More, and more, utilities - whether in the electric, water, gas, telecom or multi-service utility sector - are faced with consumer choice, to choose between energy sources, alternative energy providers, or competitive networks. This means utility providers increasingly have reason to invest in customer engagement tools and the back-office staff to support it.
But even if your utility is not facing direct or indirect competition today, what if we told you that customer engagement would bring your utility a huge range of other benefits - from significantly cutting down your costs, increasing customer satisfaction and improving your organization’s processes?
Customer engagement is now a key metric of how your utility company is performing. In fact, a survey from GTM Research and EnergySavvy found that utilities engaging in a broader range of customer experience (CX) efforts ranked themselves higher in hitting key measures of value for any utility - such as lower customer cost-to-serve scores and other regulatory proceedings.
The study found that utilities with the best cost-to-serve ratio scored nearly 60 percent higher in customer engagement best practices, while those that reported the best regulatory outcomes scored more than 30 percent higher in customer engagement.
Improving customer satisfaction while cutting costs
Not only does a customer engagement strategy provide a huge opportunity for your company to enhance the customer experience and improve customer satisfaction, but it also gives your utility the chance to eliminate entire categories of costs.
Your utility has a great chance to reduce costs by moving your customers from a call center to a self-service online strategy that puts emphasis on customer engagement, personal interactions and 24/7 support.
This is because customers across all demographics - not just millennials and Gen Z categories - are actively seeking companies that provide their customer service through websites and mobile apps, as opposed to speaking to a live agent.
In fact, a customer survey commissioned by Nuance Enterprise found the majority of respondents thought positively about self-service. The survey found 75 percent of respondents believe self-service is a convenient way to address customer service issues, and 67 percent said they prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative.
These digital aspects have developed from the rest of your consumer’s life, as they deal with an increasingly large number of eCommerce companies that put the customer experience above anything else.
How to build a high-quality customer engagement strategy
Moving away from the traditional processes that your utility has had success with in the past can be difficult, and developing and deploying a successful customer engagement strategy can be even more difficult.
However, it doesn’t have to be. Technology to help progress utility customer engagement has advanced in recent years and that means your company doesn’t have to come up with a solution by itself.
The shift to customer engagement represents a huge opportunity for your utility organization, but it’s important you have the right tools in place to grasp it. That’s where SilverBlaze can help.
How can a customer portal help?
The award-winning Customer Portal for Utilities from SilverBlaze will provide your customers with a one-stop-shop solution that allows them to manage their entire account on one secure website or smartphone application.
From updating personal information, making a payment, receiving outage notifications and learning about their utility usage, a customer portal allows your customers to access and change their account information and resolve their own issues at any time of the day and from any device.
The result? Reduced customer effort, increased self-service, enhanced customer experience and much more.
Ready to learn more about how our innovative and award-winning Customer Portal for Utilities can drive your customer engagement strategy forward? Contact our team of experts today for more information.