It’s a new breed of customers for the Energy and Utility (E&U) industry. Digitally savvy customers ride high on expectations in a deregulated market. Operational efficiency at optimal costs is par for the course, they assert. To them, customer service is a default expectation. How high and differentiated can you go on personalized customer experiences? they ask.
The realities of customer loyalty confronting today’s E&U companies are undoubtedly formidable. Customer acquisition costs continue to be high. Equally high are the opportunity costs that are lost when a customer exits. Retention costs, however, are comparably low. With the emergence of digital technologies, social engagement techniques and advanced analytics, the possibilities of frictionless and personalized customer experiences seem more possible.
The customer journey is a sum of many individual touchpoints, and utilities will do well to address the entire journey in providing omni-channel experiences. A digital approach provides efficient integration of omni-channel experiences, social engagement and emerging technologies.
However, a strong digital strategy calls for leveraging technology tools and services that are self-learning and capable of incisive analysis for sharp insights. Can smart meters recommend and predict periods that will optimize costs and efficiency for the consumer – besides bringing simplicity and transparency in billing? Can tools and platforms be embedded with self-service analytics to adapt to individual business processes? Can internet of things and machine learning define evolutionary customer experiences, and augment operational efficiency and end-user experience?
The answers to these questions will be the ultimate litmus test of digital operations in utilities. Companies have to re-define day-to-day operations in a manner that enables products and tools at every customer touchpoint and process stage to be self-learning in generating action-inducing insights. Simultaneously, digital governance will need to balance emerging opportunities and risks to establish clear accountability for digital strategies, policies and standards.
It is an exciting era that is unfolding today – one that brings together new-age energy consumers, marketplaces, models and workforce. And the curve will keep changing. As consumers become more discerning prosumers, providers must nimbly transform processes and models. Digital provides utilities a rapid and self-learning agility to keep pace with ever-changing customer and market demands. Additionally, a well-designed social media strategy can help utilities analyze customer sentiments in real time and drive sustainable outcomes.
NelsonHall has ranked WNS as a Leader in its NEAT vendor evaluation report for overall customer experience in energy and utilities. The report highlights WNS’ ability to deliver immediate benefits and meet future client requirements on the strength of its domain expertise, analytics and automation capabilities, advanced commercial models and digital channel enablement.
To read the detailed report, Click here