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Companies operating in the utility industry face challenges on a wide range of fronts. Customer service and the customer experience (CX) has rapidly moved to the top of that list, with today’s customers demanding more from their utility providers than they have ever before, in large part due to the pandemic. 

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In an on-demand world where customers can access information at their fingertips, one of the most transformative ways to improve the utility customer experience is through the introduction of self-service options.

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As the human population and its demand for resources continues to grow globally, so does the necessity for utility providers to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. This can be achieved through the creation of conservation and demand management strategies.

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Today, customers are always expecting high-quality customer service offerings from all of the companies that they do business with. A superior customer experience (CX) is now crucial to customer satisfaction. 

Research from McKinsey’s Journey Pulse survey in utilities shows that delivering stand-out moments that go above and beyond customers’ expectations can lead to dramatically higher satisfaction.

Yet, utilities typically lag behind other industries in creating these “wow” moments, with just 33 percent of utility customers experiencing one of these experiences in the past year as compared with 58 percent for airlines, for example.

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Smart meters and advanced metering infrastructure tools are valuable assets for both your utility and your customers, yet many customers still don’t fully understand exactly what they are and how they benefit their life. 

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In the past and still till this day, the utility sector has not been renowned for providing superior customer experiences (CX) to delight their customers. 

In fact, it was often the case that utility providers had little interaction with their customers. With virtually no competition in the industry and no choice for customers, utilities delivered adequate customer service but did not prioritise the customer experience. The only time utility customers interacted with their provider was for billing matters and service calls. Not exactly two conversations that leave the customer feeling delighted with a utility’s service offering.

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Two main objectives come to mind when utilities want to improve business -  firstly, they want to improve operational efficiencies so that they can better allocate their internal resources and save costs. Secondly, they want to build better customer experiences and improve customer satisfaction.

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The concept of on-demand consumer services has grown exponentially in the last few years. On-demand TV and movies are entrenched in the home entertainment industry, e-commerce is soon expected to overtake physical retail (if it hasn’t already) and the public transportation industry has been hugely disrupted by on-demand apps.

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COVID-19 made a dramatic impact on our lives and continues to do so. Stay-at-home orders, social distancing and how we engage with the organizations we do business with has changed our day-to-day interactions. 

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It has become quite well-known that the utility industry has traditionally been slower to embrace newer technologies and innovative solutions due to a lack of competition. After all, why invest money into new offerings when your business has little-to-no competition within your market?

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