Revolutionising Customer Experience (CX) in Energy & Utilities: Leveraging Digital Innovation and Personalisation
In the dynamic world of Energy & Utilities (E&U), Customer Experience (CX) has emerged as a critical factor for driving success and differentiation. With shifting customer expectations and the increased adoption of renewable energy within the domestic and non-domestic segments, E&U companies need to prioritise CX to stay competitive.
This blog explores the transformative power of Digital Innovation and Personalisation in revolutionising customer experience within the E&U sector. By embracing technological advancements and leveraging customer data, E&U companies can create tailored and seamless experiences that empower customers to take control of their usage and create stickiness.
The latest Ofgem Market compliance report (MCR) in Feb 2023 highlighted that customer service is not good enough. Some examples are:
- Incomplete communications to customers in relation to complaints, inconsistent scripts for staff handling complex calls
- High waiting time (for eg. call numbers have risen by 300% in some suppliers)
- Phone calls not picked up causing customers to hang up (for eg. upto 50% customers giving up and hanging up as calls not answered)
- High rate of customer complaints upheld by Energy Ombudsman
- Handling vulnerable customers, pre-payment category customers
E&U companies are extensively adopting new technologies such as ‘Digital Home Assistants’ and ‘Personalised Apps’ to understand their customer behaviour and integrate the customer usage data in all aspects of their operations. However, delivering a great customer experience continues to be a challenge.
Embrace Digital Transformation: E&U companies must embrace digital transformation to deliver seamless and personalised experiences to their customers. By leveraging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data & Analytics (D&A) and Smart devices (Smart Meters, IoT, 5G) these companies can offer real-time insights, personalised recommendations and efficient self-service options. Investing in digital platforms and user-friendly interfaces enables customers to access and manage their energy usage with ease, fostering a positive Customer Experience (CX).
Proactive Communication and Transparency: Proactive and transparent communication is key to building trust with customers. E&U companies should provide clear and timely information regarding outages, service disruptions, maintenance, tariff changes and billing. Implementing automated notifications through multiple channels, including mobile apps, emails and SMS, helps customers stay informed and minimise inconvenience.
Additionally, empowering customers with tools to monitor and understand their energy usage as well communicate with E&U companies using their choice of communication medium promotes transparency and builds trust.
Offer Personalised Energy Solutions: In the era of renewable energy, customers are increasingly seeking customised energy solutions that align with their values and preferences. E&U companies should leverage Customer Data to offer personalised recommendations for reducing consumption, energy-efficient upgrades, renewable energy programs (such as heat pumps, EV charging), and pricing plans tailored to individual needs. By demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and offering flexible options, companies can create a positive CX and strengthen customer loyalty.
Enable Self-Service and Automation: Empowering customers with self-service capabilities and automation tools enhances convenience and efficiency. E&U companies should provide user-friendly portals and mobile apps that enable customers to Self-Serve for eg. track energy usage, raise complaints, contact in emergency situations and make payments easily. Automating routine processes, such as meter readings and billing, reduces customer effort and improves overall satisfaction. Additionally, implementing chatbots or virtual assistants can address customer queries promptly and enhance CX round the clock.
Prioritise Customer Feedback and Continuous Improvement: Actively seeking and acting upon customer feedback is crucial for E&U companies to understand customer needs and preferences. Regular surveys, feedback mechanisms, and social listening tools enable E&U companies to gather insights and identify areas for improvement. By incorporating customer feedback into decision-making processes, companies can adapt their services, products, and processes to better meet customer expectations, ultimately leading to an enhanced CX.
In an evolving landscape driven by renewable energy and changing customer expectations, E&U companies must prioritise Customer Experience (CX) to thrive. By embracing digital transformation, fostering transparent communication, offering personalised solutions, enabling self-service, and actively seeking customer feedback, these E&U companies can create exceptional experiences that drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and long-term success.