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How utilities can power up CX

Published on 21 Feb 2020

Until now, utility providers haven’t had to invest too much in customer experience (CX). Rather, their focus has been on investing in projects and technologies to upgrade their infrastructure and reduce operational costs.

But, this is no longer enough to ensure success and remain competitive in today’s dynamic, digital marketplace. Customers are becoming accustomed to a certain level of service, based on their interactions with providers in other industries. 

We have selected three articles that delve into the opportunities and challenges this sector is facing when meeting customer expectations and delivering a better customer experience in utilities.

To end off, our customer experience expert, Mia Papanicolaou, shares some great insight into how utilities can leverage digital communication to ensure a great CX – a link to her latest blog post is also included for further reading.

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Opportunities for electric utilities: CX shifting the balance of power

It’s the era of CX, yet studies show that energy consumers are not satisfied with the experience they receive from their suppliers. “Energy consumers around the world suggest that the customer experience provided by energy suppliers is mediocre at best,”research by IDC.

A shortage of skills in the energy field only compounds the CX challenge. But there is a light at the end of this tunnel – the shift to becoming more customer-centric has given rise to ‘experience management’ (XM) – which involves data and the “intelligent technologies to gather, interpret and act upon it”. With the ultimate goal being, to shape both the customer and employee experiences and enable innovation and growth in the sector.

Read further to learn more about how XM is allowing energy businesses to deliver more value to both their employees and customers.  

 

How Digital Technology Is Reshaping CX And Operations In The Utility Sector

This article uncovers the results of a survey of local leaders in the Australian utility sector – it shows that there is a focus on enhancing the customer experience in utilities, as well as improving operational efficiencies. It is noted that customer services is also a core area of focus and one that will see a radical transformation in this sector.

This article also discusses the findings of a report:  “Digital Transformation in the Australian Utilities Sector” – including an interesting comment by Gartner on how the role of the customer has evolved. They are no longer “captive ratepayers,” instead, they can switch providers or choose to generate their own power – the result of a now deregulated sector. 

Are these utilities ready for this new era of ‘consumer-led change’? Read further to learn more.

 

  • Publisher: Which-50
  • Access: Public
  • Download: None

Powering Up the Customer Experience in Utilities

This great article from Bain explores the challenges the utility sector is facing in developing a more customer-centric approach – bringing customer experience to the fore and ensuring continuous improvements in this area.

It’s about learning what customers value most and making every effort to meet their expectations. A nice graphic displays how the different aspects of customer experience score in terms of their ability to disappoint or delight. 

Read further to learn why executives fail at customer experience. And some good tips on how to ensure a customer-centric approach, based on Bain’s analysis of a selection of forward-thinking utilities.

 

A comment from our digital customer experience expert:

The best place to make an impact on CX is in digital customer communication.

In many cases, the only communication sent to customers is the monthly bill, so utilities can start by improving the communications customers already receive.

Customers expect to engage digitally with their utility provider and in a manner that is meaningful to their circumstances. Utilities should consider replacing the paper bill with a digital one that includes valuable data and insights that are personalized to the customer’s activity.

Receiving information that is relevant and personalized is already a major improvement in customer experience. This provides a strong foundation on which to build a better relationship based on trust.

 

Mia Papanicolaou

COO, Americas

I recently wrote this blog post: “Utilities need to turn off paper and offer innovative digital solutions to enhance CX. “ You may find it an interesting read.

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