How to serve the new energy consumer
As consumer preferences continue to evolve and the energy marketplace grows in scope and complexity, engaging consumers will become increasingly important. Whether energy providers focus on improving customer satisfaction, acquiring new consumers, retaining existing consumers, driving behavior change or extending beyond the commodity, consumer engagement will be at the center of these strategies. However, building long-term satisfaction and loyalty increasingly requires innovative approaches that go beyond the traditional energy experience.
New channels, new devices and new types of interaction are creating a new landscape for utilities. Facing this proliferation of options, utilities have an opportunity to create a channel mix dominated by mobile and Web self-service. Doing so not only delivers on the changing preferences of consumers but also can address a range of operational and efficiency goals.
‘Anytime, anywhere’ is the service mantra of many energy consumers today. Increasingly, consumers prefer the convenience of self-service and Web-enabled channels for a wide range of interactions.
Historically, many utilities have appraised self-service initiatives based primarily on cost reduction. However, with the rise in consumers’ desire to proactively manage their own transactions, self-service becomes a key determinant of customer satisfaction and loyalty, serving as a primary enabler in developing and maintaining customer relationships. Further, the impact of near-real-time usage information, energy management and new value propositions that include home monitoring will feed the growing consumer appetite for 24/7 service. With this in mind, new capabilities through self-service are becoming increasingly important to help shift the interaction mix.