The customer experience is becoming increasingly important in all industries, and utility providers now have a range of reasons for wanting to better engage their customers and offer superior customer service.
In fact, a recent study from Deloitte predicts that utility providers will increasingly invest in new technologies over the next three, five and ten years: “We expect digitalization to increasingly enter the spotlight, as electric power companies map out new ways to deploy rapidly advancing technologies to address challenges and harness opportunities.”
While many consumers still see utilities as a traditional industry, technological changes are well underway for many providers. Utilities are already getting on board with numerous technology trends that allow them to better connect with their customers and offer a modern experience.
SilverBlaze has listed the top four trends here:
1 - Connected devices
Technological innovations have changed the way companies do business, and the internet has helped connect a wide range of products across numerous devices. In the utility industry, the most popular example right now is the smart thermostat.
Smart thermostats empower the customer with information about their energy usage, providing them with data that allows them to make an informed decision to change the way they consume energy within their home.
Through these connected devices utility providers can encourage consumers to be more conscious of their energy usage, helping them to cut down on their carbon footprint and save money at the same time.
It’s not just smart thermostats either. Cisco estimated that internet-connected devices will account for more than half of the world’s 27 billion gadgets by 2021. For utility providers that will include connected water heaters, electric vehicle chargers, pool pumps and much more.
2 - Real-time communication
The connected world also means consumers are now expecting more communication from the companies they do business with, and utility providers are no different. No longer can utility providers send out a monthly letter to their customers and expect them to be content.
Utility providers must implement further, and immediate, communication with their customers through mediums such as push notifications and alerts.
Real-time communication with customers can include anything from outage notifications, ebilling, and detailed data on their monthly energy usage. All these services show customers that your utility is going the extra mile to reduce customer effort, and that your company is working in their best interest.
3 - Workflow automation
With customers demanding answers, seeking information and wanting communication from their utility providers more than ever before, workflow automation is a crucial aspect of a utility provider’s customer experience.
Automated workflows allow utility providers to increase the efficiency and speed in which they work and resolve customer issues, maximize resources in a way that staff can work on more complex issues, as well as create self-service customers that can resolve their own problems.
The SilverBlaze Smart Forms software integrates into your current business practices, and will help your utility automate customer interactions and connect with them on a 24/7 basis.
Applications such as outage reporting, billing notifications, pre-authorized payments and much more, help your company to collect, process and respond to customer queries quickly and efficiently - giving them a customer experience they’ll enjoy.
4 - Partnerships with technology experts
All of these trends have put way more emphasis on one thing, the partnerships that utility providers have with technology experts.
Technology, and connected devices, are now playing a huge role in how utility providers run their business processes and connect with their consumers. Utilities, however, simply don’t have the expertise to create these on their own.
That’s why utility providers are reaching out to specialized tech companies to build the software and products they need for a high-quality customer experience. These partnerships help utility providers to expand their range of services and offer a superior customer experience.
Take SilverBlaze, for example. We work with your utility to give you the tools and information needed to create engaged customers and world-class customer service, resulting in a higher level of customer satisfaction that ultimately improves your bottom line.
Want to learn more about how we can transform your utility’s customer service? Contact us today.