How EY is helping Tenaga design and deliver a major customer transformation

30 November 2021 7 min. read

As part of its 10-year strategy, Malaysia’s national energy provider Tenaga Nasional Berhad is transforming the way it serves its customers – boosting customer experiences through the improvement of customer journeys, the introduction of digital channels and the provision of real-time analytics on consumer usage.

With over 9.6 million customers across Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (Tenaga) is the largest publicly-listed power company in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Founded in 1949, the now privatized utilities and energy company supports the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to large parts of Malaysia.

Consultants from EY have been partnering with Tenaga Nasional Berhad since the early phase of the customer experience transformation, providing multidisciplinary services in the area of strategy, customer experience building, digital services and human resources to the TNB Retail division.

Mark Bennett, Partner, EY

To find out more about the transformation and EY’s role, spoke with Mark Bennett, Asia-Pacific Energy & Resources Customer Experience Transformation Leader at EY:

To start off with, what does Tenaga's transformation entail?

In 2016, Tenaga identified a number of disruptive trends (deregulation, digitization, decentralization and decarbonization) that were changing the landscape in which they operated. As a result, it embarked on a bold 10-year transformation program which aimed to secure its future and prepare the organization for the challenges of today and opportunities of tomorrow.

The company realized that in order to maximize its impact on every single customer in Malaysia, it had to become more than just a kilowatt/hour business. Tenaga had identified three major focus areas for change:

  • Transition its energy generation sources from fossil fuels to renewables.
  • Digitise the grid to enable decentralized power generation, greater use of renewables and better energy management amongst customers.
  • Improve customer experience with new products and services, increasingly delivered through digital channels.

How did EY support the transformation?

Tenaga chose EY as its retail transformation partner, not only to help deliver its objectives at speed, but also to provide a critical external perspective, and the competences to help the organization enhance its internal capabilities.

As Tenaga’s Chief Retail Officer, Megat Jalaluddin Megat Hassan, explains, “We learned that the EY organization has a strong team in the utility sector with experiences in working with the top European utilities. We knew they would understand our challenges since we could speak the same language. We really wanted a partner who would work with us to co-create the best solution for Tenaga, our people and our customers.”

As a joint transformation team, Tenaga and EY focused on three immediate priorities:

  • Humans@Center: Create a customer-led retail business, while transforming Tenaga’s retail team into an agile-driven workforce, providing employees with the opportunities and skills needed to make the business more customer-centric going forward.
  • Innovation@Scale:  Establish a solutions business to drive customer experience-led innovation and new business models in adjacent markets including electric vehicle, solar, and connected homes
  • Technology@Speed:  Piloting and the scaling new digital services to customers, transforming their experience, and enabling them to better understand and manage their energy usage.

Which services/offerings were involved?

At the heart of Tenaga’s retail transformation journey is the desire to empower customers and employees. Becoming a customer-led organization means empathizing with customers and creating greater value through services that are more affordable, reliable and sustainable.

The EY team’s experience in workforce transformation has helped establish The Retail Academy. The Academy uses a mix of formal and experiential learning through exercises and projects to build employees’ skillsets. This includes skills for roles such as service designers, product owners, data scientists, and front-line workers, with a strong focus on customer experience.

The Academy has helped Tenaga unite its people in the Retail business around a common purpose: to deliver customers a truly world-class experience.

TNB Retail has also embarked on a transformative program to reinvent how its people work together. A “network of teams” model was designed by EY to build on the key principles of customer centricity, accountability and empowerment, all while working as a team.  This new way of working removes a typical top-down management style, enabling employees to deliver faster, better and more effective results for both customers and the business as a whole.

The starting point was defining TNB Retail’s customer segments: large business and government sectors; SMEs and residential customers. This helped to identify how to enhance customer interactions across physical and digital channels, understand customer needs and better meet their differing expectations.

EY’s Customer Experience team then supported Tenaga in establishing its innovation capability, undertaking extensive customer research, and designing, testing and iterating new customer propositions with business and residential customers across solution areas including solar, battery storage and electrical vehicle, energy efficiency and energy advice.

A number of these energy solutions have been piloted and launched, and there is a growing demand for renewables and energy-efficient solutions from both residential and businesses.

Tenaga Retail developed a key customer engagement initiative: myTNB, an app available on a portal platform that has become widely used. The myTNB app now has over 5.3 million subscribers – more than half of the total number of energy customers in Malaysia.

EY experience in design and engineering supported the delivery of new digital services to myTNB users leveraging EY’s UtilityWave Platform, a cloud-based platform that supports new digital services to be developed, tested and iterated with customers.  As a result, customers with a Smart Meter installed at their premises can look forward to new services on the app, namely:

  • Energy Budget that empowers customers to set alerts when they reach a certain level of energy usage, helping them to better manage their monthly consumption.
  • Supply Disruption Alert whereby myTNB users receive alerts when there is any disruption in the supply of electricity, as well as when supply is restored.

Can you tell us about the results achieved?

Notable achievements of the transformation include:

  • The establishment of a new customer-led retail division comprising over 4,500 employees.
  • Segmentation of 9.6 million customers, enabling TNB Retail to better meet their needs.
  • Delivery of new digital services and experiences to customers, with over 1.7 million customers now benefiting from smart meters in their homes, and over 5.3 million of TNB's customers registered and using myTNB app.
  • A growing solutions business, incubating multiple beyond kWh solutions within its innovation hub such as solar, electric vehicles and energy efficiency.
  • The establishment of the Retail Academy, where more than 1,500 employees are learning the new skills and gaining the experiences support the energy transition and grow their careers
  • The introduction of a new agile way of working that facilitates quicker responses to ever changing customer needs.

About Mark Bennett: For nearly 20 years, Bennett has led large transformation programs that have shaped the energy and utility industry in Europe and Asia. Originally from the UK, prior to EY he held senior roles in major consulting firms and insurance firms.