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Our Website is Mobile Responsive, Is That Good Enough?

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Our Website is Mobile Responsive, Is That Good Enough?

  • On average, satisfaction increases 8% as customers become aware of a utility’s mobile app.
  • Utility mobile app usage increases customer satisfaction another 7%.
  • Highly satisfied customers are +2x more likely to stay with their utility if offered a choice. *

These are staggering insights. 

Confirming what many utilities should already know: improving self-service options through digital experiences ­­– particularly a mobile app – must be at the heart of your customer satisfaction strategy.

You check all the boxes – online bill-pay, account management, outage map, start-stop-move. You made changes to the website to ensure it’s easy to find a customer service phone number. Maybe you even recently redesigned your website to be mobile responsive. If your digital strategy offers all these tools, you’re likely ahead of your peers and that’s fantastic. But unfortunately, as J.D. Power has found, "Utilities [are] among [the] lowest-performing industries in digital.” **

But, times are changing. 

Relegating digital customer experience efforts to your under-funded digital marketing team, barely supported with hard-fought, sporadic IT initiatives – isn’t a strategy. Digital customer experience must become a central, executive-sponsored, long-term focus for your organization.

Ultimately, the strength of your customer relationships will define your future. All of your marketing and customer service efforts should be solely focused on creating, strengthening and maintaining these relationships.

While your website should be the foundation of your digital customer experience strategy – and it needs to be mobile optimized (not just responsive) – your mobile app should be the foundation of your self-service strategy. This is important. Your website plays an essential role in presenting the depth and breadth of your brand, guiding prospects to sign-up, enabling essential education and supporting trade partners, for example, but as a true existing customer relationship toolset, nothing beats your mobile app.

A successful mobile app strategy requires that you launch a robust enough and performant initial toolset and use all your customer touch points to promote it, drive installs and incentivize and compel consistent use. Like all digital efforts, mobile apps require a fundamental shift to iterative, customer-centric design and a regular cadence of improvement and innovation. That means you need a mix of internal resources and partners with expertise in:

  • Digital experience strategy
  • Customer research and insight distillation
  • Mobile user experience and design
  • Analytics, personalization and optimization
  • iOS and Android development
  • Notification and messaging strategy
  • Modern service layer architecture

In my experience, once organizations have made the decision to take digital customer experience seriously and have been able to fund either a full mobile app or an initial proof of concept to build excitement and internal buy-in, the largest challenges to launching are organizational and IT readiness. Motivated and funded teams can start with an internally staffed team or with a strong partner to help build internal expertise over time. But system readiness for mobile - or lack of readiness - especially authentication, payment, CRM/account management, outage and enrollments can stop or significantly delay a mobile app project in its tracks.  

Whether you dream of transforming your organization into a digital customer experience leader or you have a “good enough” website and mobile app but you know they could be delivering much more value to your customers and organization, you’re on the right track! Customer satisfaction and loyalty are at the heart of your business, it’s time you start truly acting like it. A rich mobile app that enables that long list of self-service needs your customers are clamoring for is a great place to start.

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https://mg.mindgrub.com/hubfs/Blog_Images/Engaging-Utility-Customers-in-the-Digital-Age.pdf

** https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/jd-power-2018-utility-digital-experience-study

Marko  Muellner's picture

Thank Marko for the Post!

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