A new report released by Capgemini, titled ‘Energy & Utilities: Operating in the New Normal’, has laid out some of the key considerations that energy and utility companies need to take into account when it comes to mitigating risk and seizing opportunities in the post-pandemic world.
The study lays out the importance, and increased demand, for remote workers in the utility industry. It’s more crucial than ever before that utilities make a teleworking policy that “addresses the needs and preferences of their employees, while maintaining high standards for productivity, efficiency and quality”.
Meanwhile, Capgemini notes that utilities should pay particular attention to both short-term and long-term curve trends as stay-at-home orders and the lift of lockdowns will result in fluctuations and uncertainty to both residential and commercial energy usage.
One thing that is for certain however, is the continued progression of, and moving towards, the digitization of processes – something noted in the report. To truly succeed and satisfy customers in 2020 and onward, utility providers must reevaluate their digital transformation plans.
What is Digitization?
Digitization is the integration of technologies into all areas of operation to improve the efficiency of those processes. Technologies such as customer portals, smart forms, artificial intelligence, cloud-based software and many others, will transform both how your company operates, as well as the level of service that you are able to provide your customers.
Unfortunately, however, many utility providers are reluctant to digitize their operations. Utility leaders are generally hesitant to invest money into new technologies and operational changes when there is a lack of competition (often none at all) within their market.
“The current health crisis has demonstrated that some processes and operations throughout the value chain, including plant maintenance, safety controls, energy trading, client relationship management and support, finance and marketing, could be done virtually,” reads the Capgemini report.
“This realization will certainly accelerate sector-wide digitization. At the same time, some organizations may experience resistance as employees fear transitioning to new roles and employers struggle to manage the digital transformation agenda.”
While there may be some hesitation from utility providers to digitize certain aspects of their company, the benefits are undeniable. Digitizing your processes can bring your business cost savings, improved operational efficiencies, encourage customer self-service, improve the overall customer experience and much more.
Here are just a few tips that will help you rethink the digitization strategy for your utility, and improve the customer experience.
Optimize workflows through automation: Your customer service team is probably bogged down with requests and customer queries, so why is that department still wasting time doing everything manually? You can digitally transform the operational efficiencies of your customer service team by giving them the tools – such as smart forms – they need to automate the process. This will lead to a better customer experience, improved customer satisfaction and significant cost savings.
Develop self-service channels: Your organization wants to save money by improving how it operates, and your customers want better experiences by accessing, managing and changing their information on their preferred device. Self-service is the future and technologies such as the SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities help you achieve that. By implementing a customer portal solution, your utility can deliver account change information, outage notifications, utility usage analytics and much more directly into your customers hands.
Are you a utility provider looking to implement new technologies that will transform your digitization strategy and drive a superior customer experience? Contact SilverBlaze today. We would love to help you develop better customer touch points that drive operational efficiencies.