubled times. The truth is that digitalisation, cloudification and automation allow process optimisation in a way that was previously unthinkable. The fully digitalised receivables management from atriga is the key for energy suppliers: evaluable, systematically controlled and highly personalised communication with customers demonstrably and benchmark-proven avoids bad debt losses. The atriga Customer Communication Journey is the key to maximum efficiency in customer-centric dialogue for municipal utilities and energy suppliers.


What does all this still have to do with debt collection and receivables management?

You are right, this goes far beyond the usual services of a receivables manager. We know that utilities need a sustainable strategy for dealing with defaulting customers, be it in the commercial dunning process or in debt collection. They should develop a communication strategy and answer questions such as at which times, in which language and on which communication channel they would like to interact with their customers.

The fully digitalised atriga receivables management system recognises, for example, at what time and on which end device a customer has opened and read an email – and which language they prefer. This allows atriga to respond to its individual behaviour with customer-centric communication, which also has an immense impact on the company’s reputation.


But installing such a system and putting it into operation takes forever, energy suppliers don’t have the time!

A good objection, which I gladly refute. We do not overburden energy suppliers and municipal utilities with a standard system, but offer individualised solution modules that are 100 percent aligned to the current needs and the specific challenges of the utility, whether it is to support customer care through atriga Self Services or atriga’s own Contact Centre, all in white label, i.e. in the name and design of the energy supplier or municipal utility.

Our IT specialists take care of the smooth and fast onboarding without complex interventions in the IT infrastructure of the client. The experienced atriga experts are always ready to work with energy suppliers to design and implement an optimal solution. atriga’s utility customers appreciate our professional expertise and are always amazed at how atriga provides a targeted, efficient and highly automated dunning and collection system with little effort and very quickly.

Mr Fait, thank you for the interview!

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