Smart Homes. Smart Members. Smart Solutions.
- June 11, 2019
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What is customer care? It’s become a buzzword in the utility industry, really serving as a stand in for understanding energy consumers and serving them as efficiently as possible.
One avenue for enhancing customer service is technology. Traditional technology solutions have enhanced the utility office, from accounting and billing to customer service and resource tracking. Technology has now breached the walls of the utility and landed in the hands of energy consumers in the form of web interactions, mobile apps and now smart-home devices.
More and more homes are adding smart home technology, most of them in the form of devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home. These devices have changed the way customers interact with technology, and how utility organizations can interact with their consumers.
“What Google Home and Amazon Alexa allow us to do is bring technology down to the end Member and Customer,” said Nate Boettcher, senior product line manager for National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC). “People are already using these devices to check the weather or get directions, so it’s a very natural extension for them to ask their utility provider to offer something like this.”
Energy consumers can access their provider directly through their smart home device. These devices allow a number of functions to be performed, including retrieving their bill balance, checking on outages, getting any news alerts from their provider and even paying a bill through a stored-payment option.
Technology can be a big driver of customer care, whether it’s through a smart home device, a mobile app or a website. Technology can give your customers a choice in how they communicate with you, which is critical in efficient communications and customer satisfaction.