The utility landscape has been changing dramatically over the past few years. No longer do customers want their utility provider to be just a name they see on their monthly bill. Consumers expect increased communications, better customer engagement, and more advice and control on their utility usage.
Real issues - such as using cleaner energy sources, reducing carbon footprints, keeping customer bills low and climate action - are no longer for the reserved few. Today’s general population want their utility providers to address all of the above, and much more.
This gives utility providers the opportunity to do something they have never done before.
By introducing new methods that improve information communications and the overall customer experience (CX), utilities can take on a leadership role - helping customers to achieve financial goals, not just viewing usage data, but improving controls over their usage as well.
What Does Taking a Leadership Role Mean for Utility Providers?
Issues such as reducing energy consumption, climate change, water shortages and alternative energy sources are becoming increasingly popular around the world. Customers now want to take action, making small changes to their lifestyle in an effort to change the current direction of the world.
Take water, for example. In our blog titled ‘Day Zero: Why Your Utility Must Focus on Water Conservation’, we touched on the worldwide water crisis and how it’s essential for utility providers to implement successful conservation and demand management programs.
These global issues have made both consumers and businesses alike reconsider how they consume energy and market their products.
These consumer movements have not gone unnoticed. Being environmentally-friendly and helping customers to adapt their lifestyle in a way that helps the environment will put some businesses far beyond its competitors.
Utility providers are no different. By thinking about these topics and taking a leadership role where they help advise their customers on how to achieve their goals, utility providers will be able to significantly improve their customer experience and satisfaction metrics.
What can utility providers do to take a leadership role?
There are a wide range of policies and strategies that utility providers can implement to become industry leaders. Below, SilverBlaze has listed the top two ways in which utility providers can take on a leadership role:
1 - Helping Customers Monitor Their Utility Usage Data
Energy usage data is all around us. Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and smart meters provide utilities with all the information that they need to help customers monitor, evaluate and make changes to their utility usage.
Through the collection of this information, utility providers are able to send real-time, insightful utility usage data and analytics - helping customers to understand patterns in their utility usage and make changes that help them achieve both their environmental goals, as well as their financial targets.
2 - Implement a Successful Conservation and Demand Management Program
A conservation and demand management program is about making a proactive effort to reduce utility usage during peak hours, as well as educating utility customers about how they can make better utility usage decisions.
To do this successfully, your company needs to do the following:
- provide information to customers that helps to encourage change
- use educational initiatives that encourage customers to use less energy
- provide new technologies and tools that help customers to monitor their data better
Once you have achieved this, your utility will take on a leadership role - leading to happier customers and greater trust.
How an Investment into a Customer Portal will Help Utilities
The SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities has been specifically designed to revolutionize how utility providers connect with their customers. Through innovative engagement tools, such as online billing, notifications and alerts and usage data, your utility can become a partner with its customers - not just a monthly bill.
By delivering advice, educational content and accurate data on a regular basis, your utility will be in a unique position to help its customers live the lifestyle they want.
Looking for more information on how to position your utility in a leadership role, and, in the process, significantly improving your customer experience? Contact the SilverBlaze team of customer engagement specialists today.