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Wanted: CX Modernization Stories

In today’s customer-centric business landscape, companies that don’t keep pace with the needs of those they serve find themselves on the path to certain trouble. A few years ago, Forbes writer, Steven Denning, pointed out that the life expectancy of a firm in the Fortune 500 was around 75 years. Today, it’s less than 15 years and declining. Companies with innovation strategies and capabilities that give customers the best experience possible are better poised for longevity and prosperity.

In the utility industry, this is true for both utility companies and the vendors that serve them. While failure is not acceptable, utilities are now expected to evolve the customer experience (CX) in tandem with other more “daring” businesses that accept a certain amount of failure as a “learning tool”. To call this daunting is an understatement, so utility companies often lean on product and service providers for help. This means that vendors don’t have to just know their customers (utility companies), they need to understand the deepest desires of their customers’ customers and use this knowledge to evolve their own businesses ahead of the pack. The ability to do this well separates the most valuable vendors from the go-home-early crowd.

Throughout December, we would like to hear from utilities with CX modernization questions, analysts with data-backed opinions and vendors about how they are staying ahead of CX modernization trends (think “case study synopsis”, not sales pitch, please). 

Ready...set... “add to the discussion” below.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on December 4, 2018

When it comes to knowing the customer and giving them what they want/need, the push into smart home products come to mind. Not only will the increased 'smarting' of home energy products allow customers to more finely control the energy usage of their home, but we're certainly moving into a world where those products will be able to interact with utilities in new and exciting ways to save customers energy and increase efficiencies across a utility's customer base. These products represent a win-win for consumers and utilities, and I know some are specifically seeking out ways to educate and assist their customers in adding such smart appliances to their home-- conEdison is one that specifically comes to mind

Maria DeChellis's picture
Maria DeChellis on December 6, 2018

Two of the key factors that have presented a challenge to keeping up with customer experience/expectation goals is technology and deployment.  Historically, 12 to 24-month projects burn out utilities and customer experience projects wound up getting relegated to a Phase 2 that never arrived.  Secondly, on-premise customer applications were another source of pain as it involved more utility divisions and workstreams to get deployed.  The movement to SaaS applications like Oracle DSS and Customer Cloud Service mean that utilities can stand customer experience applications up quickly - and an incremental approach to deployment due to shortened timelines for implementation gives utilities the opportunity to show these changes sooner.  

While the 'cloud' isn't the answer to every question, it certainly is the answer to a lot of them!

John Boland's picture
John Boland on December 7, 2018

Since the bill the primary touchpoint utilities have with customers, we are seeing utilities modernizing the CX by doing away with disparate systems for billing, payments and customer communications and moving to a single Cloud platform approach. In a whitepaper that we published, 4 Benefits of a Single Customer Platform for Utility Billing, Payments & Customer Communications Management (CCM), 81% of customers say a seamless experience would influence them to buy additional products and services.

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