Historically, power and utility companies had little interaction with customers beyond billing and service matters, but with new technology and the evolution of the smart grid, that is rapidly changing.
PwC released a new customer engagement report that details how utilities should help customers grasp the transformation of the industry and how collaboration and the implementation of a customer-centric business model might benefit both sides.
To harness the power behind unprecedented amounts of data, utilities of the future should have a flexible organizational structure and supporting business process. Companies will use data to inform new product and service development, anticipate market needs, increase customer satisfaction and boost revenue.
Among the key findings and recommendations in the report:
· There’s a culture shift happening in the industry. Power and utilities companies should focus on creating a more collaborative type of customer relationship – one that puts customers at the center of utilities’ business strategies.
· New technology can enable better customer engagement. With smart grid, utilities can better understand what motivates customers – such as flexibility, billing options and lower costs. Successful companies will translate this knowledge into operational benefits.
· Communication is key. Capturing customer-centered opportunities requires the ability to deal with an influx of information – separating the noise from real insights that can help delight customers.
PwC’s report shows that customers want more control over how they consume energy and are willing to partner with their providers to make it happen. Utility companies understand the critical nature of getting closer to their customers. The difference will be where and how these companies choose to make investments in the necessary people, processes, technology and partnerships to implement a customer-centric model.