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At first glance, water seems like one of Earth’s most renewable resources. It falls from the sky when it rains, it surrounds us in oceans, it’s inside glaciers and icebergs and it covers a staggering 70 per cent of the world’s surface.

However, there’s a problem. Around 97.5 per cent of seawater is unfit for human consumption, and with populations and temperatures rising around the world the freshwater reserves that we do have are under severe pressure.

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Now, more than ever before, customers are expecting more from their utility providers. In order to meet their expectations, the future of utilities must be focused on providing a superior customer experience as well as opportunities for customers to engage with their provider on their terms.

If you’re looking for information on how your utility can prepare to meet - and exceed - the needs of your next generation of customers, SilverBlaze is here to help. 

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If you read the first part of our blog on water conservation, titled ‘Why Water Conservation is Important and how Consumers can cut Down on Their Usage’, then you will know that we recently explored the issues surrounding water waste and how consumers can cut down on their water usage.

But, how exactly can your utility help? This is where your conservation and demand management program comes in.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) states that a minimum of 25 litres of water per day is required to meet the basic needs of any human. However, in the US the per capita use is ten times that, averaging at 262 litres per day. Meanwhile, Canada is not much better at around 251 litres per person.

It’s clear that the average household in North America currently uses an excessive amount of water, but surely there’s no harm in wasting water - is there? Unfortunately there is, and if we continue to keep wasting water at our current rate it will have huge consequences for our future generations.

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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. 

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If your utility is struggling to meet customer expectations and is becoming overwhelmed with back-end inefficiencies, it’s probably time to make digital transformation a top priority in 2019.

No matter what technology you intend to implement, whether it be an innovative customer portal, smartphone notifications or ebilling, a digital transformation can completely revolutionize how your company operates. 

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Utility providers have traditionally been slow when it comes to implementing new technology, mainly due to a lack of competition in the marketplace. This lag behind other sectors has meant a large number of utility providers are now struggling to meet increasing consumer expectations.

However, in recent years this has changed and utility providers are now investing into both customer-facing and back-end technologies. These new tools will only change the way utility providers operate even further in 2019. So, what do utility providers need to look out for this year? 

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The digital economy and new technologies are changing the way utility providers must serve and engage with their customers, and those who keep up with new trends will not only realize significant benefits but will be in a position to offer a superior customer experience.

However, simply implementing a few modern technologies into your business does not drive innovation within the utility industry.

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An important goal for any utility provider is to ensure that they have an ongoing strategy to reduce energy consumption and that it has a successful plan in place for managing conservation and demand.

Not only is this important for utility providers when it comes to saving money and becoming more efficient, but it’s also now an essential part of the customer experience.

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Digital innovations are not only influencing customer expectations when it comes to business-to-consumer communication, but they are also changing the way businesses must operate if they are to deliver a service that makes a profit and satisfies the customer.

Due to a lack of competition within the market, the utility industry has largely lagged behind other sectors when it comes up adopting innovative new technologies and building a superior customer service. That’s all changing. 

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