No customer likes an increase in their bills, especially when they could have limited control over the company they use – like their utility providers. But what if we told you rising energy bills were an opportunity for your utility to improve the utility customer experience?
Rising prices, in theory, are a recipe for unhappy customers, but what if you could minimize that? By focusing on utility customer engagement and education, your utility can ensure that negativity resulting from cost increases, is offset with exceptional customer care and self-services!
It all comes down to building a seamless customer experience with customer utility usage and analytics at the forefront of engagement.
With that in mind, in this blog we’re going to take a look at the current state of the utilities market and why prices are rising, plus some tips on how your utility can turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one.
Are utility prices really that expensive right now?
Absolutely, and your customers can feel it. In fact, current prices around the world are some of the highest energy and electricity prices we’ve seen in recent memory. The UK has been particularly suffering, with energy bills expected to rise a staggering 54 percent in April.
The spike in utility prices is largely down to the record rise in natural gas prices that have occurred over the past couple of months. This is sending utility bills into historic highs for many people around the world, and they are only climbing faster.
In fact, according to an article from NBC News, electricity prices surged 10.7 percent higher in January 2022, when compared with the same time last year. The New York metropolitan area, including the New Jersey cities of Newark and Jersey City, recorded “the biggest increase in electricity prices” in over 50 years in January, said Martin Kohli, the Chief Regional Economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Speaking to NBC News, Julien Dumoulin-Smith, an analyst at Bank of America, said the current prices are some of the “highest energy prices and electricity prices we’ve seen in recent memory, if not ever, depending on the geography. That is hitting consumers right now.”
This, combined with rising inflation across all industries, means that we’re in a difficult time for consumers, with the price of everyday items increasing every month. While these prices can’t be reduced by utility providers, rising costs do give consumers a reason to be frustrated with their utilities.
But, what if utility providers could use this as an opportunity to provide their customers with more engaging, personalized and educational information? That’s where utility usage and analytics comes in.
How utility usage data can be used to enhance the customer experience and mitigate customer concerns
With customers feeling the pinch of rising prices, utility providers have an opportunity to improve the utility customer experience with meaningful, insightful and engaging content that helps customers save money.
By providing customers with both self-service access to their utility accounts, as well as direct notifications when usage is high, utility providers can give their customers the insights they need to make beneficial, cost-saving decisions on how and when they use their utilities.
Through customer usage insights, your utility can improve employee engagement, enhance the utility customer experience, and significantly drive up customer satisfaction levels – all while making a proactive effort to help your customers save money. What’s there to lose?
Ready to learn more about the importance of utility usage analytics, or how the SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities can help you deliver usage data in a personalized and engaging manner? Get in touch with our team of utility customer experience specialists today.