Customers are used to receiving a personalized and responsible service in their daily interactions with brands like Amazon and Netflix, which have fundamentally elevated what customers expect from all of their business relationships. It’s because of this that utility providers are putting more effort into improving the customer experience than ever before.
According to a new report from Utegration and Utility Dive, Use Customer Experience to Accelerate Energy Transition Success, utility providers are making strategic changes to improve the customer experience they deliver.
The report states:
“For decades, utility leaders often didn’t even use the word customer, preferring instead to refer to ratepayers, loads, or meters. That clinical view of customers was reflected in the importance utilities placed in engaging and satisfying customers – it just wasn’t a priority.”
“Today, many utilities have profoundly changed the way they view customers. In fact, a survey of utility leaders published in Harvard Business Review found that 62 percent put improving the customer experience as a top business priority - placing it ahead of increasing revenues, organizational agility, and cost reductions.”
So, what are utility providers doing to improve the customer experience in 2022 and beyond? We’ve summarized the findings of the report to give you a quick overview of what is driving world-class customer experiences for the utility industry today.
Technology Plays a Critical Role
The report found that providing more relevant and personalized experiences to customers is central to engagement and can be realized through improved use of technology.
Utility providers have made it easier for customers to contact them via a range of digital channels in order to report outages, pay a bill or ask questions. Technology has enabled improved customer engagement, and as a result, led to improved customer satisfaction.
For example, here at SilverBlaze our Customer Portal for Utility Providers has dramatically improved the customer experience by enabling utilities to provide their customers with all of the self-help tools they need to manage their account on one simple-to-use customer portal.
Customers are Driving Transition in the Energy Sector
Customers are increasingly driving change in the energy sector, as we move toward cleaner energy and more sustainable practices.
The report states: “The power system is rapidly moving from a centralized, hub-and-spoke configuration in which large power plants send electrons in one direction to a system that includes an increasing amount of clean distributed energy resources (DER) located at customer homes and businesses.”
The Utility Sector is Moving Toward Cloud-based Technologies
In a bid to continually improve customer relationships through use of technology, while still controlling business costs, many utility providers are making the transition to cloud-based technologies.
In fact, Accenture reported that 84 percent of utilities have implemented cloud SaaS solutions. The report also noted that less than 50 percent of “lower-performing” utilities use the cloud.
Utilities are transitioning to the cloud for a number of reasons, including:
- A greater ability to deliver a world-class customer experience
- To save money
- To improve data security
- To fuel new innovation within the business.
Interested in learning more about how your utility can deliver a seamless, and engaging, customer experience? Get in touch with the SilverBlaze team today. We’re ready to help you build stronger, and more successful, customer relationships.