Cutting to the chase: The clarion call for delivering digital customer experiences has never been so strong for the energy and water providers.
In a world where customer experience (CX) rules have been written by the likes of Amazon and Uber, the other industry behemoths are now trying to play catchup. And thanks to the growing numbers of digital natives, the focus on CX is now becoming a business imperative. End customers today, expect energy & water providers to deliver the same level of convenience and ease as offered by the other tech giants and are less willing to tolerate poor customer service.
This industry is rather unique with millions dependent on it for basic services. Most customers perceived little control over the type of relationship, they would have with their energy & water provider. Now the situation has undergone a dramatic shift in a short time.
Already digitally disrupted industries such as financial services or retail rode on the digital wave and offered innovative solutions to its end customers. Mirroring the same service levels, customers demand energy and water providers for choice, control, and convenience at their fingertips. No longer will they wait or call the customer service representative to perform a range of tasks be it bill payment, raising queries or viewing their payment history.
Here’s where digital customer experience comes into the picture. By offering a robust self-service platform, the service providers can change the paradigm of their customer engagement. And all this while reducing their operational expenses. From a simple-to-navigate web portal to a mobile application, these self-service options make it easier for customers to interact with the businesses. In a couple of clicks, customers can perform a plethora of tasks be it- view & report outages, make bill payments, set notification alerts, raise and track services requests and others. Not only this- a digital platform opens new avenues for customer communications. Powered by channels such as email, text, IVR or push notifications, a customer has an option to choose and set up his notification preference center. This, in turn, creates a multi-channel, real-time communication ecosystem between a service provider and the customer, enabling bi-directional interactions.
Shifting our focus to the workforce- the prime agents, facilitating in-person interactions with the service providers.
These interactions should be more than just satisfactory—they need to be excellent. Equipping the workforce with right and powerful digital platforms can go a long way in creating customer delight. When the field worker has real-time information (courtesy-digital platforms), they can communicate with customers in a knowledgeable way that fosters best-in-class service. For service providers, it also means improved productivity and efficiency of their field personnel.
But what can energy and water providers gain by going digital? It is safe to say that digital means futureproofing. The industry isn’t immune to digital disruption and as the industry pundits say- It is either Evolve or Wither. By crafting digital customer experience, the providers build connected customer and workforce journeys. In turn, fostering loyalty and positively impacting the bottom line.
It is not just about reinventing the customer experience. One can’t overlook the active conversations, happening globally, around saving energy & water and the role of these industry players in leading the initiative. With digital technologies acting as catalysts, providers can bring about the much-desired change and spur the sustainability movement. These digital channels can be leveraged to promote environmental stewardship. Providers can easily educate customers, send personalized saving programs and rebates, facilitate usage comparison between masses and generate savings, all at scale.
Now that it is evident, crafting a digital customer experience is not only a necessity but a game-changer for the service providers. Never too late to join the digital bandwagon.
Join Smart Energy Water, Jemena, Western Power, and The Energy Charter in the upcoming webinar and know how to engage, educate and empower energy and water customers to contribute to global sustainability through digital customer experience and workforce engagement platforms driven by AI/ ML/ IOT analytics.