The coming of age of the first truly digital generation and the proliferation of the Internet of Things and smart homes represent a largely untapped opportunity for utilities who master the digital customer experience. However a JD Power study has found that utilities are among the lowest performers in this aspect of service delivery. So how can your utility benefit from improving the digital consumer experience?
Improving digital capabilities has been shown to benefit both customers and utilities by improving operations and flexibility. Going digital can increase profitability by 20 to 30 percent through the use of back office processes, employee productivity tools and utilization of data from smart meters and smart grids for planning and diagnostics.
Exceeding Digital Consumer Expectations
Many energy utilities are exploring digital marketplaces to improve the digital consumer experience, allowing customers to purchase energy efficient products from light bulbs to water heaters. They can schedule installations, while also taking advantage of any rebates that may be offered. Digital marketplaces have the potential to increase customer engagement and satisfaction, improve energy efficiency and add revenue.
While internet giants Google and Amazon have already laid claim to a portion of the smart home market, they don’t have access to utility customer data – an important asset that utilities should use to tailor the product and experience to the customer.
Utilities exploring expanding their digital customer interfaces should not lose sight of what customers want. Flexibility, security, personalization and ease of use are high on their list of desires from a digital experience.
One example of utilities leveraging the demand for increased flexibility and security is HomeServe, a leader in providing utility-sponsored emergency home repair services plans through partnerships with more than 600 municipalities and utilities across the country.
HomeServe Specializes in the Digital Experience
HomeServe delivers a digital experience to customers in a number of ways. We communicate with customers across channels, sending emails and texts prior to repair appointments and offering an app where customers can track their technician en route. For customers’ safety, they can see a technician’s name and photo before they arrive. HomeServe continues to monitor the customer experience following a repair appointment, with a feedback request sent immediately upon service completion with a one-question, two-click survey.
At our call centers, we incorporate voice analytics platforms to gather customer feedback and improve agent effectiveness. On the back office end, we utilize a best-in-class field service management system, which allows real-time dispatching, routing and tracking of service technicians.
HomeServe also has made an investment in Centriq to offer a digital home inventory. Users simply scan product labels and the app will identify home appliances, electronics, and other equipment, and provide up-to-date manuals and other resources for troubleshooting, finding parts and getting repairs.
A partnership with HomeServe integrates our program and communications expertise with utility programs to deepen engagement. To learn more, please contact us.