Utility providers have faced huge changes in recent years. From ageing infrastructure, the evolution of technology and a rise in challenges from outside the marketplace, utility providers have learnt that they must adapt if they are to survive.
It is, perhaps, the rise in increased customer expectations and keeping the consumer satisfied that has proved to be the biggest challenge of them all.
With industries all across the globe investing an increasingly large sum of money into improving the customer experience, customers are increasingly expecting the same level of service and personal engagement from their utility providers as they get from the likes of innovative companies such as Netflix and Amazon.
It’s no longer enough to provide basic customer support. Utility providers must become customer-centric and create strategic plans that improve the overall customer experience of their organization. This allows them to offer frictionless support across every customer touchpoint, including social media, customer service representatives, self-service and much more.
As a result, utility providers are now required to focus their efforts on continuously improving their customer experience, while at the same time ensuring that they implement cost-effective practices that don’t go over budget.
Redefining the experience for utility customers
The need to improve the customer experience has resulted in utility providers looking for new processes and technologies that can revolutionize how they engage with their customers. This is where automation comes in.
So, what actually is automation? Automation, in its simplest term, is the use of technology to perform a process or procedure with minimal human intervention. Automation can cut out human error, improve operational efficiency and productivity, and make a utility providers’ processes more reliable, cost-effective, streamlined and transparent.
Don’t be mistaken into thinking that this automation replaces humans. It is simply used to aid workers in their job, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks and customer queries that offer higher value to the customer.
Automation is a necessary technology for any utility provider looking to improve the customer experience. By implementing automation for repetitive, high-volume and information-based tasks, your utility can save time and money, while also significantly improving customer satisfaction levels.
What can utility providers automate?
Automation can be used for a wide range of processes in the utility industry, from simple processes to those that are complex. While the processes you’ll need to automate depend on your utility’s corporate strategy, SilverBlaze has listed just a few of those that can be automated below:
Communication with customers: Smart technology has left consumers constantly connected to everything in their lives, including the businesses that they do business with. Utility providers are no different. To keep customers satisfied, utility providers must now provide personalized and frequent communication to their customers, whether that be notifications for temporary outages or usage data information.
Smart meters: Utilities are no longer just a bill on a piece of paper that comes through a customer’s letter box each month. Customers now expect improved engagement and advice on how they can save money and become more energy efficient. Customers with smart meters will receive automated notifications and predicted billing to help them cut down their energy usage. This will position your utility as a partner to the consumer, not just a paid service.
Automate workflows: Automating your workflow through smart forms allows your utility to offer its customers a self-service platform to solve their issues and answer their questions. This, in turn, frees up your customer service department to work on more complex queries, as well as removing the need for inefficient and out-of-date manual practices.
The SilverBlaze Customer Portal offers an automated platform that puts the customer experience first. By providing utility consumers with the self-help tools they need to manage their utility usage, as well as allowing utility providers to engage customers through push notifications and timely service information, the SilverBlaze Customer Portal can transform the experience your company has with your utility.
Want to learn more about how this could work for your utility? Contact our team of experts today for more information.