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?
SilverBlaze has created an ebook, titled ‘What can Utility Providers Expect from Consumers and New Technologies in 2019?’, which looks at the major changes set to take place this year. In this blog we look at six of those trends in a quick overview:
1 – Going paperless will improve processes
Streamlining and automating your backend processes is essential if you want your utility to improve efficiencies, cut costs and offer an improved customer experience (CX). That’s why in 2019 your utility needs to go paperless.
A paperless approach will allow you to speed up your revenue cycle, offer self-service support to your customers, improve the customer experience, provide real-time information to your customer support representatives and free your sales team up to focus on higher-value tasks.
2 – Are you ready for the ‘smart home’?
If your still doubting the importance of smart meters, smart devices and smart home technology, then it’s probably the case that the services you are providing your customers are already falling behind those offered by other utility providers.
The growth of smart technology, such as Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa, have disrupted traditional services and left consumers expecting to be constantly connected to all aspects of their life. This disruption has already begun in the utility sector and you can expect further developments in 2019.
3 – Your consumers will expect increased engagement
Just like they expect to be constantly connected with all of their devices, smart technology has also left consumers expecting increased engagement with the companies they invest in – utility providers are no different.
To keep up with customer expectations in 2019, utility providers must become customer-centric and ensure they provide added value such as ebilling, outage notifications, usage data and much more.
4 – AI is disrupting the industry
Artificial intelligence (AI) is now believed to be the biggest disrupter to the technology world, and even utility providers will not be able to avoid the tools it provides. While AI hasn’t transformed the utility industry yet, it’s important to ensure your utility stays up to date with the latest trends – AI technology is moving so fast that if you blink you might miss it.
5 – A service-based model that focuses on customer needs
To seize new market opportunities, utilities must make the switch from traditional commodity-based model towards a service-based model that passes your savings back to the customer. This transition is something the utility sector will see more of in 2019.
6 – Consumers respect environmentally-friendly businesses
In recent years there has been a significant rise in the number of environmentally-friendly businesses, and there’s one main reason for this – because it’s what consumers want from the companies they invest in.
Utility providers who want to keep their customer satisfied in 2019 must transition into a ‘green’ company. Simple changes to processes such as a paperless approach will bring your company’s ideologies in line with the expectations of your customer.
If you want to learn more about these 2019 trends and how your utility can adapt, click the link below and read our 2019 trends ebook or contact us today to speak to our team of experts.