Rob brings over 18 years of industry experience in technology marketing – both direct and channel, to his position at Quadient. Previously, Rob led Marketing at Avaya Canada, go to market for medium businesses at Dell Canada and brings marketing, finance, manufacturing and logistics experience from his time at Maple Leaf Foods. An avid composer and musician, Rob continues to combine digital and social media to drive awareness and consideration in the B2B marketplace. Rob holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business.
Energy companies are facing an uncertain future – disruption is everywhere.
New technology developments, changes in policies and regulations, and structural changes leading to the rise of new competition are forcing energy companies to redefine their operating models as well as the relationship that they have with their customers.
But change isn’t easy for energy companies.
The energy industry is typically a slow moving one. Investments tend to be highly capital-intensive. There are complex regulatory requirements. And utilities cannot easily innovate without involving other players in the overall value chain.
Sounds insurmountable, right?
So where do you start?
By focusing on improving the customer experience.
Why focusing on customer experience is key
Fundamental transformation and business model innovation in the energy industry can take years to complete. Focusing on improving the customer experience to gain a competitive advantage and impact the bottom line is a safer, quicker bet.
Because better customer communications such as relevant, data-driven, omni-channel communications are often the easiest, most expedient way of improving the customer experience, especially in regulated industries.
Digital technology is opening the door for better CX
Digital opportunities are opening for utility companies to redefine products and services, support decentralized energy production, and build deeper customer relationships by moving from an energy-asset-based focus to a more customer-centric focus.
Power companies can use digital technology to improve the customer experience and build more profitable customer relationships.
Trends that support a customer-centric approach
It’s not just one or two trends that are supporting the argument for energy companies to focus more attention on a customer-centric approach. Here are just a few of the reasons why many industry analysts believe enhancing the CX experience will lead to positive outcomes.
1) Consumers today are changing their behaviours and demanding more relevant interactions with their utility providers.
2) The rise of mobile capabilities such as smart thermostats and energy consumption analysis.
3) Ability to collect and analyze big data and then leverage it to create personalized customer communications.
4) Access to geolocation analytics to interpret weather patterns and produce notifications to inform customers.
Four ways these trends could impact CX
If energy companies accept the trends mentioned above as the dawn of the new reality they will next need to consider the impact and influence these trends will have on their CX efforts in the future.
Many industry insiders agree that some of the ways these trends will shape the landscape going forward include:
1. Omni-channel: energy companies will need to use new technology, especially mobile, to redesign their current customer experience and build a deeper digital engagement.
2. Product differentiation: through data analytics and journey mapping, companies will be able to identify customer segments and personas that share different characteristics and address them differently.
3. Virtual power customers: customers are increasingly becoming power generators. By partnering with their customers by providing services such as monitoring software, energy companies can build stronger relationships.
4. Home automation: the automated home is becoming more and more common place. Energy companies could support homeowners with data analytics and partner with other providers to develop the next wave of home automation products such as home battery storage.
The keys to realizing the CX experience you envision
Imaging what you would like your energy organization’s CX to be is one thing ensuring that it is realized is another. It won’t happen by accident. Achieving your ideal CX is dependent on a number of foundational aspects being part of the plan.
Develop a CX Strategy
Since CX is the sum of all interactions that a brand has with its customers, it makes sense to analyze those interactions to see what’s working and not working, understand how they impact customer experience and develop an optimized strategy.
Employ Journey Mapping
Understanding how customers interact with your brand is insight that is essential if one’s goal is to optimize CX. Journey maps will confirm what each customer touchpoint is and then prioritize what needs to be renovated.
Modernize Your Technology
An important element of today’s rapidly evolving world is to underpin your CX strategy with modern technology, preferably technology that is optimized for working in highly-regulated environments. As well, moving to flexible, future-proof architecture will allow your business to easily swap or upgrade components without having to migrate or redesign entire systems.
Since customer experience impacts every touchpoint that a customer has with your company, it’s imperative that each department of your organization be aligned with the CX they are providing. Accomplishing this will require a designated executive tasked with the customer experience, a CX shared services team or a CX steering committee.
Want to delve deeper into why CX is the key to fuelling your energy company’s future?
To learn more about how fine-tuning your customer experience is the safe, quick way to enhance your energy organization’s competitiveness, download your complimentary copy of “The Future of Customer Experience in the Energy Industry” report by clicking here: https://www.quadient.com/resources/future-customer-experience-energy-industry.